If you are broke on Father’s Day after being arrested for a crime you did not commit because of bail costs — Jay Z might agree that you did not receive justice.
In fact, Jay Z is currently telling the world on Father’s Day 2017 that the bail bond process is profiting $9 billion per year. Even worse, Jay Z claims this money is made by insurance companies from poor people that cannot afford a lawyer when they are arrested for being accused of a crime.
Shawn Carter, aka Jay Z, wrote in TIME on June 17 about a subject close to his heart: social justice. However, unlike his work with social justice in the past, this particular issue Jay Z put a spotlight on in his opinion piece dealt with financial exploitation of the poor via the bail bonds process.
In this case, Jay Z said people that are being accused of crimes before they are even convicted are paying a financial price for the experience in the form of exploitative bail bonds businesses.
About his own personal experiences, Jay Z opened his argument by stating “if you’re unable to afford a private attorney, then you can be disappeared into our jail system simply because you can’t afford bail.”
Jay Z went on to explain that people also suffered because they were being separated from their families over long periods of time when they had not actually committed a crime. Instead, they were in jail awaiting trial because they had been accused of a crime, and could not afford a lawyer to get them out while they are waiting for their trial.
According to Jay Z, this is not a few Americans that fall through the cracks of the justice system. He explained that around 400,000 people per day that have never been convicted of a crime were in jail “because they cannot afford to buy their freedom” through paying bail money.
At the helm of this problem that disproportionately affects black and brown people, according to Jay Z, are “predatory lending schemes” that are for-profit scenarios well-crafted by bail bond insurers.
With these facts in mind, Jay Z concluded his opinion piece with a focus on Father’s Day 2017. In particular, he said he wanted to give some of his money to help organizations that help fathers get bailed out of jail.
Regardless, Jay Z stated that “philanthropy is not a long fix” and better long-term solutions include getting “rid of these inhumane practices altogether” and fixing America’s “broken criminal justice system” by taking on the “exploitative bail industry.”
Last year, Jay Z, on behalf of his company, Tidal, also stepped up with philanthropy when he helped the Black Lives Matter movement with exposure and donations. In February, 2016, Jay Z and other celebrity musicians like Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne held the Tidal X concert in Brooklyn, according to Billboard.
Organizations that received donation money after Tidal X include New World Foundation artist owners; Black Lives Matter; Opportunity Agenda; Hands Up United; Community in California; Baltimore Justice Fund; Empowerment Development Corporation; Million Hoodies; the Gathering for Justice League; Ohio Students Association; Families of Victims of Police Violence; The Trayvon Martin Foundation; The Michael O.D. Brown We Love Our Sons and Daughters Foundation; and The Oscar Grant Foundation.
Jay Z also has his own personal philanthropy project called The Shawn Carter Foundation. Their main project is giving away scholarships to individuals facing socio-economic hardship.
[Feature Image by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Spike]