Booker bill would remove barriers for convicts

Last week, Cory Booker introduced the REDEEM Act, which will remove some of the almost insurmountable barriers Americans convicted of nonviolent crimes face when trying to reenter society.

The bill will help them find a job, support their families, and — most importantly for their communities — keep from reoffending.

I know how impactful these reforms could be to protect both our tax dollars and lives, because I’ve lived this story.

At the age of 16, I got caught up in the wrong crowd and found myself selling drugs in my neighborhood in Trenton, New Jersey. By 18, I had multiple drug charges.

Luckily, that’s not where my story ended — I got my act together.

In 2011, I was named entrepreneur of the year by the Princeton Chamber of Commerce for my leadership in the business world and this year I was honored at the White House as a Champion of Change for my work with returning offenders.
But many who make mistakes at a young age aren’t so fortunate in finding role models and opportunities as I’ve been — that’s why our support for Cory’s REDEEM Act is so important.

I’ve already added my name — will you add yours in support of Cory’s efforts to reform our criminal justice system?

I grew up in Trenton poor, raised by a single parent. I’ve been blessed to get where I am today.

Together we can provide young people in New Jersey and across the nation with the opportunities they deserve.

Thank you for standing with me and with Cory to support reform for our criminal justice system.

Tracey Syphax

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