Jeff Smith returned to my show to discuss his role as Executive Vice President of Concordance Academy of Leadership, an organization that helps former inmates at Missouri State Prisons rejoin society. Jeff explained the services the academy offers, and the difficulties ex-cons face in getting back on their feet without money, a job, or a place to live.

Since he spent a year in federal prison, Jeff knows the difficulties these men have faced, both on the inside and once they’ve been released. His ability to speak their language while also serving as a role model is part of his appeal in this work.

We discussed Ban The Box, a campaign to remove the question “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” from applications for employment or education — Jeff revealed some surprising research about the states where it has been implemented. We also talked about the Sentencing Reform And Corrections Act, a bill with bipartisan support that would finally do something about extreme sentencing.

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Previously on Harris Online…