Music executive Jason Flom, who helped launch the careers of Katy Perry, Lorde and Kid Rock, is now working to help those who have been wrongfully convicted. Now, he works with The Innocence Project and started The Life After Exoneration Program at The Innocence Project, which aims to help exonerees reintegrate into society.
Over the course of his work within the criminal justice system, Jason says the thing that has surprised him the most is the sheer amount of people who are behind bars. He says America has 4.4 of the world's population, but a staggering 25 percent of the world's prison population and 33 percent of the world's female prison population. He is also alarmed the number of wrongful convictions that occur in America.
"If you don't think it can happen to you, it can. It can happen to you, it can happen to someone you love," he says.
He recommends that if you are arrested for something you have not done to not say anything except giving your name, address and saying, "I want a lawyer." He feels if you are interrogated without representation that the likelihood of a conviction is higher. He adds, "We have to demand that our system works fairly for everyone."
He explains that when someone is convicted of a crime they did commit and they serve time and then paroled, various services that are designed to help the person enter back into society are provided. But if you are wrongfully convicted and then released, there are no services offered to help you re-join society. He also notes there is often a stigma placed on those who have been incarcerated, even if they are exonerated, and often those people find things like landing a job to be difficult.
Hear more from Jason about this important topic on his podcast "Wrongful Conviction," here.