One of the overriding goals of the left in the United States has always been the reformation of the criminal justice system. Over the last 150 years, many different approaches have been tried in an effort to reduce the number of minorities who are incarcerated in the United States. Most of these have been abject failures, with blacks in the United States now incarcerated at rates approaching 10 times that of their white counterparts.One of the biggest names in progressive politics is that of George Soros. Soros has made a name for himself as one of the most effective agents for change for progressive causes of the last 30 years, worldwide. Through his famous philanthropic organization, The Open Society Foundations, Soros has managed to nearly single-handedly topple governments throughout the ex-Soviet bloc as well as changing the outcome of elections across the United States. There’s little question that Soros has been one of the most prolific and steadfast opponents of closed societies.
Recently, Soros has begun following a new strategy to change the U.S. criminal justice system, from the bottom up. This involves replacement of hardline, conservative prosecutors, judges and sheriffs with more progressive candidates. He has been following this strategy throughout the southern United States, where he has enjoyed a great deal of success so far.One example of this strategy bearing fruit was in the case of novice political candidate Aramis Ayala. Ayala had worked as a public defender in the Orange County district attorney’s office for the better part of a decade. But she grew tired of seeing the same types of prejudices pervading the system, day after day. She decided that she would run as the first female black candidate for a prosecutorial position in the state of Florida’s history. But the problem was that she had hardly any resources with which to carry out her campaign.
Through his organization, The Open Society Foundations, Soros quickly infused the Ayala campaign with over $1 million. This allowed Ayala to run almost non-stop television advertisements and avail herself of social media marketing as well. The strategy proved to be effective. In an unexpected landslide victory, she unseated her long time incumbent opponent, Jeff Ashton. The latter had been a hard line conservative who had overseen an unfortunate reign of placing vastly disproportionate numbers of minorities behind bars. Ayala had vowed to change that, letting free a large number of minority offenders, particularly those who have been convicted of nonviolent drug offenses.This strategy of changing the U.S. criminal justice system from the ground-up has proven to be a hugely successful and game-changing event for not just George Soros but the left in general. It represents the first time the real progress has been made on the criminal justice reform front.