President Donald J. Trump first talked about Jon Ponder’s “Hope for Prisoners” at the National Day of prayer, and then for the second time, Tuesday night, at the Republican National Convention.
Ponder gave his Christian testimony and then was joined by the FBI agent who arrested him, who has become his best friend, because Ponder totally turned his life around after receiving a prison sentence for Bank Robbery and built a program for rehabilitating other offenders.
Ponder describes his journey to build Hope for Prisoners.
President Trump pardoned Jon Ponder, a convicted felon who has since started a program to help former prisoners re-enter society.
— ABC News (@ABC) August 26, 2020
After Ponder served his time, he started a charitable foundation called Hope for Prisoners and involved President Trump, who attended the first graduation of 29 participating from Ponder’s programs. “He shook everyone’s hand, and that gave them a start on their new life,” Ponder said of Trump.
“Jon’s story is a powerful story or redemption,” Trump said as he talked about Ponder’s program. Ponder’s program is a mentor program matching law enforcement professionals with men and women who are released from prison.
@LVMPD Sgt @ashtonpacke @hope4prisoners1 mentor shares his compassion for helping men & women returning to our community after paying their debt to society Love truly concurs all. National National Conference Call Sept. 3, 8am PST Info at https://t.co/JNgnpyUtrV #modelforamerica pic.twitter.com/fGzRgoVzcn
— Jon D. Ponder (@JonDPonder) August 16, 2020
Trump spoke of Ponder’s story, talking about how he had heard a sermon, by Rev. Billy Graham, remembering it was “Jesus wants to be Lord of your life” and then introduce the special agent who Ponder has become best friends with, Richard Beasly.
Beasly spoke about the importance of how Trump supported law enforcement, and then Trump called Ponder’s wife up and announced that he as going to sign the paperwork to give Ponder a full pardon.
— Francis Brennan (@FrancisBrennan) August 26, 2020
By my count, the pardon of Jon Ponder brings to 27, the number of presidential pardons granted by Pres Trump. Compares at same point in presidencies to:
Obama – 22
George W Bush – 113 pic.twitter.com/zoCQkRPF5j
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) August 26, 2020
We are very proud of the work you have done,” Trump said to Ponder.
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) August 26, 2020
.@JonDPonder is a former bank robber who founded HOPE for Prisoners—an organization that helps criminal offenders re-enter the workforce, family life, & society.
Pres. Trump has reformed our criminal justice system & signed the FIRST STEP Act—which has helped thousands!#RNC2020
— GOP (@GOP) August 26, 2020