ICYMI: All Star Panel Moves the Ball Forward on Smart Justice Reforms in Ohio

Syrita Bowen News, Ohio, Uncategorized

Today, Ohioans are reading about Ohio State University football legend Maurice Clarett’s leadership in Columbus once again, this time as an advocate for justice reform. Last night, Clarett joined Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Director Gary Mohr and the president of The Buckeye Institute, Robert Alt, along with the U.S. Justice Action Network, to share how his personal experience with the justice system motivated him to take action.

Bleacher Report: Maurice Clarett: From football to prison to justice reform advocate

“Sports are no longer Maurice Clarett’s business, or his primary interest, but he can’t escape the terminology of the game. The nonprofit he co-founded last year in his native Youngstown, Ohio, to help the city’s families and at-risk youth? It’s called The Red Zone. He equates the role of warden in a correctional facility with that of a head coach; both, he says, are tasked with developing the skills of the people under their charge. Discussing the social and economic factors that lead to high recidivism rates, he sounds like a pundit scouring a box score: “The numbers,” he insists, “don’t lie.”

CBS Columbus (VIDEO): Maurice Clarett: From fallen football star to prison reform advocate


“Former Buckeye Maurice Clarett joined the Buckeye Institute, the U.S. Justice Action Network and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to urge lawmakers to support reform in justice and prison programs. “One of the best things I did while in prison was work on mind, body, spirit,” said Clarett as he spoke openly about his public send-off to prison.” 

ABC Good Day Columbus (VIDEO): Clarett on Crime: Former Buckeye Shares Story of Past

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Fox 28 Columbus (VIDEO): Former OSU star Clarett hopes troubled past can keep others on positive path

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“One thing Clarett can control is his personal story. He shared it during a conversation about smart on crime policies in the criminal justice system. The U.S. Justice Action Network organized the conversation called, Smart Justice. “We’re putting too many people behind bars for too long and we’re throwing up obstacles to their successful return to society,” saidHolly Harris, executive director for the U.S. Justice Action Network.”

NBC4 Columbus (VIDEO): Former OSU star Maurice Clarett advocates for criminal justice reform

“Clarett says he aggressively sought help from others in and out of prison. But he says inmates need more access to case workers, social workers and psychologists inside prison and more resources and professional help when they are released from prison. “In this state where we have so many resources, if we just allocate them to professionals being in contact with the most vulnerable people. I think it helped me.”

CBS Youngstown (Video): Clarett participates in criminal justice panel


The Lantern: Maurice Clarett shares personal experiences in push for Ohio criminal-justice reform

[Director of Rehabilitation and Correction Gary Mohr] and [President of The Buckeye Institute Robert Alt] each said that many times with politicians, they look at numbers when contemplating criminal-justice reform rather than the faces of those incarcerated. Clarett is a rare case of someone who lost everything and was able to gain part of that back and give back much more to the community than he would have been able to give as an athlete. Clarett and the people of the women’s reformatory choir are the faces that Mohr, Alt and all legislators supporting Senate Bill 66 and TCAP want the public to see when considering prison reform. “Maurice has lived it in his almost four years of incarceration. He understands,” Mohr said. “He is more influential than any politician because he has lived it and he’s real. He doesn’t have some facade. He’s real. Quite frankly, I think it’s much more effective than being a politician because I think Maurice’s story is credible.”

Columbus Dispatch Oped: Column: Route to ‘village’ started in Toledo prison cell

“My arrest and sentencing made national headlines, but a lot of 22-year-old men land in jail for making bad decisions. We should do a better job getting them the help they need, not just lock them away. I wish everyone in prison could find their own Khellah Konteh, someone who can show them the path to rehabilitation, and every prison system could have its own Gary Mohr. Because there is a lot more we all can do to help troubled people find their way back to the village.”


WAKR (Arkon): AUDIO: Maurice Clarett On Criminal Justice Reform

“Maurice Clarett knows what it’s like to be on the inside. He’s using that experience to try to reform the system…On Wednesday, Clarett will return to Columbus for an event sponsored by the U.S. Justice Action Network in support of two criminal justice reform initiatives. Senate Bill 66 would widen eligibility for substance abuse treatment in lieu of incarceration, while an element of Gov. John Kasich’s state budget proposal would allow for more funding to house nonviolent, first-time offenders in community-based facilities instead of prison.”

WAKR (Arkon) Audio: Holly Harris, U.S. Justice Action Network: Justice Reform, Getting Sentencing Right

92.3 The Fan (Cleveland) Audio: Maurice Clarett Discusses A New Perspective On Life, Using His Story For A Good Cause