Negotiating a Criminal Justice Bill Across Party Lines

The Negotiators

Nov 1 2022 • 37 mins

Criminal justice advocates have tried for decades to pass legislation to reduce the United States prison population. Yet somehow, at a moment when the United States felt more polarized than ever, lawmakers managed to agree on a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill during Donald Trump’s presidency. It was called the First Step Act and it reduced the sentences of thousands of incarcerated people in federal prisons.  This week on our podcast The Negotiators, we talk to Jessica Jackson, a lawyer and one of the key advocates for the First Step Act. She and political commentator Van Jones co-founded the group #Cut50, which helped advocate for the legislation. In this episode, Jackson tells host Jenn Williams how she convinced politicians from both parties to support the bill.  For the full story on the First Step Act negotiations, we recommend watching the upcoming documentary The First Step, out in U.S. theaters in early 2023.

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