February 9, 2016
Today, we co-sponsored a critical conversation on justice reform with The Washington Post that brought together leaders like White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, and U.S. Sen. Mike Lee.
The conversation focused on how we can assist those who are released from prison as they transition back to their communities.
Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, highlighted that we must give second chances to those who have earned them and added that one way to do this is by removing barriers to opportunities for those reentering society:
Part of seeing change happen is to pass criminal justice reform legislation at the federal level, and Senator Mike Lee reinforced that momentum for reform this year continues:
— Washington Post Live (@postlive) February 10, 2016
During the second panel, Pennsylvania Secretary of Corrections John E. Wetzel added that we must seize the moment and this opportunity to pass criminal justice system reform.
The resounding consensus from our panelists was that if we’re serious about justice reform, re-entry is an issue we have to get right—and along the way, we must not forget how individual lives are impacted by legislation.
Sitting in the audience at today’s event was Ronald Lewis, a man whose story you might not know, but reminds us why second chances matter. You can read his experience with the justice system and struggles with finding employment here: