High-Profile Figures Launch Criminal Reform Movement

In Drug Crimes by RSF

On behalf of Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry posted in Drug Crimes on Thursday, February 28, 2019.

When national commentator and news voice Von Jones says he wants “to disrupt the status quo,” he is not alluding to a cutting-edge opinion piece or edgy interview with a controversial public figure.

The focus is something altogether different.

Indeed, it is a light year away from what Jones usually does. The CNN on-air personality was recently asked to head a criminal justice reform movement, and he is jumping at the opportunity. He says he is ecstatic over the chance to “shift the criminal justice landscape for generations to come.”

Jones is now linked as CEO to the recently formed REFORM Alliance, a group that has a relatively narrow and well-identified focus.

The REFORM spotlight is prominently upon what group founders and members see as a huge national problem in the criminal law sphere, namely, unjust outcomes attached to legions of parole and probation sentences.

Rapper Meek Mill, one strong REFORM supporter, underscores that concern, stressing that harsh and arguably illogical probationary conditions have continuously derailed his life and career. He was arrested multiple times following completion of a prison term some time back.

“Every year or two it was something that brought me back to ground zero, and it was probation,” he says.

Fellow rapper Jay-Z, who is a REFORM founding partner along with many prominent business principals and investors, has contributed to the alliance’s initial $50 million fund-raising effort. He stresses that reformers are simply aiming to adjust parole and probationary terms in a manner that is more consistent and fairer than what is the current reality.

“[I]f someone commits a crime, they should go to fail,” he says. “But these things are just disproportionate and the whole world knows it.”