April 2, 2019, Samantha Melamed - The Philadelphia Inquirer
North Philadelphia native Robert Rihmeek Williams has been on probation for 11 years — a seemingly endless, telescoping sentence that has dogged him throughout his ascendancy as Meek Mill, the chart-topping rapper and, lately, activist for criminal justice reform.
Now, while still under the weight of Pennsylvania’s unusually onerous probation laws — which, unlike most other states, allow supervision to stretch as long as the maximum legal sentence for a crime — he’s seeking to change them.
At a highly produced Tuesday afternoon news conference within a corral set up on Thomas Paine Plaza, angled to ensure a soaring City Hall backdrop, Meek Mill, 76ers executive Michael Rubin, and CNN personality Van Jones — who are together the cochairmen of an advocacy group called the REFORM Alliance — stood alongside state lawmakers and business leaders to announce draft legislation to reform probation in Pennsylvania.
“I’m here to speak for the ones that don’t have a voice,” Mill said.