Advocating for Jail and Prison Reform During COVID-19 and Beyond

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, activists, advocates, academics, and civilian oversight practitioners from around the country have been working to reduce jail and prison populations. Their efforts have resulted in some important success but are also facing substantial barriers. Join us as we welcome individuals from across the country to discuss the strategies being utilized to secure releases and the status of release efforts in various jurisdictions, support for those who are released and the safety of those left behind, and oversight’s role in the process. 

NACOLE is grateful to the following who agreed to participate and offer their knowledge and experience to this panel:

Andrea Armstrong joined the Loyola University New Orleans, College of Law faculty in 2010.  Her research focuses on the constitutional dimensions of prisons and jails, specifically prison labor practices, the intersection of race and conditions of incarceration, and public oversight of detention  facilities. 

Patrisse Cullors is an artist, organizer, and freedom fighter from Los Angeles, CA. Co-founder of Black Lives Matter and founder of Dignity and Power Now, she is also a performance artist, popular public speaker, and a New York Times bestselling author. In 2014 Patrisse was honored with the Contribution to Oversight Award by the NACOLE recognizing her work to initiate civilian oversight in Los Angeles jails.

Ronald F. Day is Vice President of Programs at The Fortune Society in New York City. He is passionate about reentry, promoting desistance, dismantling mass incarceration, and addressing the stigma of incarceration.

Mark-Anthony Johnson is the Founder of Frontline Wellness Network, a California statewide network of health care providers working to end the public health crisis of incarceration. Mark-Anthony formerly served as the Director of Health and Wellness at Dignity and Power Now, a grassroots organization based in Los Angeles.

Douglas Smith focuses on reducing Texas’ over-reliance on incarceration and improving outcomes for hundreds of thousands of Texans who have been involved in the justice system as the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition's lead Policy Analyst working on adult criminal justice issues, Doug's