In the Spotlight: JustLeadershipUSA Seeks Those Who Were Formerly Incarcerated to Become Leaders in Creating Meaningful Reform
Date:  11-24-2014

Organization hopes to help cut prison population in half by 2030
An exciting opportunity for people with a criminal history to take part in a training program to learn how to “lead the charge” in reforming criminal justice policies was announced by Glenn Martin “Founder and Chief Risk Taker of JustLeadershipUSA.” (JLUSA).

JLUSA is hoping that America’s prison population can be cut in half by 2030 with the implementation of the following:

  • The replacement of mandatory sentencing laws with more flexible and individualized guidelines; sentencing relief for people in prison currently under these laws.

  • Elimination of "three-strikes" laws and the early release of those unfairly impacted.

  • Retroactive elimination of Tough-On-Crime era, Truth-in-Sentencing laws.

  • Expansion of labor market opportunities for formerly incarcerated job seekers.

  • Re-incentivizing public safety spending.

  • Encouragement of the use of prison reduction strategies, such as clemency, parole, commutations, and merit time.

    JLUSA believes that those with a criminal history should take a leadership role in helping to develop strong reform measures. To accomplish this JLUSA has announced it is inviting them with to take part in its inaugural cohort of leaders. Those wishing to apply must demonstrate leadership capabilities and be willing to take part in a year-long program, “Leading with Conviction.” JLUSA describes the program as follows:

    “Our Leading with Conviction Training is cohort based and will train a group of 20-35 applicants committed to working together to complete the 12-month program. The curriculum alternates four weekend group-training sessions with five web-based seminars that extend over a 10-month period. During that same time participants receive individual executive coaching as well as develop and master their own capacity as leadership coaches. We provide further training by focusing their development around the essential capacities of Community Building (membership); Advocacy; and Communication/Messaging. These program elements prepare the participants to lead and sustain initiatives that respect the cultural and political particularities of their community or region and have the best chance of producing the decarceration that is our focused goal.

    In order to ensure that leaders are introduced to the skills necessary for decarceration success, JustLeadershipUSA has formed partnerships with Columbia Law School's Center for Institutional and Social Change, Opportunity Agenda and Legal Action Center so that participants may benefit from their respective expertise in Community Building, Advocacy and Communication/Messaging.” Participants will receive training in:

  • Leadership and Organizational Management

  • Community Building

  • Advocacy and Policy Skills

  • Communication

    The application to be considered for the “Leading with Conviction” training can be found here.

    Questions about the application can be sent to:

    For more information on JLUSA click here.