This Nonprofit Is Fighting to Improve the Justice System by Focusing on Prosecutors

We think punishing criminals automatically keeps us safer and helps our communities, but the long-term effects can be detrimental to society. Prosecutor Impact is a nonprofit working in communities to find better outcomes for people convicted of crimes while repairing harm done to the victims.

Glenn talked about the need for reforming the system with Prosecutor Impact founder Adam Foss, a former Assistant District Attorney in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston and a criminal justice reform advocate.

“How did you balance justice and mercy?” Glenn asked.

Listen to the full clip (above) to hear how Foss works to find those solutions.

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: Adam Foss is the founder and executive director of Prosecutor Impact, a guy who never thought he was going to be a prosecutor. You -- I love this. You're so honest.

You got into law. You went to law school, for?

ADAM: Money.

GLENN: Money. I love it. Love that. And then you started seeing how the system really works, and then you thought, this is broken. This is really bad. You want to explain?

ADAM: Yeah. First, thank you for getting into this conversation. It's an important one that we need to be having. Should be something that we're talking about more often than we already do.

When I walked into a courthouse for the first time in a city and saw a literal and figurative divide between the people who are constantly impacted by the criminal justice system and those people who were enforcing it, who were prosecuting, who were defending, who were judging, who were probating, the divide and the sort of tone-deafness and the patriarchy of those folks, you could see the impact -- the negative impact happening in the moment.

And yet, we would tell ourselves that this is a great system, this is working. It's punishing people. It's teaching them lessons. It's creating safer communities. Was a falsity.

And so that's what drove me into the criminal justice system and the work that I continue to do today.

GLENN: So you're a prosecutor now. And you had a guy -- I think Christopher was his name, right?

ADAM: Yeah.

GLENN: That came in front of you as a prosecutor, and you had a choice. Tell me about this.

ADAM: Christopher was a young person who made a series of really bad judgments and stole a bunch of laptops from his part-time job. And sold them for a lot of money. And he was going to use that money to apply for college.

And it's something that we don't talk enough about, is how people many times commit crimes out of necessity or perceived necessity. He came in, a young black man, who was charged with 30 counts of felony larceny.

And just the appearance of those things on his criminal record, which had doomed him for life. A young black man from my neighborhood being charged with 30 counts of theft, you're not getting employed anywhere.

So at that point in time, where I had to decide what to do with the case --

GLENN: Yeah. Because that's what the DA does. The DA decides what the charges are. How you're going to handle it. I mean, you're one guy.

So one bad guy can make a whole bunch of bad decisions. One good guy can make a lot of good decisions.

ADAM: Yeah.

GLENN: So you're in the -- you're looking at him, and you're like, what are we going to do? And how did you balance justice and mercy?

ADAM: Yeah.

Justice, to me -- and for -- for people who are in our justice system, needs to be accounting for everything about that person, and not just what does the law say and what happened?

And what will happen to them if we go down this road? Is it just that this young man because he made this decision based on his own calculation should never get a job again? And what is that going to do to us? Is that going to make us a safer society if this kid is now 25 and unemployed?

GLENN: Right.

ADAM: So you have -- when considering what justice is, you need to be thinking about all these things in context. And for me, the context was, we still have the ability to teach the kid a lesson, which was ultimately what the justice system is built for.

But we don't need to do so in a way that is purely punitive. And hopefully we'll have a better outcome than sending him to jail.

GLENN: So this particular case did have a better outcome. Explain the outcome.

ADAM: So we worked together. And he worked with community-based organizations, to get himself into school. He did community service.

He repaid what he had stolen from the story. He got back laptops that he had stolen because he had tracked down the people on the internet that he sold them to.

And then I lost track of him. Which is actually a good thing in the criminal justice. It's a good thing to never see people again.

Until, you know, six or seven years later, I'm at a professional men's event, men of color in the city of Boston, and this kid approaches me. And it's the young man from Cordin (phonetic). I didn't recognize him. He was a grown man at this point. And he had a very well-paying job in Boston. He owned a home. He had a child that is going to not live in poverty. And so all of these things were the result of decisions that I, as one prosecutor and with the help of other colleagues, made. And we have the ability to do that every single day. People could be doing it right now.

