CEO, Lava Records, Founding Board Member, The Innocence Project
Twenty five years ago, Jason Flom founded Lava Records, kicking off a music empire that would discover and champion superstar acts from Katy Perry and Kid Rock to Matchbox 20 and Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Jason is much more than a record executive, however; he’s also a philanthropist with a passion for standing up for people whose lives have been derailed by our flawed criminal justice system. A founding board member of the Innocence Project, a board member of NYU Prison Education program, Families Against Mandatory Minimums and The Drug Policy Alliance, he has spent years speaking out for those who otherwise wouldn’t have a voice, helping to set free those who have been wrongfully convicted and helping them get on their feet once released.
Flom was galvanized into advocacy in 1993 after reading an article about a man, Steve Lennon, charged with possessing 4.2 ounces of cocaine. Any amount over 4 ounces is deemed an A-1 felony, akin to murder, mandating a sentence of 15 years to life. Struck by how nonviolent offenses were so unfairly treated, Flom reached out to one of his label’s lawyers about the case…and the lawyer found a loophole, resulting in Lennon being granted another hearing and being released. The rush of effecting change hit Flom hard, and his crusade as a justice system watchdog officially began.
As part of his campaign for criminal justice reform, Jason founded Lava for Good Podcasts, which is dedicated to telling inspiring human stories and promoting social justice. Lava for Good is behind a lineup of notable podcasts, including the Wrongful Conviction Presents series hosted by Jason, in addition to renowned criminal justice advocates. The Wrongful Conviction series has explored the stories of a long list of exonerees and those who are still behind bars, from Brendan Dassey and Rodney Reed to the Dixmoor 5 and Amanda Knox.
Also a tireless advocate for animal rights and conservation, Jason has offered his support to organizations such as VetPaw (Veterans Empowered to Protect African Wildlife) and the African Wildlife Foundation. In 2018, inspired by his own bulldog, Lulu, he wrote Lulu is a Rhinoceros, a children’s book that has become a valuable resource for the transgender community or for anyone who feels as though they were born in the wrong body.
For his work, Flom was named "Music Visionary of the Year" in 2000 by the UJA Federation, and in 1999 he received the Torch of Liberty Award from the American Civil Liberties Union. In 2004, The Correctional Association of New York honored him with their social justice award, and in 2005 Flom received the T.J. Martell Foundation Humanitarian Award. In 2008, Flom was honored as a Partner in Pursuit of Justice by the Bronx Defenders and was awarded with City of Hope’s Ambassador Award. He received the Innocence Project’s Award for Freedom and Justice in 2009 and the Spirit of Life Award by Russell Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation in 2014. He was honored as a Philanthropic Partner by the Bronx Defenders in 2016. Two years later, Flom received the Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award from the Southern Center for Human Rights, the Sentinel of Freedom Award from the Foundation for Criminal Justice, and the After Now Service Award from the NYU Prison Education Program. He has appeared on Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz. and was recently featured in Rolling Stone magazine in a story that detailed his criminal justice advocacy work.