Jay-Z's Roc Nation Supports App to Improve Criminal Justice System

"Money, time and lives are wasted with the current policies. It's time for an innovative and progressive technology," rapper says of Promise

Jay-Z's Roc Nation has thrown their support behind a new app that aims to reduce incarceration and recidivism in the criminal justice system. Credit: Steve Russell/Getty

Jay-Z's Roc Nation has thrown their support behind a new app that aims to reduce incarceration and recidivism in the criminal justice system.

Promise, an app co-founded by social entrepreneur and former Prince manager Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, hopes "to create a sustainable and scalable program that will reduce the number of people behind bars, recidivism and the cost of care by extending the capabilities of community supervision," the company said. The app will be open to both government agencies and users on parole or who would otherwise be incarcerated.

"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 steps in during the pre-trial process to assist those that cannot afford bail. Following a comprehensive intake procedure, Promise sets up an individualized plan for each participant. Promise then monitors and supports participants to help them succeed with their plans," the app posits.

"Each participant has the Promise app on their phone and receives an intelligent calendar of their obligations (court appearances, drug testing, substance abuse treatment, etc) and adaptive reminders to help them meet these obligations. Promise also provides coordinated referrals and support based on individual needs, including job training, housing, counseling, etc. Participant progress is tracked so that clients and participants can easily view compliance and status."

The Promise app will formally debut March 20th at Y Combinator Demo Day.

In recent years, Jay-Z has focused on injustice in the criminal justice system, whether in the case of Trayvon Martin, the death of Rikers Island inmate Kalief Browder or the current incarceration of Meek Mill.