“A society should be judged not by how it treats its outstanding citizens but by how it treats its criminals.” - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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Texas rapper and community activist Trae tha Truth has scored a huge human rights victory in Harris County.

The Houston Chronicle reports that early last month, Trae reached an agreement with Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez to allow prisoners in the county to attend the funerals of loved ones via Zoom video call.

"This has never happened in the city of Houston," the rapper wrote in a news release posted to Instagram. "Often when someone dies in an inmate's family, they are not able to go to the funeral." According to the release, over 20 inmates have been able to attend funerals via Zoom calls since the deal was reached.

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In addition to striking this deal on behalf of bereaved inmates, Trae and his Relief Gang also led several charitable efforts throughout the Christmas season to give back to his home town, such as donating Christmas trees and toys to families in need. Trae founded the Relief Gang back in 2017 to help people in the Houston area in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Personally, it does my heart a great deal of good to see this. People make mistakes in this life, and oftentimes those mistakes land them in prison. Society tends to casually dismiss these people, and that's a tragedy. Showing them a sliver of humanity and allowing them something as simple as bidding a loved one farewell isn't softness or weakness, and it isn't condoning criminal behavior. It's those of outside the prison walls demonstrating grace.

If we ever lose that grace, Heaven help us.

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