Mick Mill hoops with Philly’s children affected by the justice system Sports

Mick Mill sat down on the court before the Philadelphia 76ers game and grabbed the hand of a shy 7-year-old boy to talk before a few more kids rushed to the rapper to take pictures.

His message was sympathetic to the boy – and to all the children in the Philly neighborhood affected by the criminal justice system who were invited to play basketball with Mick Mill.

“I’m one of those kids, so I know what it means to be in situations like that,” Mill said Wednesday. “I’m convinced I believe it the way I just did it there. I’m having fun too. “

The 34-year-old rapper and activist acted like kids on the court when playing an easy 5-on-5 game and competing in a “knockout” to help raise awareness of the Reform Alliance mission. Mill, whose widely publicized prison for minor violations of probation has become a lightning rod for the problem, is co-chair of the Reform Organization, which is lobbying for changes to state parole laws.

Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin, co-chair and co-owner of 76ers, helped organize the game and arranged a venue for Wednesday’s game and a visit with coach Doc Rivers for 25 children.

“We want to give them a day in their lives,” Rubin said. “At the same time, frankly, we want to draw attention to this issue.”

The Reform Alliance also includes rapper Jay-Z and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and he has succeeded in his mission for nearly three years – yes, Mill was there pictures of Virginia Gov. Ralph Nortem in June when he signed the Conditional Reform Act. . in law.

The Pennsylvania Senate on Wednesday passed legislation revising the methods of probation in an effort to harass people who are on an endless probation cycle or going to jail for minor violations.

The bill limits the length of probation and the circumstances in which a nonviolent offender on probation may be sent to prison as part of a nationwide review of parole. The vote, 46 to 4, sends the bill to the House of Representatives, where a previous Senate bill died without a vote last year.

According to federal statistics, Pennsylvania is among the states with the highest levels of people under public scrutiny.

“I am very glad to see that now it is going through the House of Representatives and the law has been signed,” Rubin said. “It will help us (achieve) our goal of removing a million people from the system who do not belong to it.”

Mill, who released his fifth solo studio album, Expensive Pain, in October, said it was important to remember that children often suffer the most when their parents are sent to prison for minor probation violations.

Mill caught the attention of proponents of criminal justice reform after a Pennsylvania judge sentenced him to 2 to 4 years in prison for violating probation in a gun and drug possession case. He was imprisoned for several months before a court ruled his release in 2018 – and Rubin arranged for a helicopter to take Milo out of jail to the Sixers playoff game.

“I don’t really have anyone to change my life at a young age,” Mill said. “I’m just one of the lucky ones. If I could help one person, I would be asked to help a million people in the Reform, but if I could help one, that’s enough for me. “

Latonia Myers, who once spent nine months in prison because she could not afford bail, has since joined the rapper in advocating for justice reform.

“I think it breaks the curses of generations,” she said. “I think it’s a memory that these kids will always remember because they will have a connection to something positive, not something negative about their situation. They will not be ashamed of what their parents went through, but they can be proud of the fact that they have preserved and overcome the problems that the system poses to individuals. “

Mill went through a difficult upbringing and prison in Philadelphia to become a Grammy-nominated rapper, and is now looking for change in the same type of district in which he grew up. This weekend, he planned to donate $ 500,000 to Philadelphia families. Mill said the items included toys, teaching materials, clothing and other surprises.

“We can make some kids smile in Philadelphia,” Mill said.

He now has the resources to give back to his community and make the positive impact he often sought as a child.

“I think it’s always been in me,” he said. “I just don’t think I needed to give it away.”

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