The REFORM Alliance, announced [1/23/19], aims to dramatically reduce the number of people living under unreasonable probation and parole sentences, and in turn, free people from the cycle of incarceration. Van Jones, CNN host and founder of numerous organizations, including the criminal justice reform nonprofit #Cut50, will serve as CEO.
“This is the culmination of my entire life’s work, as far as I’m concerned,” Jones tells Fast Company. Throughout his work as an attorney and a founder of organizations like the Dream Corps and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, he’s been focused on building pathways out of the justice system for people most vulnerable to it–namely, people of color. Jones has been in the justice reform field for his whole career. “I know what’s happening, and who’s doing what, and there just has not been a coordinated effort around probation and parole,” he says. Most people, he adds, are unaware that people can be reincarcerated under probation for something as little as being late to a meeting or crossing a city boundary.
“Rather than giving people a springboard to success, probation and parole is a trapdoor to failure,” Jones says.