Known best for his music, John Legend is using his star status to take on another cause.
“Every Texan deserves a better justice system,” Legend said.
Legend was joined by lawmakers and a bipartisan group of organizations at the Capitol Thursday to promote ending mass incarceration.
"They say everything is bigger in Texas. Unfortunately, that extends to the state's correction system as well,” Legend said.
Legend applauded efforts already underway this session, like decriminalizing truancy. On Wednesday, senators passed a bill that would make skipping school a misdemeanor rather than a criminal offense.
"This is tough, very serious towards truancy, but let's just quit criminalizing young people,” Sen. John Whitmire said.
Other measures being debated this session that could affect the criminal justice system include raising the age at which teens can be criminally charged as adults and reducing penalties for marijuana possession.
"Prison is not the solution to every problem,” Legend said.
Before meeting with lawmakers, Legend toured the Travis County Correctional Complex to talk with inmates and the sheriff.
"I was happy to learn that the sheriff is now allowing face-to-face visitation,” Legend said. “Human contact with family is so important to the rehabilitation and healing that our inmates need."
And while the musician didn't sing any of his award-winning songs, one was referenced.
"The glory will truly will come when we get these bills passed,” Sen. Rodney Ellis said.
Legend was also made an honorary Texan Thursday.