GLENN: So here's -- here -- I don't think anybody would disagree with the intent.

ADAM: Yeah.

GLENN: I mean, that's what the justice system is for, to correct behavior. And if behavior can't be corrected, then just take them off the streets.

ADAM: Right.

GLENN: However, we're living at a time now where I've really lost faith in the justice system. I mean, I can't -- I've always believed that justice was -- you know, that it pretty much worked out. I don't believe that anymore. And I think it has been kind of a lie that I lived any whole life.

It may be the best system in the world, but it still sucks.

ADAM: Yeah.

GLENN: But I don't -- but we're also living at a time where people, they're not held accountable for anything.

ADAM: Yeah.

GLENN: So how do you balance that?

ADAM: So accountability is a funny word that we use in the criminal justice system. As prosecutors, we use it all the time. I'm holding this person accountable.

And the suggestion that if I do something on December 1st, 2016, and then we litigate my responsibility for that thing, for the course of a year or 18 months, then at the end of that thing, we either try the case, or you plead out to that, which actually mitigates your responsibility in the action. We call that -- we call that accountability.

And we only call that accountability because hundreds of hundreds of years ago, some white guys sitting around the table, were like, this is how we're going to do it. We didn't measure it and validate it and say, yes, this actually brings about accountability. We just said punishment equals accountability, and we've just done that forever.

And so we're the criminal justice system fails is by exchanging punishment for actual accountability.

And with Christopher -- Christopher is one example of thousands and thousands of people that I was privileged to work with as a prosecutor, for Christopher, accountability wasn't about getting criminal record and going to jail and being deprived of his future. Accountability was about every day, him doing something that reminded him of the harm that he caused.

Christopher, you're going to write essays about what you did. And I know that sounds sort of ethereal and trite, but --

GLENN: No, with some people, it would work. With some people, it would work.

ADAM: You would be amazed at how many people it works with, to actually talk about harm and how -- let that person talk about why they created that harm. And understand the gravity and depth of that harm. And then work to repair that harm. That's accountability.

STU: Doesn't it seem though -- because I think the argument would be, isn't everybody who steals a bunch of laptops now going to come up in front of you and say, hey, I needed them for college. And I'm going to turn things around. And eventually, if you let me go, I'll be a high-paid person in Boston, and it's all going to work out well.

How can you balance that? Do you have to judge each specific case and just try to figure it out? Does everyone get the same amount of chances? The law is obviously supposed to treat everyone the same way. How do you navigate that?

MIKE: Well, first, like the fundamental principle that the law is supposed to treat everyone the same way we know is -- is a falsity.

STU: But we want to work towards that, right?

ADAM: We do. But in the time that we do, the people who suffer the most from that fallacy are most marginalized people.

GLENN: And you would put marginalized people to anyone who can't afford it.

ADAM: Can't afford it.

GLENN: It doesn't matter your skin color. It's all -- it really is about money.

ADAM: It is. It's about money, it's about socioeconomic status. It's about your capital and how much you are worth to the 1 percent, basically.

Stu, to your question, sure, lots of people might say, hey, you know, I should get a break too.

And as a society, we need to start asking ourselves, like, if young, poor black kids are coming up to me and saying I stole laptops because I was poor, then maybe each case should get an individual look and say, I hear you. And we have some responsibility for creating that situation. So as a society we need to be prepared to say, yeah, we're going to give you a bunch of chances, because guess what, everyone sitting at this table, got a million. Everybody that is in Washington or in the media right now, that suddenly are losing their jobs, that was after hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of infractions that we just looked aside.

The place where there's the most amount of sexual violence, the most amount of physical violence, the most amount of drug use, the most amount of cheating and stealing, is not in the impoverished neighborhoods of Detroit and Chicago and Boston. It's on college campuses. And as a society, we are okay with that, because we know at some point, this young person will grow out of this behavior. They will be successful. And most of that, hopefully will stop.

STU: Hmm.

GLENN: So you are -- you have -- you got into it for the money. You left and you became a DA. And now you are trying to educate DA's all around the country to -- to, what, exactly?

ADAM: One -- it's not even -- I guess it is to educate them. Not in the sense that I know more than them. It is -- it is a tragedy what we deprive lawyers of, when they want to go and do public service in law school.

I didn't come out of law school prepared to be a prosecutor, making really, really important decisions about people's lives. Because I didn't understand a thing about those people's lives.

GLENN: Yeah.

ADAM: I didn't know anything about the consequences of convictions or even arraigning a person. I didn't know that if you were arraigned for selling drugs in the city of Boston, just arraigned, not convicted, that you could lose your public housing. And not just you, but everybody on the lease.

So if you were accused of selling drugs because you are poor to make money, the response of the justice system is to remove you from your public housing and make it -- to teach you a lesson. How is that making us safer?

STU: It might make you more likely to go back to that behavior.

GLENN: Because it's the -- it's the classic story of John Bell John.

ADAM: Yes.

GLENN: That you have your yellow ticket of leave, and if you don't have your yellow ticket of leave, then I got to present it. But if I present it, I ain't getting a job.

ADAM: Right. And so for -- for -- unfortunately, law schools aren't trying to reinvent sort of the way they teach people, especially people who want to do this kind of work. We shouldn't be learning about wills and trusts in a state. I learned that for a state. I took the test. And I had forgotten it all now. But my first day of work, outside of law school, I went into a courtroom and was being asked to decide whether or not someone should go to jail because they might not return to court. I knew nothing about crime or behavior or poverty or what happens when you go to jail. In fact, lots of people I had worked around had never been to a jail or prison on their first day of work.

GLENN: Do you watch the show -- this is on Netflix.

It's about --

STU: BoJack Horseman.

GLENN: No. It's about the FBI, when they first started looking into serial killers, and everybody said to these guys --

STU: Oh, mind hunter.

GLENN: Yeah, mind hunter. You should watch it.

STU: Okay.

GLENN: They were called, you know, crazy and you're just trying to babysit people like Charlie Manson. And they're like, no, no. We need to listen to them and understand them because maybe we can catch them. Maybe we can change this behavior before it happens. And it wasn't popular in the 1970s. Do you kind of feel like that?

ADAM: Yeah. To me, it's crazy that formerly incarcerated people aren't employed by DA's offices.

Here we are, these very privileged people that have never been -- you know, maybe once in a while we've been the victim of a crime, and that makes us feel like we're in a better position to do these things.

But the most I've learned about the criminal justice system came from, like, kids that I prosecuted. This one kid who I asked him what he was thinking when he committed a serious armed robbery told me, do you actually think that I left my house, contemplating whether or not I would go to prison because I was going to rob these guys for money to give to my mother?

And he said to me one of the most profound things I've ever heard. He's like, you are in the land of the living. The criminal law is for the land of the living. We are surviving. Seventeen years old. Fifth grade reading level.

The most important education I ever got in the criminal justice system, and it wasn't from my 150,000-dollar education.

GLENN: Hmm.

ADAM: And for those of us, again, who think we're better than because we go to college, we go to law school, we get these degrees, that we should be meting out justice and deciding what is safe for our communities, and not including people from those communities in those conversations is asinine.

GLENN: How do people find you, Adam?

How do people join you and find out more about -- I mean, you're on -- you know, your TED talk is popular and very, very good.

ADAM: Thank you.

GLENN: But if people wanted to reach out.

ADAM: Yeah. Prosecutorimpact.com is the website about my nonprofit. Now it's going around and doing trainings around the country of prosecutors. Adam John Foss my social media everything, and I want to hear from people. I want people to engage in this conversation. Because we need to have an even broader conversation -- you know, I enjoy the people bring up Christopher all the time. I use the Christopher story because I knew it wouldn't turn people off right away. But if we're being honest with each other about what we're going to do about mass incarceration, about the criminal justice system, we need to start talking about violent crime. We need to parse out serial killers and serial rapists from young black and brown men and women who are shooting and killing each other because of intergenerational poverty and trauma. If we really, really mean it as a country that we are embarrassed about this thing, then we have real conversations about that.

GLENN: And you're not looking just for a bunch of yes people, that just agree with you and butt kiss you. You want to be challenged.

ADAM: Yeah. I don't want to go -- I don't enjoy going to preach the choir and everybody -- standing ovation. That's great. That's not doing anything for the system.

GLENN: Yeah.

ADAM: In fact, a lot of the rooms that I go to, a lot of people are cheering and rah-rah. As soon as the suggestion is, well, to solve this problem, you're going to have to give up a little bit of yours, conversation is over. So you talk about all the people who are like, yeah, close records. Close records. Close records.

As soon as the idea was put out on the air, that if we close records down, we'll put five jails in each of the burrows. And because of zoning, those jails will have to go where you live.

GLENN: Where you live.

ADAM: People are like --

STU: Expand Rikers. Expand Rikers.

GLENN: Adam, thank you very much. Adam Foss.

ADAM: Thank you very much.

Soros is trying to elect MORE TEXAS RINOs. Here's how YOU can stop him.

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Texas is under threat of a George Soros-backed takeover.

Soros-funded RINO judges have been elected in some of the highest courts in Texas. These judges implemented restrictions that have blocked nearly a thousand cases of voter fraud from being investigated or prosecuted from across the state. These new restrictions are similar to ones in place in states like George, Arizona, and Wisconsin, leaving Texas more susceptible to election corruption than ever. If Texas falls to corruption, America will lose its largest bastion of conservative electoral power in the nation. Without Texas, Republicans WILL NOT be able to win national elections and liberal corruption will go unchecked across the country.

Fortunately, there is a way to stop this: YOU.

If you live in Texas you have a chance to stand up against corruption and to fight back! Starting Tuesday, February 20th, early voting for the primaries begins, where three of these judges are up for election. Go out and vote. If the right people are voted in, there's a good chance the restrictions will be lifted and election fraud can once again be prosecuted.

But remember, you can't just go in and vote for anyone who has an "R" next to their name. Sorors knows that a registered Democrat would never stand a chance in Texas, so his lackeys register as Republicans and ride the little "R" right into office. So who do you vote for?

Fortunately, Glenn had Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on his show today and Ken gave us his list of judges that he vouches for. His list is as follows:

  • Gina Parker
  • Lee Finley
  • David Schenck
The Primary Election runs from February 20th to March 5th. This is your chance to get out there and make a difference. It might be the most important election you ever participate in. If you need to know where your nearest polling location is, or any other information regarding the election, you can go to votetexas.gov to find out more.
It's time to stand up.

Hypocrisy EXPOSED: The 'Amazon Files' and what WE are doing about it

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Who is really banning books?

For years now, Conservatives have been taking flak from the left for supposed "book bans." The left likes to compare these "bans" to Nazi book burnings, accusing the right of sweeping authoritarian decrees designed to suppress information. In reality, this is a movement largely motivated by parents, who want to remove inappropriate books from children's libraries.

But if you want to discuss authoritarian book bans, look no further than the White House. As Glenn recently covered, the Biden administration has been pressuring the world's largest bookseller, Amazon, into suppressing books they disagree with.

On February 5th, 2024, Ohio Representative Jim Jordan released a slew of subpoenaed documents that exposed pressure placed on Amazon by the Biden Administration. The documents, which Jordan dubbed "The Amazon Files" after Elon Musk's "The Twitter Files," revealed an email conversation between Andrew Slavitt, a former White House senior adviser, and Amazon employees. In these emails, Slavitt complained that the top search results for books on "vaccines" were "concerning" and then requested that Amazon intervene. Amazon initially refused, not out of some altruistic concern for the free exchange of information. They thought any action taken would be "too visible" and would further exasperate the “Harry/Sally narrative,” referring to the outrage that followed Amazon's removal of Ryan T. Anderson’s book When Harry Became Sally.

Despite this initial refusal, Amazon agreed to meet with the White House a few days later. The number one item on their agenda was removing books from the website. An Amazon employee even admitted that the reason they even took this meeting was due to the pressure being placed on them by the Biden Administration.

What was the result of this meeting? Amazon caved. They began to implement ways of limiting the outreach of books that challenged the mainstream vaccine narrative and other books the White House might not like.

