Tonight, Holly Harris, executive director and president of the Justice Action Network, the country’s largest organization focused on bipartisan criminal justice reform solutions at the federal and state level, issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s Super Bowl ad which aired this evening and focused on the story of Alice Marie Johnson, whose story of second chances has riveted and united the country.
“President Trump had thirty seconds to communicate his most effective message during his multi-million-dollar Super Bowl ad, and he chose to feature formerly incarcerated advocate Alice Marie Johnson and his work in criminal justice reform.
“Republicans out there who still use this issue as an attack line should think twice about taking an approach that puts them at odds with conservatives, progressives, business leaders, major athletes, faith-based groups, veterans, and victims’ advocates…and the President of the United States.
“Regardless of your opinion of the President, this message on the world’s greatest media platform signifies that criminal justice reform is an issue now fully embraced by Republicans and Democrats, one that impacts every single American family, and is now forever etched into one of America’s greatest traditions.”
This spot emerged just as Republicans and Democrats alike continue to push for reforms to the country’s deeply flawed criminal justice system; though some out of step Republicans continue to attack fellow conservatives over the issue, deploying a stale tough-on-crime message that has failed in red states. In 2018, DC Democrats and Republicans in Congress joined forces with President Trump to pass the First Step Act; in late 2019 the same unlikely coalition made history with the Fair Chance Act.
Holly Harris, who has worked with the White House and both parties to pass criminal justice reform legislation, is available for interviews.