Jay-Z's Roc Nation Invests In Anti-Incarceration App

“Promise will help government agencies support those who would otherwise be in custody or who are on some form of community supervision-namely probation or parole,” the company said in a press release. The app is without a release date but was officially introduced on this past Tuesday (March 20) at Y Combinator Demo Day by creators Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins and Diana Frappier. “We are increasingly alarmed by the injustice in our criminal justice system,”Jay-Z said in a statement. “Money, time and lives are wasted with the current policies. It’s time for an innovative and progressive technology that offers sustainable solutions to tough problems. Promise’s team, led by Phaedra, is building an app that can help provide ‘liberty and justice for all’ to millions.” Promise provides clients with financial assistance with bail costs along with other services to get people out of jail and keep them from going back. For instance, the app offers those on probation or parole with an “intelligent calendar” that sends reminders of court appearances, drug testing, and other important dates. In turn, this will help prevent people from going to jail for missing payments or forgetting dates. Additionally, the startup will provide individualized referrals and support for job training, housing, and counseling. “People are going to jail because they look at a piece of paper and misread it, or are going to jail because they can’t afford a class because they’re instead paying child support,” Promise co-founder Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins told TechCrunch. “If we’re putting people in jail because they’re poor, brown or black, we’re spending money the wrong way.”  ]]>

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