JAY-Z and Meek Mill’s Prison Reform Alliance has sent nearly 100,000 surgical masks to prisons across the U.S. amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The rappers’ donation will help protect staff and inmates from the spread of Covid-19, which has increased significantly in correctional facilities because prisoners live in crowded quarters and are unable to practice social distancing.
“It’s a very vulnerable population,” Reform Alliance’s chief advocacy officer Jessica Jackson told CBS News. “We’re really worried about the number of people coming in and out of the facility, and the fact that the people living there might be sitting ducks during this pandemic.”
Approximately 40,000 masks will go to Tennessee, 50,000 to Rikers Island in New York, and 5,000 to Parchman in Mississippi. Additionally, 2,500 masks were sent to Rikers Island’s medical facility.
The spread of Covid-19 in prisons has resulted in a mandatory 14-day isolation period for inmates who are transferred as the global health crisis continues.
Last week, rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine – who suffers from chronic asthma, putting him at increased risk for catching the virus – was released from jail and will serve the remaining four months of his sentence under home confinement.