LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – On the second night of the Republican National Convention, President Trump issued a full pardon to Nevadan Jon Ponder, the founder and CEO of Las Vegas-based, HOPE for Prisoners, Inc.
In a recorded ceremony, President Trump spoke of Ponder’s past and how at the age of 38, he was arrested for bank robbery and was sent to prison.
Ponder then spoke of how he turned his life around after being released from jail and was
“Not so long ago, my life was running from the police, fearing the police and avoiding the police, not because of anything the police had done to me, but due to the animosity I had allowed to grow inside me, making me believe they were my enemy, but today praised God, I am filled with hope. A proud American citizen who has been given a second chance.”
Jon Ponder also highlighted the unlikely friendship he made upon his release from jail that ultimately led to starting Hope for Prisoners.
On behalf of the LVMPD, SVAC would like to offer the most sincere congratulations to Jon Ponder of LV based @hope4prisoners1 on his formal pardoning this evening by the President.Living proof that it’s often what we do after a mistake that counts the most.CONGRATULATIONS!!!. pic.twitter.com/ZBchAIn0Pc
“My first help and support came from the unlikeliest of places, the FBI agent who arrested me Richard Beasley is now a dear friend and has been a source of encouragement to me throughout my entire journey and grateful to the men and women of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department who volunteer their time to people who are returning to our community after incarceration.”
“When I met Jon 15 years ago, he was angry, scared, frustrated and anxious about his future,” said Beasley.
President Trump signed the Executive Grant of Clemency granting the full and unconditional pardon before a tearful Ponder, his wife Jamie and Beasley.
Congratulations to @JonDPonder on receiving a well deserved pardon from @POTUS. Thank you for all that you do to build up community in @CityOfLasVegas!
For the past 10 years, Ponder’s non-profit organization has helped the formerly incarcerated to reintegrate themselves into the workforce, their family, and the communities after they are released including long-term support of life skills, job training, mentoring, counseling, and job opportunities.
In February of this year, Jon Ponder welcomed President Trump at the graduation ceremony of ‘Hope for Prisoners’.
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