In a recent interview with Gayle King on CBS This Morning, Meek Mill candidly shared how life-altering his experience with the criminal justice system has become and how it inspired him to push for reform.
The Philly rapper has been fighting for years to have his 2008 conviction overturned, and this week, he appeared before a judge to plead his case. Meek Mill explained the difficulties of living on probation for the past decade, during the two-part interview and how it’s affected his approach to fatherhood.
“I’ve been having to ask somebody to travel my whole adult life since the age of 18 to 32,” Meek said. “I can’t go across the state line, even if it’s to the next county over. If it’s out of the city (and) you don’t ask for permission, you can get the rest of your probation time given to you as jail time legally.”
Unfortunately, under the current guidelines of his probation, Meek isn’t even able to pick up his only child from school.
“My son lived in New Jersey, but I lived in Philadelphia, and the bridge is a 15-minute ride. It’s just a bridge. I couldn’t go get my son from school when I wanted to.”
When it comes to his relationship with his son, Meek says he plans to teach him admirable qualities in hopes of breaking the cycle.
“I’m teaching my son about dignity, I’m teaching him about respect, I’m teaching him about being like I was and always being the man of the house,” he said.
Although the Championships rapper is still fighting for his own “freedom,” he’s been inspired to fight for others. Back in January, Meek met with lawmakers to overhaul the probation and parole system in Pennsylvania, and now he’s working with other big names such as Jay-Z and co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers Michael Rubin on their own nonprofit, REFORM Alliance.
“The work I want to do is actually make a smart probation and parole act where you can gain your life back and get your life back on track, and not just be caught up in a loop and going in and out of the system,” he said. “I want to do something for the people who come from where I come from because we actually do start (behind) and it goes back to slavery, but we have to catch up. I want to help them people get the right start and make it a fair game.”