More than 600 law makers, criminal justice leaders and influencers gathered together in a sold-out crowd to agree on one thing: now is the time for Criminal Justice Reform.
With one in 100 Americans currently incarcerated at costs upwards of $80 billion per year, political leaders from across the political spectrum united for reform. From ALEC and Koch Industries to ACLU and Drug Policy Alliance, the summit served as the launchpad for unlikely alliances in 2015.
The summit - hosted by Van Jones, Newt Gingrich, Donna Brazile and Pat Nolan - brought together more than 90 speakers to share insights and innovative solutions to our country’s mass incarceration problem.
Among the speakers were 3 GOP Governors and 10 members of Congress - both Republicans and Democrats - who participated in person or by video.
Featured speakers included: Attorney General Eric Holder, David Simon (The Wire creator), Donna Brazile, Labor Secretary Tom Perez, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, John Forté (Fugees), Piper Kerman (Orange is the New Black author) and Sen. Cory Booker.
President Obama, himself, even made a cameo — via video.
In a pre-taped interview between he and David Simon, the President talked about the national shift in conversation about prison reform and the real-life inspiration behind "Omar Little,” Obama’s favorite character from the hit show. Watch the full video here.
Did you miss the summit?
- WATCH the full summit here.
- Click to see our behind the scenes photo gallery here.
- WATCH a behind the scenes video of Van and Newt recapping the #bipartisansummit.
- Check out our media coverage.
- Check out our storify here.
- Visit the official Bipartisan Summit website.
WE’RE JUST GETTING STARTED. This is just one of many upcoming bold, bipartisan and high-impact convenings to promote one idea: American can safely and smartly cut our prison population in half over the next 10 years.
Join The Constitution Project Right-Left Criminal Justice Working Group for a discussion on new and existing legislative vehicles to reduce incarceration rates and broaden the opportunity for ex-offenders to reintegrate into society through improved reentry programs and reductions of collateral consequences.
The Right-Left Criminal Justice working group is made up of thought leaders from both sides of the aisle who are united in seeking a common goal: advancing meaningful criminal justice reform. Drawing on deep knowledge from its diverse and experienced membership, the group takes a holistic approach to reform, focusing on all aspects of our criminal justice system, including sentencing, prisons, prisoner reentry, mental health and forensics.
The briefing is presented by The Constitution Project.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN)
Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL)
WhereThe Kennedy Caucus Room
325 Russell Senate Office Building
WhenWednesday, January 28, 2015
The event is FREE to the public
#cut50 packed the house with political movers and shakers on Jan. 22 in Washington, D.C. to address the critical need for criminal justice reform. Speakers included our own Van Jones, Right on Crime's Vikrant Reddy, Former Speaker Newt Gingrich, Senator Cory Booker, and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.
Watch highlights from the event here:
Watch the full event below.
Dream Corps Unlimited founder Van Jones and Nationbuilder CEO Jim Gilliam participated in Glide Church’s esteemed thought leaders’ series to discuss national politics, activism, technology and Jones’ vision of how to close prison doors and open doors of opportunity.
Click to see event gallery
#PressingLive by New Republic (August 2014): The costs of incarceration make little sense to either party
Three kids could go to Yale for what it costs California to incarcerate one kid. Watch Van Jones explain why prison reform is on the cusp of breaking into the mainstream and why even Newt Gingrich is advocating for reform.
"The smartest people in the White House are not any smarter than the smartest people in San Quentin." - Van Jones. Watch Van's full speech on prison reform at the American Constitution Society.