Jonathan Terry, John Jay College, Louis L. discussed on The Takeaway


Out I've been speaking with Jonathan Terry a policy adviser at John Jay college of criminal justice and Louis L. read a national organizer for cut fifty we're talking about the impact of the first step act a bipartisan criminal justice bill that was signed into law one year ago Lewis I know that you're very involved in communities where people are returning home from prison you talk about some of the biggest hurdles for them once they're out yeah absolutely so I think that there are things that you know are obvious and show up in the stat sheets you know these are the things in terms of employment housing and securities it center in the likes their rough I think that one of the thing do the major issues that this first that backs seeks the remedy is the simplicity of things such as not having an identification card one of the provisions within the bill actually requires all federal people were being released to make sure that they have access to appropriate identification when you think about that that may not necessarily seem like much quote unquote much but when you think about how an individual could potentially have incidental contact with the police with with with law enforcement in that individual could potentially have the year term of supervision violated because of incidental contact because he or she may not may be in a place where they may be accosted by the police they could be are riding and as a passenger in the vehicle an officer asks for that individual's identification that individual can't produce it because here she has not necessarily so our security because you need an ID just to get an ID and the all of the bureaucracy are involved with that that individual could actually be odd you know holding to the local police department just to you know check out who the who they are in when they are there that could potentially trigger violation for please contact so you know there are things in terms of like employment yes people need to be back you into or not even back because most of the individuals who were actually incarcerated they may not necessarily have had employment in the first place so need they need to enter into our work force they need to make sure that they have adequate housing they need to make sure that they have access to appropriate health here treatment except in so one of the things that we're doing it cut fifty is one of the several are following we have partnered with lifted to our relationship with Kim Kardashian they have given us ten thousand of free lift writes your credits that we are distributing to individuals who are being released under for step act so that they can have access to you know just you know employment opportunities our health cure opportunities except around a health care appointment such Exeter I should say in addition we have also partner with talk space talk space is the online therapeutic platform so that individuals can decompress from what I call the new PTSD and that's prison traumatic stress disorder are so that they can have and you know a a safe please just that you know I'll talk about the the traumas or indoor the vicarious trauma that they have actually observed as a result of being incarcerated let me bring Jonathan back in here for just a moment because this law I should mention affects people incarcerated at the federal level it doesn't even touch the roughly one point three million people in state prisons are we seeing similar reform movements at the state level Jonathan the federal system and cars rates more than any individual state system but the state systems account for the vast majority of people in prison so the federal system is about ten percent of the total US prison population and so we are seeing some of these reforms being put in place not all of them are prison reform some of them are broader criminal justice reforms but where they are being put in place it really depends on the state New York is just passed new bylaws which are going to affect shortly and twenty twenty in the new year in the new year and other places are thinking about you know legalizing marijuana or thinking about how do we safely a race past convictions and some of that is happening through advocate some of it is happening through progressive district attorneys and so at the state level not only do you have more people incarcerated but you have in some ways more complicated system just because so many different actors are involved in making particular decisions and so we do see these reforms but it'll be harder to push through and a lot of ways on the state level just to get everyone on board and let's talk about politics now on the federal level because many advocates have acknowledged that the first step back is a major victory but they've also mention that the next step is focusing on those who've been found guilty of violent offenses and perhaps even rethinking policing on a grander scale would either of those approaches be able to gain bipartisan support in your opinion Jonathan that's really the hard to say a lot of previous bills that were not able to be passed I'm lost a lot of support because they were they pushed too far a lot of advocates say that the first act didn't go far enough because it doesn't eliminate mandatory minimums because it doesn't push far enough on good time credits we're wondering about what is electronic monitoring do there is a new talked with and criminal justice reform circles that we are moving towards each car serration where people's information will be collected and where will know where someone is at all times will have a certain amount of information both up which is a different kind of captivity in a way and so there are a lot of sort of fights that are yet to be had but violent crime in particular is a really difficult one I think even for people on the last tour have been pushing for various kinds of criminal justice reform for years I'm thinking about releasing someone who you know may have sold drugs at some point is very different from thinking about what do we do with someone who might have heard someone on the street may have even killed someone and so those will be much harder battles and I at this point can't quite see it receiving bipartisan support but I think that the first act was fantastic because it showed that there is some possibility I was once told doing this work that if you don't believe that you can make a difference and push for them why are you doing the work and also I stay optimistic Jonathan Terry is a policy adviser at John Jay college of criminal justice and Louis L. read it.

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