John Legend launches campaign against mass incarceration


Singer John Legend just announced he's launching a new initiative called FREE AMERICA that aims to put an end to mass incarceration.

In an interview Legend 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, 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."

The campaign is still in early stages, but Legend already has plans to perform in a correctional facility in Austin, Texas later this week as well as to visit a California state prison and co-host an event with Politico in Washington, D.C. later this month. The campaign will reportedly involve other artists as well.

The singer previously spoke about mass incarceration during his Oscar win for the song "Glory" from Selma:

Support from a high-profiler entertainer like Legend will hopefully bring more attention to campaigns that have been fighting for criminal justice for years. Legend noted, "I'm just trying to create some more awareness to this issue and trying to make some real change legislatively. 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."

[h/t The Huffington Post]