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EP 54: Criminal Justice Reform w/ guests Senator Rob Portman, Julie Stewart, & Jeff Smith

In today's episode, I explore the areas where America's prisons are failing society and the growing call for sensible, results-based criminal justice reform. My guests are Senator Rob Portman, author of the Second Chance Act, Julie Stewart president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, and Jeff Smith, author of Mr. Smith Goes to Prison: What Me Year Behind Bars Taught Me About America's Prison Crisis.

In the first part, Jeff Smith will recount his eye-opening year in federal prison, and what he saw personally about how the prison system is failing to rehabilitate criminals, destroying families, and in many ways, financially crippling the most vulnerable Americans. Then I'll talk with Julie Stewart, founder and president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, about how sentencing discretion has been taken away from judges, filling our prisons will non-violent offenders. Finally, I'll talk with Senator Rob Portman of Ohio who authored The Second Chance Act and has been a leader on the Hill on the issue of criminal justice reform. He'll explain how innovative programs like the Second Chance Act are doing a better job of reforming and rehabilitating criminals by giving them a shot at a better life.

If you enjoy this episode, visit the website for Families Against Mandatory Minimums at or follow Julie Stewart on Twitter at @julieonjustice. Encourage your Congressman or Senator to support the re-authorization of the Second Chance Act and get involved with a local Prisoner Re-Entry Task Force in your county. You can order Jeff Smith's book Mr. Smith Goes to Prison: What Me Year Behind Bars Taught Me About America's Prison Crisis on Amazon or download the audio version of his book for free with a special promotion for our listeners at

Please subscribe to KickAss Politics on iTunes and leave us a review. You can also help us reach our fundraising goal for this year and donate at Or go to the website for the show at and click on the donate button. Thanks for listening!


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