“The good news is, there is a solution”: An Interview with #cut50 Co-founder Jessica Jackson


Jessica Jackson is a human rights attorney and director and co-founder of #cut50, a bipartisan advocacy effort aimed at reducing America’s prison population. She is also chief advocacy officer of Reform Alliance, an organization chaired by Meek Mill, Jay-Z, and Van Jones, which advocates for legislative changes in favor of the millions of Americans “stuck in the revolving door of probation and parole.”

Amanda Knox

I’d like to actually start by getting personal. Growing up, did you have any experience with the criminal justice system? Or were you like me, completely oblivious? 

Jessica Jackson Sloan  

I think I was more like you. Completely oblivious. I grew up in a town called Mill Valley, California. We had about 12,000 residents at the time, and it was a very tight knit community. I was a very, very difficult teenager. I certainly gave my parents a hard time and did some things that weren’t good decisions. But even when I did have interactions with police officers, I was never taken into juvenile hall or anything like that. They would just tell my mom, “Hey, saw your kid out past dark in the park,” or whatnot. So, I really was oblivious and it wasn’t until I was 22 years old and living down in Georgia, and I ended up getting married, and two months after we had our daughter, unfortunately, my husband was sentenced to 15 serve six, because of his addictions. I think that was my wake up call to what could happen in the justice system. I knew he was a great guy, and he’s a great father, a great son and employer, and had a great work ethic. But here the system that, instead of getting him the help he needed for his addiction, he was going to end up having to go to prison. And that was my wake up call.

Amanda Knox 

What were you expecting the reaction to your husband to be? 

Jessica Jackson Sloan  

I was told by the attorney that we were offered a deal, initially, that was a ten serve one, suspended by six months boot camp, and we turned down that deal. And the only reason we turned down that deal is because the attorney said, “No way. He’s not got a record and he’s an upstanding citizen other than this. He’ll probably get rehab or probation or community service.” And at that point, I didn’t know better. We believed that attorney, and when we ended up going in front of the judge, they really just threw the book at him and threatened that if he didn’t take this next deal, 15 serve six, that they were going to sentence him to even longer after a trial. So it was really scary. And, in my mind, it didn’t make any sense. Why would we take somebody who just needs a little help getting back on their feet and instead incarcerate them and throw them away and leave their family in financial ruin and emotional ruin and add another person to the justice system?

Amanda Knox 

How would you identify how the criminal justice system specifically failed you, your husband, your daughter?

Jessica Jackson Sloan 

It was very difficult. I was not working at the time. We had just had this baby. I didn’t even have my high school education. I just had my GED. We didn’t have any income. We had a child. A couple weeks after he was incarcerated, he was moved to a diagnostic facility there in Jackson, Georgia, and we couldn’t even have phone calls. So here I am, 22, no way of providing for ourselves. No way of keeping up with a mortgage payment. No way of even buying food, and I’ve got a small baby who’s dependent upon me. I’m lucky to have been able to lean heavily on my parents who guided me in my decision to go back to school. I went to college and then law school. Over the course of the next seven years, we ended up getting a divorce while he was inside. But it certainly is what inspired my journey into the justice system, because I felt so strongly that what I saw was, you know, not just a colossal waste of resources, but really that it didn’t make sense from a public safety perspective. And it doesn’t make sense from a humanitarian perspective, just to be throwing people away because they need a little bit of help.

Amanda Knox 

What kind of institutional help or support did your husband receive while in prison, and did you receive while you were a struggling single parent outside of prison?

Jessica Jackson Sloan 

He didn’t get any support in the system. He was an employer and an electrician prior to going into prison. He made a good income. When he got to prison, and when they found out that he had that skill, they began to house him out. They would move him from county to county so that he could work in their workforce as an electrician, and he got paid 52 cents an hour. He went from being able to provide for his family to not even being able to provide for himself inside. And when they were moving him from place to place, it got harder to visit. There were times that his mom and I would take our then six-month-old baby and get in the car and drive for eight hours just to visit him for an hour. And a lot of the time we couldn’t even have a contact visit; we’d have to talk to him through a fence or through glass. It wasn’t until later on that we were actually able to have those in-person visits. And me as a family member, not only did I not have support from any organizations or the government, I also had a lot of stigma and it was very, very isolating. Even though it wasn’t me inside, I definitely felt the stigma of having a loved one who was incarcerated. And I was embarrassed to talk to people about it. In fact, I was so embarrassed that I didn’t even tell the schools I was applying to for law school that the reason I wanted to go there was to become a public defender since my husband had been incarcerated. I was literally afraid that they wouldn’t let me into the school if I told them I had a husband who was incarcerated. That becomes very, very isolating, to have somebody who’s inside and not be able to reach out to people for help and talk about it openly without the fear of being judged.

Amanda Knox 

How did you go from a single mother with an infant, unemployed, to a human rights attorney?

Jessica Jackson Sloan 

I was very blessed to have grown up in a household where my parents both had their doctorate degrees and were educated, and I knew from growing up that education was going to be the key to getting back on my feet and getting the opportunities I needed. I wanted to make a difference. I had sat in that courtroom holding my two-month-old daughter and watching as my husband got sentenced to 15 serve six, and watching as the bailiff put the cuffs on him and led him away, and watching him turn to blow a kiss and then looking down at my daughter and just being filled with fear, because I had no idea how I was going to be able to support her, and I had no idea how we were going to make it through this. In that moment, I realized that I was going to have to step up and do more and that I was going to need to find a pathway forward. And I think I was angry enough about what I had seen and what happened to our family that I wanted to take that anger and turn it to action and prevent other families from going through what we were going through. So that’s when I made the decision that I wanted to become a lawyer. And I was very lucky. I was able to stay with family for the first six months while I got on my feet and got into college. And then I got on-campus daycare, which was cheaper than most daycares. I worked my way through college and through law school. Had to really survive on scholarships and loans, and I’m still paying off those loans today. Those were the hardest seven and a half years of my life, but I made it through and then was fortunate to get a job in the justice reform field, doing exactly what I love.

Amanda Knox 

I know that you work together with Van Jones, and previously you’ve called him a friend, a mentor, and a boss. How did you develop a relationship with him? 

Jessica Jackson Sloan 

So, in addition to going to college and law school, I also started to get a lot more politically active, because the Democrats talk a lot about prison reform and mass incarceration, and I wanted to see what they were going to do about it. So I got really involved in the Democratic Central Committee. At the time, I was an attorney representing men and women in California on death row in their state and federal habeas appeals, but I spent the weekends volunteering with the Dems, and I went over to a Dining With Democrats event. Van Jones was the keynote speaker. And I was really excited to hear what he had to say because he was known in California for helping stop the children’s supermax prisons and helping close down a bunch of juvenile facilities. So I really wanted to hear what he had to say. And I went and listened, and his entire speech was about green jobs and his time at the Obama White House. So I was a little disappointed. I didn’t hear anything about criminal justice reform. So I went up to him after the speech. He was signing books. He had just released The Green Collar Economy. And I asked him, “I’m really excited about everything you’re doing for the environment, but I came here tonight to hear you talk about prisons and closing down prisons and you didn’t.” And I think he was a little bit taken aback and he started telling me about some of his accomplishments, and I was like, “Yeah, but that was like 10 years ago. What is it that you’re doing now?” And he was like, “What is this fresh-out-of-law-school kid doing?” So he gave me a number, and we started talking, and a couple of weeks later, we ended up having breakfast. And we just started talking about the incredible lack of empathy for people who are in jails and prisons, the need for justice reform across the country so that we would start to treat the underlying reasons why people are committing crimes, such as addiction, mental health, economic disadvantage, and get people back on their feet instead of incarcerating them. And it just happened that Van was on a show with Newt Gingrich at the time, Crossfire, literally an entire show about how they didn’t agree on anything. And they would just sit there and fight and fight and fight the whole show. But one day Van, during a break, started talking to Newt about some of the stuff that we were doing on criminal justice reform, and Newt started nodding along in agreement, and Van was just shocked, and couldn’t believe that Newt agreed. So I ended up flying out there and we met and realized how much common ground we had on the issue. And that’s when we decided to host the bipartisan summit for criminal justice reform and start cut50, which is a bipartisan initiative to end mass incarceration and make our streets safer.

Amanda Knox 

#cut50. What is it? What is its mission? And how are you accomplishing that mission? 

Jessica Jackson Sloan 

I’m the co founder of #cut50. I’m also the chief advocacy officer over at the Reform Alliance. And I think we have a very similar approach. With cut50, we began by trying to humanize the narrative, trying to put voices and faces and stories to some of the numbers that are out there. Like the fact that America incarcerates 2.2 million people, which is 25% of the world’s incarcerated population, or the fact that we’re spending billions and billions of dollars on this when we could be investing in public safety solutions that actually work. So we began by building out what we call the empathy network, which is a network of about 3000 formerly incarcerated and directly impacted people all across the country in all 50 states, and give them a megaphone for their voices as they tell their stories. So we’re elevating a lot of the great work they’re doing and amplifying their stories and meeting with local and state representatives, sharing what’s going on in the justice system. Because so often, it’s really the individual stories that can change a person’s heart on this issue and change their mind as to what needs to be done and make room for legislation. So the empathy and the humanization work came first, the legislation came second. We did begin with the federal government, working on passing federal sentencing and prison reform. The first couple of bills that we worked on under President Obama did not pass. But in 2018, we were able to successfully pass the First Step Act, which is a federal bill that both addresses sentencing reform and prison reform for the federal system. It’s just the first step, as the name said, but already it’s resulted in the release of about 7,000 people and significant changes to our sentencing system, like getting rid of the Three Strikes You’re Out rule for drugs.

Amanda Knox  

#cut50 is saying, “Let’s halve the prison population.” Why 50%? And what 50%? Do you distinguish between people whose transgressions have no victim versus those who have identifiable victims? Do you distinguish between people whose criminal history was begotten by a tragic origin story or those who have no clear trauma in their history? Do you make those kinds of distinctions? 

Jessica Jackson Sloan 

I always joke that we chose cut50 because cut99 sounded too drastic. I cut my teeth in criminal justice reform as a lawyer working on death penalty cases. As such, I really have an understanding of this false dichotomy between violence and non violence. I’ve seen cases where, if you read the headlines, somebody did something terrible, but once you dig in and look at the mitigating factors, you start to understand why they did that, and suddenly the punishment makes a whole lot less sense. For example, Dawn Jackson, who was just featured in the Kim Kardashian West: Justice Project episode that we worked on, she killed her step-grandfather. Which again, that’s a terrible story and one would expect that you’d be incarcerated. But once you dig in and find out that he was one of several men who molested and raped her since she was five years old, to the point where she was hospitalized for injuries that were the result of those rapes, you start to understand that maybe there’s a lot more here. It’s not so black and white. There’s a lot of gray area. Our resources should be directed at preventing crimes by getting people mental health help, by getting them support for and treatment for any addictions they might have, by getting them counseling when they’ve been victimized as Dawn had, and trying to prevent crimes from actually happening by investing in people, not just throwing them away once something has happened.

Amanda Knox  

Halving the prison population doesn’t necessarily mean halving the crime rate. If prison isn’t the answer for half, or 99%, of the incarcerated population in the U.S., what are the alternatives?

Jessica Jackson Sloan 

I think we can look at other countries where they’ve done smart things, like Norway or Sweden, where they actually are giving people the support they need. So if you have an addiction, you’re not put into a jail or prison. You’re given the counseling you need. You’re given the real rehabilitative therapy that you need. You’re given a second chance, right? And a third chance, and a fourth chance to get back on your feet, because something like addiction is treated as a public health issue, not a criminal justice issue. I think the mental health component of this is really big. You’ve got stats out there that show 55-57% of the country’s incarcerated population have at least one diagnosed mental health issue. Why are we not getting them counseling and treating this as a public health issue? These are people who need our help to get back on their feet. Once they do, they can become contributing members of society, as opposed to just sitting in a cell, costing taxpayers resources and being even more traumatized, which is going to lead to worse results. Oftentimes, I think people forget that 95% of the people who are in our prisons and jails are going to be coming home at some point, and we’ve got a real choice as to whether we want to send them there in the first place, or put them in a diversion program that actually works to help get them back on their feet without incarceration. And once they are in prison or jail, what does that look like? Are we just simply having them sit there in a cell and get traumatized by the overcrowding and the violence inside of the facilities and lose their health through the lack of nutritious food or exercise and deteriorate their mental state by not giving them anything to stimulate or help them when they’re coming home? Or do we want to provide programming and fresh food and exercise and counseling and help people so that when they come home and reintegrate, and when they move in next door, they’re in a much healthier spot, and they can succeed and find employment and find housing and get transportation and take care of their children and contribute to society?

