CNN commentator Van Jones, Jones was at San Quentin on May 10 working on his latest show, The Redemption Project. It consists of eight episodes that feature restorative justice in action.
Jones, a political pundit and author of Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart — How We Come Together seeks to tackle Americans’ toughest challenge — how to get Americans working together in the age of Trumpism.
“We need a positive populism,” Jones said. “Right now, Donald Trump is using negative populism that divides people with a neo-Nazi message.”
Jones said he doesn’t want to take sides, and he wrote Beyond the Messy Truth to show Republicans and Democrats what they have in common.
Results from the study out of UC Irvine suggest the passage of Proposition 47 in 2014 “has had no effect on violent crimes, including homicide, rape, aggravated assault and robbery,” The Orange Country Register said.
“Republicans have some admirable qualities, being the party of Lincoln, but they’ve developed some blind spots in racial bigotry, misogyny, Islam-ophobia, and other kinds of biases,” he said.
“The Democrats have some important positions, being the party of working families, but they’ve developed some blind spots through a kind of elitism and snobbery against people who haven’t gone to the finest colleges and listened to NPR. Both parties have to do a lot of reflecting.”
“I talk to people who’ve done regrettable things, and they want to make amends,” Jones said.
“There are over 4,800 legal restrictions facing people with convictions after sentence completion…73% of these legal barriers are permanent.”
“SAFE AND SOUND: …” by Californians For Safety and Justice Nov. 2017
He was interviewing an inmate at San Quentin who wanted to make amends for shooting a police officer.
Jones is a busy man. Finding solutions through his writing, airing cable shows showing how restorative justice works—all are accomplished while he also hosts The Van Jones Show.
“64% of California’s jail population is awaiting trial or sentencing as of December 2016.” Most remain in pretrial custody because they cannot afford bail. Jail Profile Survey, http://www.bscc.ca.gov/
“It’s Sesame Street for grown folks,” Jones said. “We’re bringing celebrities and grass-roots people together to have meaningful conversations without being mean to each other. We’ve had the likes of Oprah, Al Gore, Jay-Z, and Steph Curry.
The total drug-overdose deaths was 64,070 in the 12 months through January 2017.” The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 27, 2017 wsj.com/usnews
“Opioids, such as fentanyl, heroin, oxycodone and hydrocodone, killed more than 34,500 people in 2016.”The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 27, 2017 wsj.com/usnews
“Common ground is what we should be discussing and finding in America,” Jones said. “The opioid crisis is a concern for Democrats and Republicans, as well as mass incarceration and full employment.” He added, “If I agree with you, then a democracy allows us to work together — same as if I disagree with you, a democracy allows us to still work together.”