Last week, President Joe Biden sat down with Hudson Link Alumnus Jon-Adrian “JJ” Velazquez to discuss criminal legal reform and college in prison as part of NowThis presidential forum.
A formerly incarcerated activist, JJ Velaquez, was granted clemency in 2021 after spending 23 years in prison. Now, he spends his time on the outside fighting for an equitable criminal legal system. As Program Director for The Frederick Douglass Project for Justice, he was also featured in NowThis segment Inside the Fight for an Equitable Criminal Legal System earlier was week. Powerfully, he opened the segment with:
“How would we feel as a country if an airline, 50% of the times it took off, crashed? Would we allow that airline to exist? But we allow the criminal legal system to exist. More than 50% of individuals released for their facilities crash within the first three years.”
We’re proud of JJ and his work to change the public perspective on incarceration, ensuring the world knows that “punishment alone is not enough to rehabilitate