Amanda Knox 

I never really thought about this until I found myself in prison. I was a very unusual prisoner in the sense that I was in college. I had a family that supported me. I had all of my teeth. I was one of the very few prisoners in the entire prison who was literate. I was shocked that there were whole swaths of society that were living in such a degraded state in the first place. And it seemed obvious to me that we need to be helping these people because they didn’t get help in the first place. But there are a lot of people who think, “If you did the crime, you do the time,” and we shouldn’t be rewarding criminals for their criminal behavior by giving them resources. How does that incentivize all of us to not break the law? What kind of resistance and pushback are you receiving for your ideas? And how do you respond?

Jessica Jackson Sloan 

A lot of people aren’t really willing to look at this through evidence. You have people who are looking at this through the tough-on-crime, which is really stupid-on-crime, approach, and it’s all punitive. They’re not thinking about the rehabilitative aspect of it. Once we start sharing with them the data that shows that getting people help while they’re inside of prisons, or diverting them and getting them the support they need instead of going to prison, actually makes us safer. Providing an education opportunity really reduces recidivism substantially. Getting people the counseling they need to deal with their trauma reduces recidivism substantially. Being able to get people treatment for their addiction reduces recidivism substantially. So I think once we start showing the evidence, we’ve been able to really change some hearts and minds out there. But there’s a lot of stigma still. And I think that’s why all the humanizing work is so important. And I’m grateful to you, Amanda, for being so outspoken about your story and what you went through, because that puts a face to the criminal justice system that opens up lawmakers’ hearts. 

Amanda Knox  

Thank you for that. I mean, I had a ton of misconceptions of my own going into prison. I figured that everyone who went to prison deserved it. And so it was very, very shocking to not only find myself as an innocent person in prison, but also to come into contact with the humanity of people who had committed crimes. And emphasized for me how many misconceptions we have about fairness. In response to a crime, what is a fair response? How much damage did they cause? How much damage do we cause them in response? Something that is not really taken into consideration as much as it should be is everything that led up to that crime. What was not fair for that person leading up to them committing a crime? And why don’t we take that into consideration? 

Jessica Jackson Sloan  

Mitigation, right? The telling of the stories is just so important. And without that, we’re not going to be able to make any real changes.

Amanda Knox 

What other misconceptions are out there about criminal justice reform?

Jessica Jackson Sloan 

I think the biggest misconception is that we just want to free everybody and we don’t care about public safety, and it couldn’t be further from the truth. Many of the people that I’ve met inside are people who experienced some sort of crime against them before they went inside. Eighty percent of the women who are incarcerated have self-reported that they were subjected to rape or sexual assault prior to going to prison. So we’re certainly not aiming to just let everybody out and make it less safe. What we are wanting to do is really look at public safety and look at the evidence around what actually makes people safer, and then reinvest the money into programs that are actually going to make our communities safer.

Amanda Knox 

On the cut50 website, it emphasizes that the people who are most harmed by the criminal justice system are uniquely qualified to create and champion solutions. Why is that?

Jessica Jackson Sloan  

Like you, you went through this, you sat inside a prison cell, you saw the justice system from a very, very different angle, and it was very proximate for you. You were actually in it. I think people who have been incarcerated, or people who have had loved ones who are incarcerated, have a very different relationship to the justice system, and I think it takes them having the courage and willingness to speak out about their stories to really change hearts and minds on this issue.

Amanda Knox 

So proximity versus theoretical ideas about what’s fair and what’s a solution.

Jessica Jackson Sloan 

If you’re in a courtroom, you have expert witnesses and lay witnesses, people who provide personal testimony because of their proximity to whatever happens. It’s the same with the justice system. You’ve got people who understand it on a theoretical basis, but you really can’t move the ball until you have the voices of those who have been impacted. Oftentimes, I’m shocked when I go into meetings with legislators, and the people we bring who have that direct impact, they’re the most powerful advocate in the room. They’re the ones who know what’s really happening in there and who can verbalize it through their stories and just really shed light on the injustice inside the system.

Amanda Knox 

Are there any crime victims involved in #cut50? What is the project’s relationship with victim advocacy groups? 

