Undrea “Gem” Jones joined the CFSY staff in February 2022. Gem spent more than 21 years in prison beginning at 16 years old. She utilized her time behind bars wisely, amassing an array of certifications and accomplishments that she put to use upon her release. She is an active member of several social justice and advocacy groups including the Incarcerated Children’s Advocacy Network and “The 539ers,” and she has testified before Congress to advocate for transparency in youth sentencing. Gem has also advocated for reform in the media, publishing editorials in the Arkansas Democrat and creating a Facebook page “What about us behind the walls,” dedicated to changing the narrative between the public and the “forgotten incarcerated.” She has also published and performed a powerful creative writing piece, “Compassion Works for All,” about a day on the inside of a maximum-security prison.
Gem’s mission is to to help bring about sentencing reforms to end mass incarceration and to help returning citizens re-enter society successfully. She is dedicated to living her life with gratitude for second chances and the opportunity for growth.