UNLIKELY ALLIES

UNLIKELY ALLIES: THE NONPARTISAN FIGHT FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

Featuring Van Jones and Doug Deason

CNN political commentator Van Jones and Dallas businessman Doug Deason united as leading voices from the left and right, respectively, for a free public event at SMU Dedman School of Law on Friday, August 18, 2017. It was hosted by SMU Dedman Law’s new Deason Family Criminal Justice Reform Center with #cut50, an initiative co-founded by Jones to “smartly and safely” cut the nation’s incarceration numbers in half.

“In this moment of deep political partisanship, there remains a clear nonpartisan consensus: We must reform and reimagine our criminal justice system to create a fair, ethical and compassionate one,” says Deason Justice Center Director Pamela Metzger, a nationally respected criminal justice reform champion.

Also speaking at the event was SMU Dedman Law alumna Brittany K. Barnett ’11 and Sharanda Jones, whom Barnett helped free from a life sentence that she received in 1998 for a first-time, non-violent drug crime. “The powerful story to be shared by Brittany and Sharanda highlights the human costs of mass incarceration,” Metzger says. “It also offers hope for change.”