Meek Mill and Michael Rubin’s REFORM Alliance has named renowned criminal justice advocate Robert Rooks as the new Chief Executive officer and elevated founding CEO Van Jones to the Executive Board. The changes will take place on March 1, 2021.
“Robert is a game-changing hire for our organization,” REFORM co-chairs Meek Mill and Michael Rubin said. “He has a proven track record of changing laws and is universally-respected by leaders on both sides of the political spectrum. We’re incredibly grateful for Van’s leadership in laying the groundwork for REFORM and spearheading our first round of legislative victories. We’re thrilled for Van to join the Executive Board where he will continue to help build the organization.”
Most recently, Rooks was the co-founder and CEO of Alliance for Safety and Justice (ASJ), which saw him partner with governors, legislators, and community leaders to advance reforms that reduced over-incarceration and prioritized smarter safety investments for communities. He also served on the Executive Committee of Florida’s Amendment 4 campaign that restored voting rights for more than 1.4 million Floridians with past convictions and was the Organizing Director for California’s Prop 47 campaign in 2014.
“I’m honored to lead REFORM into the next phase of growth,” Rooks said. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for the organization’s founding partners and know their commitment to criminal justice reform is truly unparalleled. I look forward to building on the foundation that Van established and helping drive meaningful legislative change that will positively impact the millions who are unjustly trapped in our country’s broken probation and parole system.”
“With Robert Rooks as our CEO, the sky’s the limit for us at REFORM,” Jones said. “When we first launched two years ago, I set out to build a robust team, elevate REFORM from a start-up to a high-performance organization and generate major legislative wins. We’ve made incredible strides on all three fronts. But Rooks is going to put a rocket booster under everything we have done so far. He knows how to build, he knows how to lead and he knows how to win. I am very proud to join the REFORM board, where I will be supporting him and the whole REFORM team to take everything to the next level.”
While Jones was CEO, REFORM passed a series of bipartisan legislative wins in several states across the country, including AB 1950 in California, which is widely considered to be the most transformative probation reform bill in the United States and will decrease the state’s probation population by 33 percent, give 24,000+ life years back, and prevent 48,000+ prison admissions due to technical probation violations over the next five years.
You can read more about REFORM’s efforts here.