On April 7th, Governor Bill Lee hosted 4th Purpose CEO Josh Smith and other prominent conservative policy leaders including former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, former Governor Rick Perry, Pat Nolan, & Brooke Rollins. The event is part of an initiative during #SecondChanceMonth that includes meaningful conversation about criminal justice reform and focuses on the Governor’s priority of how “Tennessee can lead the nation in balancing the notion of justice with the public safety outcomes we all expect.” In a press release from the Governor’s Office, each speaker was highlighted on the various ways they have contributed to criminal justice reform. Josh Smith’s highlights mentioned his former incarceration, his past 15 years “actively involved in criminal justice reform in Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee and countries in Central America”, his programs that “provide hope, training and reentry support for prisoners and their families”, his membership on the Governor’s Criminal Justice Reinvestment Task Force, and he and his wife, Tracy’s, vision “to reshape the reality for offenders, from the time they enter prison through their re-entry.” During the event, Smith answered questions related to his testimony and the game-changers in his story that help inspire policymakers to make stories like his more common, and his practice of hiring those who have criminal histories and how giving second chances to those returning from incarceration is important for communities.

To view a replay of the full event, you can visit the stream on Governor Lee’s Facebook Page or here on YouTube.