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December 22, 2015

Wine Retailer Gives ACLU $15 Million for Justice Reform

The American Civil Liberties Union has received $15 million from Maryland retail mogul David Trone and his wife, June, to expand its efforts to cut prison populations and improve job opportunities for ex-convicts, The Washington Post writes. The six-year gift will establish the Trone Center for Criminal Justice, support ACLU litigation and education programs, and boost projects in states with high incarceration rates.

Mr. Trone is a co-founder of "big box" wine, beer, and spirits chain Total Wine, which has stores in 18 states. The Bethesda, Md.-based firm is among several big retailers, including Target and Walmart, that back the "ban the box" campaign to remove criminal-record checkboxes from job applications. A growing number of wealthy businesspeople are also pressing the White House and Congress to ease harsh, drug-war-era sentencing laws.