Bills’ Dion Dawkins puts his star power behind criminal justice reform and shares his family’s story

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — You wouldn’t be able to tell just by looking at him, but Dion Dawkins has a family struggle that’s had a profound effect his life. The Buffalo Bills offensive tackle shared part of his story in a new video released by the NFL’s Inspire Change project.

“I have a brother who is incarcerated now, and also a brother who is a corrections officer,” Dawkins said. “And from seeing both sides of the fence and what inmates and what people go through the system go through, it’s a struggle.”

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the total prison population in the country dropped about two percent from 2018 to 2019, bringing it to a total of 1.4 million at the end of 2019.

Still, researchers say the U.S. has one of the highest prison populations in the world and it disproportionately impacts people of color.

In addition to criminal justice reform, the NFL’s Inspire Change tackles social justice issues like police community relations, economic advancement, and education.

Angelica Morrison is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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