In the face of increased push back in the US against criminal justice reform, what are strategies for continuing to transform safety and justice? In this special bonus episode from Shades of Freedom, we’ll listen in on the closing plenary of the Fall 2022 Aspen Justice Network convening on this topic. The session features Erica Bond, Vice President of Social Justice Initiatives at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in NYC, and DeAnna Hoskins, President and CEO of JustLeadershipUSA. Both Erica and DeAnna are members of the Aspen Criminal Justice Reform Initiative’s Advisory Council.
In the session, titled The Importance of Now: Maintaining Momentum in Criminal Justice Transformation, topics ranged from the personal to the national, covering how both these experts began in criminal justice change, and how to address the particular needs of women involved in the criminal legal system. The discussion also addressed how misinformation impacts reform strategies, the tendency to focus on wins and then move on – rather than maintaining those wins, and the need to reach wider audiences with our messages.
Episode transcript available here.
Erica Bond, Vice-President, Social Justice Initiatives, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Erica Bond has experience in the government, non-profit, public policy, and legal sectors. Prior to becoming Vice President of Justice Initiatives at John Jay College, Erica was the Policy Director at the Data Collaborative for Justice at John Jay College, a research organization that seeks to advance safe, just and equitable communities through data and research on criminal justice policy, operations and reforms. Previously, she served as Special Advisor for Criminal Justice to the First Deputy Mayor of New York City.
Prior to joining city government, Erica was a Director of Criminal Justice at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (now called Arnold Ventures), where she worked to develop new research, policy reforms and evidenced-based innovations with the goal of transforming criminal justice systems nationwide. In this role, she partnered with criminal justice practitioners, researchers, and policymakers on initiatives to improve community safety, increase trust and confidence in the criminal justice system and ensure fairness in the criminal justice process. Erica is a mayoral designee to New York City’s Civilian Complaint Review Board. She has a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.
DeAnna Hoskins, President and CEO, JustLeadershipUSA
DeAnna R. Hoskins is President & CEO of JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA). Dedicated to cutting the U.S. correctional population in #halfby2030, JLUSA empowers people most affected by the criminal justice system to drive reform. DeAnna is a nationally recognized leader and a formerly incarcerated person with experience as an advocate and policy expert at the local, state, and federal level. Prior to joining JLUSA as its President and CEO, DeAnna served as a Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of Justice, managing the Second Chance Act portfolio and serving as Deputy Director of the Federal Inter-Agency Reentry Council. Before that, she served as a county Director of Reentry in her home state of Ohio. DeAnna has always worked alongside advocates who have been impacted by incarceration, and knows that setting bold goals and investing in the leadership of directly impacted people is a necessary component of impactful, values-driven reform.
About Shades of Freedom
Shades of Freedom, from The Aspen Institute Criminal Justice Reform Initiative, amplifies and uplifts promising efforts aimed at reducing mass incarceration, and looking at the ecosystem of related inequalities that surrounds and perpetuates incarceration.
The podcast can be found on all the major platforms, including Apple, Google, and Spotify. You can also listen from the series home page or listen to the current episode at the top of this page.
The Shades of Freedom podcast, hosted by Dr. Douglas E. Wood, Director of the Criminal Justice Reform Initiative, is named after and inspired by the book Shades of Freedom: Racial Politics and Presumptions of the American Legal Process, by Judge A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr.