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John Legend calls US prison system “radically terrible”


ABC/Paula LoboJohn Legend is once again speaking out against mass incarceration, calling U.S. prisons “racially terrible.”

“I’ve had family members, my mother included, who had a drug problem and was in jail for part of her life,” Legend tells “I’ve had plenty of other family members who’ve been caught up in the system.”

The ten-time Grammy winner joined the Just Leadership USA organization Monday for a panel discussion at the New School in New York City about closing New York’s Rikers Island prison.

“Having family members locked up and seeing the effects it had on the young people and the challenges that it introduced into their lives, I knew this was an important issue and something I want to divert some of my resources and time to make a significant change in,” John says.

Legend has launched a imitative called Unlocked Futures that will provide business grants and training for people who have been released from prison. The program is a new component of his Free America criminal justice reform campaign.

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