Rapper Meek Mill gave the gift of freedom to 20 incarcerated women as he paid their bail so they could be home for the holidays. Five women were released from Riverside Correctional Facility in Philadelphia on Saturday with plans for 15 more to be released throughout the week.

The announcement came on Saturday from REFORM alliance, a nonprofit launched in part by Mill and Jay-Z that advocates for criminal justice reform with a focus on parole and probation.

The 35-year-old had a decade-long battle with the justice system since a 2007 conviction followed by repeated bouts in prison due to parole violations. His charges were dropped in 2019 after the Free Meek movement sparked a nationwide conversation about mass incarceration and significant media attention on his case.

“It was devastating for me to be away from my son during the holidays when I was incarcerated, so I understand what these women and their families are going through,” Mill said. “No one should have to spend the holidays in jail simply because they can’t afford bail. I’m grateful for the opportunity to help these women be with their families and loved ones during this special time of year.”

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According to REFORM, the women Mill helped release also received gift cards to help with groceries and buying gifts. The rapper said the holidays were an “extremely challenging time” for incarcerated people and their loved ones.

“No one should have to spend the holidays in jail simply because they can’t afford bail, and no child should be without their parents during this time if we can do something about it,” he said.

The nonprofit has succeeded in legislative reform in Philadelphia and eight other states. Since 2019, the group has helped passed 16 bills focused on probation and parole system reform with the goal of a justice system that “holds people accountable, incentivizes good behavior, encourages success and saves taxpayers millions of dollars.”

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