As a way to fight for prison reform, Common teamed up with producer Scott Budnick, the Anti-Recidivism Coalition and the California Endowment to tour four California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation prisons in the Hope & Redemption Prison Tour.

Common 's visit to a CDCR prison documented on film.

Common ‘s visit to a CDCR prison documented on film.

Video: The Hope & Redemption Prison Tour – Excessive Sentencing

Earlier this year, Hip Hop star Common visited California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations (CDCR) facilities. He performed at four of the California prisons during his Hope & Redemption Prison Tour.

During Common’s CDCR prison visits, the artist got the chance to meet and connect with some of the many men and women inmates at the prisons. Producers captured some of these conversations on camera. Common chose to share these stories in several videos from the tour.

The video below is the first segment of videos from Common’s Hope & Redemption Prison Tour at CDCR prisons:

Common Uses Video Clips from CDCR Prison Visits to Seek Prison Reform

People outside the prison have a way of supporting those incarcerated. The only and tricky part is how?

In his effort of fighting for the reforms in prison, Common decided to team up with the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, the California Endowment, and producer Scott Budnick, to visit four of the CDCR prisons.

The Chicago native rapper made sure that he records all important occasions in his CDCR prison visits. He later published the series with a title The Hope & Redemption Prison Tour.  And, unlike in his previous videos, this time, his center of focus was on the excessive sentencing.

Read Mass Incarceration: San Quentin Inmates Get Prison Visit from Rapper J. Cole

Conversing with several prisoners who are serving life sentences without paroles despite having committed nonviolent crimes, Common points out how unethical these sentences are. He even went on citing how such sentences are only practiced in America, and thus awakening Americans to stop supporting this unfair ruling, by keeping quiet.

“Sentences of life without a parole do only exist in our country,” the star says of the U.S. “By allowing that unfair treatment to happen to our brothers, we as the American citizens do unknowingly support that.”

Common Talks with CDCR Prisoners

For example, Common had a chance to interact with an inmate called John Grobman. Grobman narrates that he with his colleagues takes the dogs from unfriendly shelters.

They then train and take care of these dogs till they get back to normal lives, irrespective of their initial unattractive shapes and health conditions. After being rehabilitated, they take them to the military, and Grobman is proud of the role he plays.

Grobman has got six consecutive life sentences, despite not being a violent person. He will die in prison. He says he was only using some illegal drugs and stealing from people.

We all know that the black people are the ones facing the highest incarnation rate in America. But despite being a white and from a well-family, Grobman say the jurors did not give him a second chance.

“I am somebody’s dad, kid, brother, and angle, so please just give us another chance,” Another inmate can be heard saying in the video.

Common’s CDCR Prison Visits are Just the Beginning

And about his tour, Common tells how the tour to prisons gave him an opportunity of meeting the people he hadn’t met before. Common also points out how incredible the inmates he interacted with were. He explains that they never showed any sign of giving up in life, even when things kept on pressing hard. In fact, they were giving a word of encouragement even to those who are outside the prisons.

Common sits and talks to one CDCR inmate in his cell on film.

Common sits and talks to one CDCR inmate in his cell on film.

The Boom Box reports:

“The Hope & Redemption Prison Tour was among my most awakening and the greatest experiences that I have ever had in my entire life,” the music star says adding. “It really inspired me, since I had an opportunity to meet some of the highly enlightened and most humane folks.”

“I find it really amazing for the fact that [these] people were aspiring and giving hope to themselves and others—despite being in such hard situations,” Common remarked.

We truly commend Common’s efforts to fight Excessive Sentencing. 

Tell Us What You Think About Common’s Efforts Towards Prison Reform in the Comments Below.

Check Out: Hope & Redemption Tour: Common Speaks to ‘A Girl Named Red’ (Video)

Daniel Peterson is a young professional with diverse experience in content writing and content management. He has a strong blog writing background, and runs his own e-commerce partnership business. Daniel currently writes news articles for prison loved ones on the Prison Rideshare Network.