Van Jones: A 'First Step' in Criminal Justice Reform

11 FEB 2019 New York

Social entrepreneur and CNN host Van Jones discusses his recent work to build bipartisan consensus for criminal justice reform in America and what it means for the future of the justice system and race relations in the country. 

On what sparked his interest in criminal justice reform: “Both political parties were so pro-incarceration. All politicians were [saying], ‘I’m tough on crime. I’m tough on crime. I might be for the environment… but I’m tough on crime.’ And my generation of African-Americans paid the price. And so that’s an issue that really kind of defined a big part of my career.”   

On passing bipartisan criminal justice reform: “It took being willing to tell people on both sides that for the people at the bottom this is not a right or left issue. Human freedom and human dignity should be for both parties to defend in their own way with their own reasons, in their own language.”

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