The Boston Globe recently published an op-ed written by YouthBuild USA CEO and President John Valverde, in which he offers his reflections on clemency and criminal justice reform.
In the piece, John outlines how the idea of redemption has informed both his professional and personal experiences. He shares how his period of incarceration led him to realize that his life’s mission is to open doors for and make a difference in the lives of others. He adds that individuals like himself, who have faced their guilt honestly, sought to make amends, and done all they can to never again be the person they were on the day of their crimes deserve the opportunity to contribute to society. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s recent decisions to grant Thomas Koonce and William Allen’s clemency petitions, he adds, is a step toward providing individuals with this second chance — but many more deserve the same act of grace.
“A fair criminal justice system does not punish more than is necessary and must believe that no one should be defined only by the worst thing one has ever done, but also by who they are today and can be in the future,” John writes.
Read more here.