The Smart Justice Campaign't 50-state plan will be a driving force in ending mass incarceration in the U.S.

By Bill Cobb, Deputy Director, ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice

In January 2000, I was released from a Pennsylvania state prison after serving six-and-a-half years. In 1994, I had pled guilty to criminal charges of robbery, kidnapping, criminal conspiracy, and violation of the Uniformed Firearms Act. In January 2017, I accepted an offer to serve as the ACLU's deputy director for the Smart Justice Campaign.

Did you just do a double take? I know. It's pretty unbelievable. My story, like so many others in this nation, is proof that not only can people change, but that they deserve the chance to change.

Since my release from prison in 2000, I have worked tirelessly to restore the lives of people who have served time in America's prisons. But my initial advocacy efforts were more modest. They were about me. I wanted the life I was working towards prior to participating in the crime that led me to prison.

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