“Meanwhile the DEA/Teamed up with the CCA/ They tryna lock niggas up/ They tryna make new slaves/ See that’s that privately owned prison…”
Kanye West and Jay-Z may not be the best friends at the moment, but Ye’s lyrics still ring true. The American prison system has become a business, priting from the incarceration millions non-violent fenders. Jay-Z, who has always been vocal about injustices in the prison system and in predominantly black communities, has decided to make a change.
According to Rolling Stone, Jay and his label, Roc Nation, have partnered with Promise to help find a way to assist with bail and other difficult tasks that come along with being arrested. Promise, an app co-founded by entrepreneur Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, aims to reduce the number people incarcerated. In a statement, Promise revealed its plan “to create a sustainable and scalable program that will reduce the number people behind bars, recidivism and the cost care by extending the capabilities community supervision.”
“We are increasingly alarmed by the injustice in our criminal justice system,” explained Jay Z said in a statement. “Money, time and lives are wasted with the current policies. It’s time for an innovative and progressive technology that fers sustainable solutions to tough problems. Promise’s team, led by Phaedra, is building an app that can help provide ‘liberty and justice for all’ to millions.”
The Promise app will formally debut March 20th at Y Combinator Demo Day. The app will be accessible to law enforcement agencies as well as the public. It will feature an interactive calendar that reminds users about upcoming court appearances and drug tests, as well as a map that locates clinics for substance abuse treatment, among other helpful tasks.
The Promise app will also aim to help those that cannot afford bail.