Who We Are
Dream Corps JUSTICE (formerly #cut50) is a national, bipartisan effort to reduce the prison population while making our communities safer.
We find common ground with unlikely allies, draft effective legislation, and mobilize people harmed by the existing system.
Our work combines legislation and humanization, leveraging culture change to drive policy change, and bringing grassroots and grasstops leaders together to push for criminal justice solutions.
Our leaders are changemakers who have been deeply and personally impacted by the criminal justice system. Collectively, we have deep experience championing reforms at the local, state, and federal levels. Our relationships with elected officials, party operatives, grassroots leaders, and influencers cut across geography and political affiliation.
Dream Corps JUSTICE (formerly #cut50) was co-founded in 2014 by human rights attorney Jessica Jackson, San Francisco School Board Member (now Supervisor) Matt Haney and CNN host and activist Van Jones. We kickstarted this effort by co-hosting the first-ever Bipartisan Summit on Criminal Justice Reform, which garnered participation from the Obama White House, 13 members of Congress, three Republican Governors and more than 600 leading advocates and formerly incarcerated individuals from across the country.
We later went on to work with a bipartisan coalition of organizations, influencers, and elected leaders in Congress and states across the country to champion reforms that reduce our prison population, restore hope and dignity to incarcerated people, and increase the opportunity for success after prison.
Over the last 30 years, both parties helped lead us down the path to mass incarceration. It will take both political parties to reverse course.
Directly Impacted Advocates at the Forefront
We believe that those who are most harmed by our criminal justice system are uniquely qualified to drive solutions that will begin to transform it.
All of our campaigns are led by people who have been directly impacted by the justice system and have lived through the issues we are trying to address. Under their leadership, we combine legislation and humanization to craft and implement criminal justice solutions.
In 2016, we launched the Empathy Network, now the largest bipartisan network of advocates and leaders directly impacted by the justice system. Members of the Empathy Network serve as our eyes, ears, and boots on the ground to champion reforms at the state level and apply in-district pressure on federal lawmakers.
In 2017, we launched our Dignity for Incarcerated Women campaign, working with a network of formerly incarcerated women across the country to combat the rapid rise of female incarceration. Leveraging mainstream influencers, political figures, and bipartisan partnerships, the campaign worked across more than a dozen states to champion legislation that ensures women’s basic dignity, health & hygiene needs are met while incarcerated, protects incarcerated women from abuse, and builds infrastructure for long-term efforts aimed at decarceration
In 2018, we successfully helped a bipartisan coalition of advocates and lawmakers craft and pass the First Step Act, which was directly informed by the personal experiences of advocates who had served time in the federal prison system.
In 2021, we named Janos Marton as our National Director. At Dream Corps JUSTICE, Marton will lead an ambitious team and a national network of unlikely allies, including formerly incarcerated and directly impacted advocates, to fight for groundbreaking legislative victories at the state and federal levels. Marton will take the helm and lead the team toward three critical objectives:
- Reducing Incarceration: safely & permanently reducing the number of people in prison
- Restoring Rights & Economics: Enabling full economic and civic participation of people who carry the lifelong burden of a criminal record
- Redemption: Uplifting the leadership of formerly incarcerated and directly impacted people and creating space for them to drive the future of reform efforts
We are thrilled to welcome Janos as National Director of Dream Corps JUSTICE. Together, we will build off the momentum we created when the First Step Act passed Congress with an overwhelming bipartisan majority. Under his leadership, we will continue to follow the expertise of formerly incarcerated leaders, unite unlikely allies, and lead the charge to build common ground in order to heal our divided country.”Nisha Anand, CEO of Dream Corps