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John Legend Joins AFL-CIO in Effort to Reduce Prison Population


ABC/Randy Holmes John Legend has consistently spoken out about the problems of the criminal justice system, and now he’s joining labor unions in his campaign to reduce the prison population.

The ten-time Grammy Award winner traveled to the Washington Correction Center for Women in Gig Harbor, WA Thursday with leaders from the AFL-CIO to witness the issues facing inmates and prison workers.

“The AFL-CIO has tens of thousands of members whose lives are directly impacted by the prison industrial complex,” Legend said in a statement. “Many work ‘inside’ the prison system as guards, where they too, are serving a kind of time, daily affected by our inhuman, often unsafe prison conditions.”

He continues, “While we are committed to reducing incarceration and alleviating the unnecessary suffering of prisoners housed in dangerous and abusive conditions, we’ve also come to understand that these same conditions impact workers of the system.  They may get to go home after their shifts, but they too, are doing time.”

Legend launched his Free America campaign in April 2015, two months after criticizing the criminal justice system during his acceptance speech at the Academy Awards. His goal is to increase employment and cut down the number of people incarcerated.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, strongly supports Legend’s program. He says, “The labor movement is committed to the cause of ending mass incarceration and proud to stand with an artist of John Legend’s caliber.”

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