On Thursday (June 10), Meek Mill joined Virginia Governor Ralph Northam for the signing of a new probation reform bill.
The bill will reportedly provide court limitations for probation sentences in Virginia. It won the support of the rapper, who became a criminal justice advocate after overcoming a 12-year legal case for misdemeanor charges that resulted in both prison and probation.
"I have the resources and I'm in a position to do better to help," Meek Mill said Thursday at a news conference, according to CBS News. "I'll make sure I'll be able to deliver and close every bridge I can to help fix the system because I was affected by that."
The bill will take effect on July 1 and limits the amount of “active incarceration” a court can impose for violations to a person’s probation. It requires courts to "measure any period of suspension of sentence from the date of entry of the original sentencing order" and limits supervised probation to a maximum of five years for felony charges and one year for misdemeanor offenses.
Virginia was one of only seven remaining states without specifications about how many people could be incarcerated for minor violations or length of active supervision.
"Our criminal justice system has been inequitable for far too long," Northam said during the press conference. "Too many crimes bring lengthy sentences that outweigh the severity of the offense and that has resulted in far too many people — particularly too many people of color — in our prisons and jails."
Meek was arrested in 2007 for gun and drug charges. He served five months in prison in 2017 for probation violations. In 2018, he was granted bail and a re-trial. A year later, his case was dismissed with all charges being dropped.
(Photos from left: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for TIDAL, Alex Edelman/Getty Images)