Yesterday, Virginia governor Ralph Northam (D-Va) signed Virginia House Bill 2038 into law. He was joined by rapper Meek Mill who was representing REFORM Alliance, the non-profit organization he co-founded to push for restorative justice.
When it goes into effect July 1, 2021, the criminal justice reform law will implement caps on probation terms by limiting adult probation sentences to a maximum of one year for misdemeanor offenses and five years for felonies, according to a press release.
The law is expected to reduce the state’s probation population, curb recidivism, and make supervision more effective, while increasing workforce stability and community safety, the statement notes.
At the signing, Meek Mill said “I have the resources and I’m in position to do better to help.” The artist had his own experience with the prison system, including serving a 5-month sentence stemming from an 11-year old case he believed was being used against him.
The bill’s author, Don Scott, who has been impacted by the prison system, tweeted at Meek Mill asking for support on the bill. Meek publicly agreed to assist and joined forces with the advocacy groups to collectively drive the bill forward.
At the signing ceremony, Governor Northam and Meek Mill were joined by Don Scott, Philadelphia 76ers partner Michael Rubin and REFORM Alliance CEO Robert Rooks.