April 12, 2017

John Legend joins Penn board to pursue criminal justice reform

Singer-songwriter John Legend will be returning to his alma mater to advocate for improvements to the United States criminal justice system, the school said.

The University of Pennsylvania announced Wednesday the 1999 graduate was appointed to the advisory board of the school's Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice. The center was established in 2013 to identify problems and prevent errors in criminal justice system.

“The Quattrone Center brings together insights from different disciplines and focuses on the tangible results of reform," Legend said. "I look forward to joining them in these significant efforts.”

Winner of 10 Grammys, an Academy Award and a Golden Globe, Legend has long supported policy changes in the field of criminal justice. Concerned about mass incarceration and the school-to-prison pipeline, Legend co-founded #FREEAMERICA in 2015 to highlight the nation's "misguided policies" and enact reform.

Comprised of nationally-recognized criminal justice reform leaders, the Quattrone Center uses data-driven research to improve fairness and offer solutions. Recent studies examined the cash bail system and conviction review units.

“John Legend is not only a world-renowned musician — he is also a tireless voice for reform in the criminal justice system,” said John Hollway, the center's executive director. “We are incredibly excited to bring his experience and distinction as an activist to our board.”