Former Bad Boy Records artist Loon is using his experience in the prison system and teaming up with REFORM Alliance, the organization co-founded by JAY-Z and Meek Mill focused on changing injustices in the U.S. probation and parole systems.
The Harlem native, who now goes by Amir Junaid Muhadith, will serve as the inaugural fellow for their new fellowship program just months after his prison release. According to Business Insider, the program aims to provide “practical and transferable job skills for formerly incarcerated individuals that are interested in pursuing a career in advocacy” and “hands-on experience in policy creation, policy writing, coalition-building, research, digital organizing and more.”
“I can personally relate to the stress of navigating life on supervision with the risk of reincarceration, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to use my experience to help REFORM and collaborate on ways to make a lasting impact on the system,” Loon said. “It’s imperative that we provide people on probation with the support, training, and counseling to truly succeed rather than resort to punitive punishment.”
Loon was granted an early release from jail in July due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and REFORM Alliance’s chief advocacy officer Jessica Jackson was part of the team that helped advocate for his freedom through the First Step Act.
“Amir’s firsthand perspective and strategic thinking will be invaluable to helping us improve an ineffective and destructive supervision system,” Jackson stated. “In the short amount of time he’s been released, Amir has already impressed us with his ideas and commitment to creating positive change.”
— REFORM Alliance (@REFORM) November 2, 2020
Best known for appearing on Diddy’s “I Need a Girl (Part One)” and “I Need a Girl (Part Two),” Loon was arrested in 2012 and pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin the following year. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison and scheduled for release in August 2021, but U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle granted an early release citing coronavirus as an “extraordinary and compelling reason.”
In September, Loon reunited with Diddy during a visit to the Hip Hop mogul’s Malibu home. They shared photos together and wrote a special message about their friendship on Instagram.
“Everything is not what it seems,” he wrote. “After all that we’ve been through the love cannot be denied. We’ve travelled the world together, made millions together and at times we may not have always agreed, but by Allah, if I hadn’t experienced the things that we went through, I wouldn’t have become the man that I am today!”
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Everything is not what it seems. After all that we’ve been through the love cannot be denied. We’ve travelled the world together, made millions together and at times we may not have always agreed, but by Allah, if I hadn’t experienced the things that we went through, I wouldn’t have become the man that I am today!