Last year, Jay-Z helped bring awareness to the story of Kalief Browder and the injustices of the US prison system. The Brooklyn rapper released a six-episode documentary recounting the tragic case of the Bronx high school student who spent three years in prison despite never being charged with a crime.
Now, with a focus on the parole and bail systems in America, Hov’s Roc Nation imprint has partnered with First Round Capital to invest $3 million into a “de-carceration” organization called Promise.
According to TechCrunch, the startup offers counties and local governments an alternative to holding low-risk people behind bars simply because they can’t afford bail.
“We are increasingly alarmed by the injustice in our criminal justice system. Money, time and lives are wasted with the current policies. It’s time for an innovative and progressive technology that offers sustainable solutions to tough problems,” a statement from JAY-Z reads. “Promise’s team, led by co-founder and CEO Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, is building an app that can help provide ‘liberty and justice for all’ to millions.”
TechCrunch reports that Promise will help ensure those imprisoned for low-level misdemeanors know when they’re supposed to appear in court and will remind them of obligations like drug testing or substance abuse treatment needed.
“People are going to jail because they look at a piece of paper and misread it, or are going to jail because they can’t afford a class because they’re instead paying child support,” Ellis-Lamkins told the outlet.