The White House was caught red-handed pressuring the world's largest bookseller to restrict the sale of books they consider in opposition to their narrative, and they have the gall to accuse conservatives of information suppression. This is just ONE of many actions committed by the Biden Administration that are more characteristic of a dictator than a president.

What can you do about it? Fortunately, you are not dependent on Amazon and its corrupted algorithm to help you find books. Every week right here on GlennBeck.com, we highlight books that Glenn is reading or talking about in our "Glenn's Bookshelf" series. Here you can find a wide selection of books free from Amazon's filters. Be sure to sign up for Glenn's newsletter to find out about new additions to "Glenn's Bookshelf" every week.

10 times Biden has acted like a DICTATOR

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The left-wing media's most recent tirade is accusing Trump of being a dictator. But, as Glenn said, "Everything they're accusing us of, they're doing."

Since day one, the Biden administration has overstepped the bounds placed on the executive branch set by the Constitution. In Glenn's most recent TV Special, he examined ten times Biden acted like a dictator, NOT a president. Here are 10 of Biden's Dictator Moves, and click HERE to get ALL of the research that went into this week's Glenn TV special:

5 ways to protect your First Amendment rights. Number 4 will surprise you.

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Every day it seems Glenn covers another story revealing how people across the world at all levels of power DESPISE the fact that YOU have rights, and they are actively trying to curtail them. Recently, there has been a string of attacks against the rights outlined in the First Amendment: the freedom of religion, the freedom of speech, the freedom of press, the freedom of assembly, and the freedom to petition.

As a refresher, the First Amendment reads as follows:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

This is powerful stuff, there is a good reason the Founding Fathers made it the FIRST Amendment. It's also the reason why power-hungry elites are attacking it. These attacks are designed to control the way you think, speak, and believe, vote, what you read, and who holds your representatives responsible. The First Amendment is our strongest weapon against tyrants, and they know it.

So what can you do about it? Hope that some wig in Washinton will eventually do something? We know how well that works. The best thing to do is to stay active, engage in the issues you care about, and exercise your rights.

So where to start? Here are a few things YOU can do to protect your First Amendment rights:

Religion

The best way to flex your Freedom of Religion is to—you guessed it—practice your faith. Become an active member in your place of worship, go to scripture studies, invite your friends to that late afternoon event, and walk the life. This can impact the way you spend money as well. Shop the businesses and brands that share your values, and don't shop at the ones that scorn them. Keeping the community alive and healthy is the best way to ensure that generations to come will be able to experience the freedom you enjoy.

Speech

Much like religion, the best way to protect your freedom of speech is... to speak. Engage your friends and family in polite, civil conversation. Stand up for what you believe in, and make your case to your peers. Just remember to keep it friendly. No one ever won an argument by shouting down their opponent. The civil exchange of ideas is the cornerstone of our republic, and a dialogue where the participants are well-informed, considerate, compassionate, and open-minded can have permanent impacts on all involved.

Press

Freedom of the Press seems a little tricky at first. Unless you work for the media, what are you supposed to do? Quit your job and go work for the local newspaper? The good news is that exercising this right is not nearly that difficult. In fact, you are currently doing it. The best thing you can do is to read from outlets that produce informative content. Want to know what Glenn consumes to stay informed every day? Sign up for Glenn's Morning Brief newsletter to get all the stories Glenn gets sent to his desk every day sent straight to your inbox.

Assembly

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Freedom of assembly is one of the more impactful yet underutilized freedoms in the First Amendment. Peaceably assembling and protesting with like-minded individuals can hugely influence politicians and policies while simultaneously creating community and fellowship between attendees. It's understandable why more people don't turn out. We're all busy people with busy schedules, and flying out to D.C. for the weekend seems like a daunting task to many. Thankfully, you don't have to go out all the way to D.C. to make a difference. Gather some like-minded people in your town and bring awareness to issues that impact your community. Big change starts locally, and exercising your freedom to assemble can be the catalyst to lasting impact.

Petition

If you've been a long-time listener of Glenn, then you will have heard a few of his calls to action where he asks his audience to contact their representatives about a particular piece of policy. There is a good reason Glenn keeps on doing those: they work. Whether it's your local mayor or your senator, a call and an email go a long way. If you really want to make a change, convince your friends and family to reach out as well.