Singer John Legend Starts “FREE AMERICA” To Fight Mass Incarceration


Grammy-winning singer John Legend has launched a campaign to end mass incarceration, “FREE AMERICA,” the Associated Press reports. Legend, 36, will perform tomorrow at a correctional facility in Austin, Tx., where he will be part of a press conference with state legislators to discuss Texas’ criminal justice system. “We have a serious problem with incarceration in this country,” Legend told AP. “It’s destroying families, it’s destroying communities and we’re the most incarcerated country in the world, and 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.”

Legend will visit a California state prison and co-host a criminal justice event with Politico in Washington, D.C., this month. The campaign will include help from other artists and organizations committed to ending mass incarceration. “I’m just trying to create some more awareness to this issue and trying to make some real change legislatively,” he said. “And we’re not the only ones. 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.”

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