the cut on tuesdays

Topeka Sam and Holly Harris on Bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform

Photo: Getty Images

The Cut on Tuesdays

A weekly podcast from the Cut and Gimlet Media, with host Molly Fischer.

On this week’s How I Get It Done episode, Stella Bugbee talks to Topeka Sam and Holly Harris, two women on opposite sides of the political spectrum who’ve worked together to pass criminal-justice reform. They both played a part in passing the First Step Act, which reduced mandatory minimums, made it easier for families to visit loved ones, and allowed people who’ve been incarcerated to leave jail early for good behavior. Stella, Topeka, and Holly discussed how to get it done across the aisle, when it’s time to put family first, and how Topeka gave a speech at the White House that turned Jeff Sessions’s face purple.

Topeka: People of color specifically are taught — you become a Democrat. That’s just what you do. You vote Democrat. And without even really understanding much about the political landscape. I mean, I’m still a registered Democrat. You know, let’s be clear. What I will say is working with a lot of Republicans and understanding the way they come at the work … the way that I see things have expanded. And what I do know is that people in prison do not care who is in the administration. They want to be free.

Click above to hear more about The First Step Act and Topeka and Holly’s advice for supporting formerly incarcerated people. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast wherever you listen.

Topeka Sam and Holly Harris on Criminal-Justice Reform