The most ardent champions of criminal justice reform often are professional advocates, who may have never seen the inside of a jail or prison, never been on parole or probation, or never had a loved one who is incarcerated.
Despite this, their criminal justice research and advocacy are invaluable . They work diligently to affect systemic changes in the way, mostly low-income persons, are prosecuted, sentenced, incarcerated, supervised, or rehabilitated..
Recently, however, the voices of formerly incarcerated men and women, parolees and probationers, and their families–are getting louder.
First-person stories expose the life-altering consequences of racial disparities, unfair practices, and harsh laws in criminal justice.
Jay-Z’s Reform Alliance, John Legend’s #FREEAMERICA and Van Jones’s “The Redemption Project” (on CNN) are using their celebrity to spread the word about criminal justice reform and the need to salvage lives.
The next step is for communities to marshall their organize and use their collective strength to push for reforms.