Common Pushes For Home Confinement For Inmates As Coronavirus Ravages Prisons

Kershaw St. Jawnson

Chicago rapper Common has teamed with an organization called Imagine Justice to help get qualifying inmates out of prison.

(AllHipHop News) There is a reason why Chicago rapper Common is considered a beacon not only in the Hip-Hop world but in the Black community.

It is not that he is above reproach or just a goodie-two-shoes, but it is that he leads with heart, vulnerability, and compassion.

He just says things to the right people the right way and does the right thing for the right people. He has recently announced a campaign to help those locked in the prison industrial complex.

On Wednesday, while so many people were trying to figure out getting over hump day, the Academy Award-winning emcee and his criminal justice reform organization Imagine Justice launched a campaign to advocate for millions (of all races) that are in grave danger if swift action is not taken to support them while they are incarcerated.

Imagine Justice has joined with dozens of advocacy and activist groups to bring attention to the threat that the COVID-19 poses to men, women and youths who are serving time during this pandemic in close proximity to each other.

The potentially deadly coronavirus is highly contagious. Each state has at one time or another required people to practice social distancing. Many have even locked individuals up for violated this mandate.

But within the prison industrial complex system, pods or blocks still remain crowded — basically a breeding farm for the spread of the disease.

Home-Confinement has worked in many cases.

This is similar to the arrangement that rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine was blessed to have made with his lawyers. However, it does shed light on who gets to come home and who are looked over.

Common's proposal looks to level the playing field and hoping to afford all people regardless of social class a chance not to be free (but to be healthy).

The campaign, #WeMatterToo, urges politicians and law enforcement to immediately release those who have served most of their sentences and those who have health conditions that put them at greater risk get sick.

"We all have unanswered questions about the pandemic," the “Glory” rapper told CBS Austin. "But being in prison adds new levels to that questioning, because of the way that people have been treated in prison."

This is not the first time that Common's Imagine Justice group has been speaking out for those in prison. They regularly organize in-person visits to correctional facilities.

But since the pandemic, visitation has ceased. Some spaces are allowing the incarcerated to do SKYPE visits.

"Some of the strongest people I've ever met are in prison," Common said. "I believe we can come out of this greater than we were before." 

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