Transforming the criminal justice system into one that is more equitable and just for all is an undertaking that requires individuals and groups from across society working together.
In a recent interview with Thrive Global, Jenny Kim, deputy general counsel and vice president, public policy at Koch, offered several ideas for people in communities and government to make a difference.
Jenny Kim is working to change the way society treats people once they’re out of the system. As deputy general counsel and vice president of public policy for Koch Industries, she is driven by her dedication to the law and criminal justice reform.
I grew up in New York City in the ’90s, during the crack cocaine epidemic. We lived in an apartment complex with other families whose sons cycled in and out of Rikers Island jail.
“They’re bad people,” my parents would say.
Yet, when I spoke to them, I saw how much we had in common — our families and our hopes for the future. I also realized how the system misunderstood and hurt them. This shaped my thinking around criminal justice reform.
by Jenny Kim, Deputy General Counsel, Koch Industries
For many former inmates, success upon re-entry means securing housing, maintaining a solid support system of family and friends, and finding a job. In 2018 alone, approximately 700,000 people finished their time in prison and re-entered their communities. But as many have found, getting a job is harder than ever. About one in three Americans holds a criminal record, regardless of whether they have been to prison – about as many people who hold college degrees.