Van Jones pushes for justice reforms with Lamont
HAMDEN — Van Jones, the nationally known TV commentator, met with former inmates and Connecticut justice leaders on Monday to push for better housing, job-training and employment opportunities to help those leaving prison to avoid returning.
“When people are trying to turn their lives around, we should throw them a lifeline and not an anvil,” said Jones, who in January was named chief executive of the REFORM Alliance, a justice reform organization backed by celebrities including Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and rapper Meek Mill.
“To often when people come home from prison, if they’ve done well on the inside, they’ve taken classes, they’ve gotten certificates, they think they’re going to come home and do well, and they find doors closed in their faces,” Jones said. “And the only door that opens is the door back to prison, and that’s wrong. And we can do something about that. This is supposed to be a country that loves the underdog, loves the second chance, loves a comeback story.”