Jay Z and John Legend Vocalize Support For NYC Mayor's Promise to Shut Down Rikers Island

Jay Z and John Legend Vocalize Support For NYC Mayor's Promise to Shut Down Rikers Island

Here's why they are on board.

Published April 1st

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio recently made a promise that has got everyone talking, even the likes of Jay Z and John Legend.

Taking to Twitter yesterday (March 31), the mayor came forward with the announcement that he will be working to permanently shut down New York City's main jail complex, also known as Rikers Island.

Operated by the New York City Department of Correction, the jail manages a reported average daily population of 10,000 inmates, with many dedicating their lives advocating for prison reform and an end to mass incarceration. Naturally, the mayor's decision to focus on the prison system has sparked a series of intense and important discussions, with Jay Z and John Legend both vocalizing their support.

"Kalief is a prophet," Jay Z shared on Twitter, referring to the late Kalief Browder, a man who spent three years on Rikers Island without ever being convicted of a crime. "His story will save lives. You guys watching and your compassion made this happen. Thank you."

Jay Z recently co-executive produced Time: The Kalief Browder Story, which aired on SpikeTV last month, and is continuing to advocate against mass incarceration through his business and creative endeavors. 

John Legend also took to Twitter to share his support for the mayor and city council's "commitment to end mass incarceration.

"In closing Rikers, New York City takes a crucial step towards ending #massincarceration," the R&B singer wrote. "Now the hard work begins."

Take a look at Bill de Blasio's recent announcement and see how Jay Z and John Legend lent their support in the posts below.

Written by KC Orcutt

(Photos from left: Ari Perilstein/Getty Images for Roc Nation, Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival, Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for WGN America)


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