John Legend launched a multiyear initiative today called Free America to help put an end to mass incarceration, Huffington Post reports.
The award-winning 36-year-old is scheduled to take part in a press conference with Texas state legislators on Thursday to discuss the state’s criminal justice system after he visits and performs at a correctional facility in Austin. He is also scheduled to visit a California state prison and co-host a Politico criminal justice event this month.
Legend, who addressed the injustice of the criminal justice system during his Academy Awards acceptance speech, said:
We have a serious problem with incarceration in this country. It’s destroying families, it’s destroying communities and we’re the most incarcerated country in the world. [When] you look deeper and look at the reasons we got to this place, we as a society made some choices politically and legislatively, culturally to deal with poverty, deal with mental illness in a certain way and that way usually involves using incarceration… There are senators that are looking at this, like Rand Paul and Cory Booker, there are other nonprofits that are looking at this, and I just wanted to add my voice to that.