When you think of women who are changing the political landscape for the better, people like Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez might come to mind. But Jessica Jackson is proof you don’t need to hold a position in office to be a catalyst for policy change. Jackson’s name might not be familiar to you, but the human rights attorney is working to overhaul the US prison system, is a legal mentor to Kim Kardashian, helped pass the First Step Act, and cofounded #cut50, a bipartisan effort to decrease the incarceration rate. Her path to advocacy, and her talent for bringing Democrats and Republicans together, were borne out of her own personal tragedies.
“When I was 22, my husband was incarcerated,” Jackson, now 38, told POPSUGAR. Because she had just given birth to their daughter two months prior, she needed to do whatever she could to help her husband. “I didn’t have the luxury of sitting back and not getting more involved in correcting the ills of the justice system. I decided to become a public defender, went to college and law school, and ended up really becoming interested in criminal justice and working on everything from death row cases to federal policy.”
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