Jessica Jackson Sloan 

There’s a lot of people who are inside who are not just people who have made a bad decision and committed a crime; they’re also often survivors of crime themselves. So I worked very, very closely with people who are both survivors of crime as well as have been incarcerated. There’s a lot of overlap there. We’ve also worked very closely with the Survivor Speaks community as well as the Alliance for Safety and Justice that has the largest network of crime survivors across the country. We were honored to work with them on the First Step Act. They actually provided a letter at the very end, there was an amendment that was introduced by Senator Tom Cotton that essentially would have gutted the bill and defeated the purpose of it, and the crime survivors spoke up and said, “He’s saying that he’s doing this on our behalf, but this is is actually not what we want.” So we worked very, very closely with them on that bill and continue to work in partnership with them and support everything that they’re doing.

Amanda Knox

I think that’s one of those other misconceptions about criminal justice reform. That it’s either victims or abusers. Us versus them.

Jessica Jackson Sloan 

Absolutely, it’s more complicated. The meetings that I’ve been in that have been the most productive and yielded the best legislation have been meetings where you had law enforcement, prison officials, advocates who had been incarcerated, crime survivors, local elected officials, everybody sitting at one table, bringing all of their different perspectives and experiences and really sharing and learning from each other and working together to find common ground and figure out solutions that would make our communities safer and result in less incarceration.

Amanda Knox 

Do you ever butt heads with those who are professing to speak for victims, like the Nancy Grace’s of the world, who take that no mercy, no forgiveness stance?

Jessica Jackson Sloan  

Yeah, there are times that we butt heads. I just think it shows how much more work we have to do. In its own way, the corona epidemic has really created some new, very unlikely partnerships. Just this morning, Reform partnered with the National Sheriffs Association to help distribute millions of masks to people working inside and living inside of the prison. This was a moment where prison officials and wardens and sheriffs looked at each other and said, “We’ve got to do something about what’s about to happen inside of our jails and prisons with corona. We can’t have this virus spreading there, because it’s going to impact not just the people who are inside there, but also the people who are working there and their families and their communities.” And it’s really yielded an unlikely partnership. We just keep looking for ways to expand the tent to find common ground, to create new partnerships and alliances, and to work together to bring change.

Amanda Knox  

#cut50 really emphasizes it’s bipartisan mission in a climate where bipartisanship isn’t as popular a stance as it used to be. There are some criminal justice reform advocacy groups that aggressively identify as anti-conservative, anti-Republican. Why is being bipartisan important to cut50’s mission?

Jessica Jackson Sloan  

Both parties are responsible for mass incarceration, and it’s going to take both parties to get us out of this mess. You’ve got a lot of states that have red legislatures and red governors or that have blue legislatures that feel like they might not be reelected if they are considered soft on crime. So you really need both parties to be at the table and owning this issue. One of the best things that came out of the First Step Act was that you had Donald Trump, who had run on American Carnage and tough-on-crime, now signing legislation that would lead people out of prison. That was a strong message down to the states that it’s okay for conservatives to be good on this issue. And it doesn’t mean that you’re not tough on crime; it means that you’re smart on crime, that you’re looking for alternatives to incarceration, and that you’re looking for rehabilitative programs inside of the prison, not just throwing people away. We can’t afford to have this pendulum swinging back and forth. You need both parties bought in, both parties committed to the success of the reforms, and both parties working to implement them.

Amanda Knox 

At one point you said this about Trump supporters: “The people who show up at those rallies, the people who were saying ‘Lock her up,’ and Trump supporters, those are many of the same people who are ending up incarcerated over very minor offenses.” That observation really stuck with me, because I remember back in 2016, hearing those rallying cries, and what I thought was, “All of those people who are shouting, ‘Lock her up, lock her up,’ clearly, none of them have ever spent any time in prison, because they’re just so casual about it.” Your read is very interesting. You’re almost suggesting that there’s this cyclical abuse within the system, where even victims of an aggressive criminal justice system can become some of its sternest advocates. What’s your read on how people are working against their own interests by supporting harsh criminal justice policies?

Jessica Jackson Sloan 

I think it hurts everybody because again, it doesn’t actually equate with public safety outcomes, right? We haven’t seen that locking a bunch of people up would then make us any safer. And that should always be the goal of the justice system: rehabilitation and public safety. Instead, we’ve seen these deeply carceral policies that decrease public safety and actually cost so much money that we’re strapped on things that we know would prevent crime, like education. We need that money to put into education. We need that money to put into housing. We need that money to really strengthen the services that we’re able to give people that actually do create better public safety outcomes. It’s very unfortunate that a lot of the time, the crimes end up being sensationalized and legislators have a knee jerk reaction because they want to get reelected, and instead of sitting down and thinking, “How could we have prevented this crime?” they just introduce legislation that becomes more punitive and doesn’t actually decrease that crime from being committed in the future.

