Accompanied by Fugees producer John Forte, Pusha T climbed atop a portable sound system in the middle of a crowded prison yard in order to help put an end to the pipeline of young offenders from Californian schools to state prisons.
Part of a statewide #SchoolsNotPrisons tour, the performance at Calipatria State Prison is the fourth in a series of gigs proposed to promote greater government investment in health and education. Of particular focus is the need to provide a future for those who have served time in the state’s correctional facilities, something critical to the financial well-being and health of inmates following release.
— dream hampton (@dreamhampton) September 19, 2016
“Putting an end to mass incarceration is important to me,” Pusha T stated in a press release for the event. “It’s something I’ve watched destroy a generation of my peers. I was able to go to Calipatria and see there was still inspiration and hope in the inmates, that was motivation for me to keep fighting for this cause.”
Forte is himself an ex-con. He was charged with cocaine possession, intent to distribute, and conspiracy to distribute in 2000. Forte was pardoned in 2008. Since his release the producer has focused his work on helping at-risk youth.
HipHopDX asserts that Californian prisons incarcerate more than 128,000 people at a cost of over $11 billion each year.