Chicago hip-hop artist G Herbo is partnering with Alliance for Safety and Justice, a California-based criminal justice advocacy organization to donate 20,000 PPE protective masks to the Cook County Jail at 5 p.m. Thursday, organizers said.
The donation is made possible through the ASJ and its subsidiary project “Time Done,” which aims to knock down legal barriers that previously incarcerated people often face such as access to housing, education and employment.
I AM HONORED TO BE REPRESENTING @safeandjust AND THE TIME DONE CAMPAIGN.@TimeDone IS ABOUT GIVING PEOPLE A SECOND CHANCE AFTER THEY HAVE SERVED THEIR SENTENCE WE NEED TO LIFT RESTRICTIONS ON JOBS AND HOUSING AND EXPUNGE OLD RECORDS SO WE STOP THE CYCLE!!! pic.twitter.com/DqC4G66L7M— G HERBO (@gherbo) April 2, 2020
As of this week, seven detainees of the jail have died after testing positive for COVID-19, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s office. In addition, 236 detainees have tested positive for the virus, with six receiving treatment at hospitals. Another 291 detainees are no longer considered positive for COVID and are being monitored at the jail’s recovery facility, the sheriff’s office said.
Two corrections officers and a court deputy at the facility died earlier this week.
“The conditions in jails and prisons are ripe for spreading coronavirus within them and into communities,” said Robert Rooks, co-founder and CEO of Alliance for Safety and Justice, in a statement. “There have been important efforts to reduce the population at Cook County Jail, yet we wanted to provide support to protect people inside of the facility while also recognizing there is more to be done. There are ways to safely reduce incarceration that are critical to prevent any further spread of COVID-19.”
G Herbo isn’t the only Chicago hip-hop luminary who’s giving back to a community in a time of need.
Earlier this week, activist and rapper Common called attention to how the pandemic poses a health risk to millions of incarcerated people in the U.S. via his criminal justice reform organization Imagine Justice in a campaign dubbed #WeMatterToo.
And last month, rapper Lil Durk dropped off hot meals to Rush University Medical Center emergency room employees.