Amanda Knox 

That does bring up another issue in terms of politics. The criminal justice system doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It impacts other areas of policy. It impacts the environment, the economy. Can you describe to me that trickle effect? 

Jessica Jackson Sloan

The policies we’re having in place today are decreasing the resources available to deal with a lot of the other systemic issues. We’ve got to actually address the need for education in this country. We’ve got to address poverty. We’re still in the middle of this pandemic with a 20-something percent unemployment rate that’s higher than it was back in the Great Depression. So we’re really going to need to look for how can we save money? And you’ve got billions and billions of dollars that are being invested in a system that’s failing most of the time. You’ve got recidivism rates of 68, 70% in some places. At this point, especially given the economic picture that we’re in now, we’ve got to make smarter choices about how we’re spending money and the outcomes that we’re getting from those allocations.

Amanda Knox 

Our criminal justice system tends to define people by their crime. We see that in the long sentences, we see that in impossible-to-erase criminal records, we see that in social stigma. How did we get to this point? And how do we get out?

Jessica Jackson Sloan 

The good news is there is a solution for this. One, we immediately start turning our prisons and jails into places of rehabilitation. We set up diversion courts that would actually have the goal of addressing the underlying reason that people are committing crimes as opposed to just simply putting them in jails and prisons. We’ve seen those done, again, extremely successfully through the veterans courts program, which has an 86% chance of success. We’ve seen models out there that are drug courts, mental health courts, domestic violence courts, all of which have much, much higher rates of success. So we know what needs to be done. We know how to do it. And once we start to get these courts in every single county, I think we’re going to see a huge change, both in the number of people who are actually ending up in jails and prisons, but a huge change in public safety. You’re going to see a lot less crime on the streets as people start to get the help that they need to succeed. So that’s the good news. We’re not alone. We’ve seen this done in other places. We’ve also seen models in countries that have made the conscious decision to stop incarcerating so many people and to change the conditions of confinement, such as Norway. Back in the ‘70s, they had one of the worst prison systems in the world, but they consciously decided that they weren’t going to tolerate the terrible outcomes they were getting, and instead, they were going to invest their money in smarter solutions and in helping people. And they did so and both were able to drop crime as well as reduce their incarcerated population and significantly reduce recidivism.

Amanda Knox 

How has COVID-19 impacted cut50’s work?

Jessica Jackson Sloan 

Van and I are normally focused on probation and parole, but during the pandemic, both cut50 and Reform Alliance worked with other organizations in the field to create a set of policy recommendations that corrections experts, medical experts, and mental health experts signed onto, alongside a bipartisan coalition of organizations that are designed to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 inside of our jails and prisons. Because we recognized immediately that jails and prisons were going to become the hotspots for the virus. Our latest project was a donation that we got from Jack Dorsey’s Start Small initiative, [which] allowed us to purchase millions of masks that we’re now working to distribute in prisons and jails all across the country. We’ve got enough for everybody who works or lives in a prison or jail to get several of the masks to help protect them. There’s been a lot of change over the course of the last eight weeks. We’re looking at the lowest incarcerated population in over a decade, with about 45,000 releases having taken place during the the COVID pandemic, and a lot of that was because, if you’re in prison or jail, as you know, Amanda, there’s simply not room to socially distance and protect yourself. So a lot of governors started looking at their jail and prison populations and tried to figure out, can we release people? How can we release people? How do we do this in a safe way? And they were able to figure out how to speed up the parole process, how to start getting PP and other equipment into the prisons and jails.

Amanda Knox  

Do you have any final thoughts before we wrap up?

Jessica Jackson Sloan

Just again, I want to thank you for sharing your story and for coming into this field and taking this on. I know that what you went through was extremely traumatic, and I can’t even imagine what that was like, but your voice is a really important one. I was talking to a couple of the folks at work about you, and they were so excited that I was doing this interview. So thank you so much for all of your work on this issue.

Amanda Knox 

Thank you so much. I mean, there’s no good time to be traumatized by the criminal justice system. It wasn’t fun when I was 20, and it’s not fun when you are also extremely young and with an infant. I’m incredibly impressed by you and how you made the most and the best of a terrible situation. 

Jessica Jackson Sloan 

Well, thank you. And thanks for having me on today.