Former Manhattan District Attorney candidate, ACLU alum, and an originator of the #CLOSErikers campaign joins as National Director of Dream Corps JUSTICE
Oakland, CA—Dream Corps announced today that Janos Marton, former candidate for Manhattan District Attorney and leading racial justice, civil rights, and justice reform advocate will join Dream Corps as National Director of its criminal justice reform program.
Formerly known as #cut50, the program will now be named Dream Corps JUSTICE to exemplify our commitment to working across silos and leveraging the collective power of our entire organization to combat racial injustice. Together, Dream Corps JUSTICE, TECH, and GREEN For All work together to close prison doors and open doors of opportunity.
Dream Corps JUSTICE was co-founded by Van Jones and Jessica Jackson, in 2014 as a national bipartisan effort to reduce incarceration and crime. The team has been responsible for a series of bipartisan legislative victories over the past five years, including passing the historic First Step Act and leading the Dignity for Incarcerated Women campaign, which changed laws in more than a dozen states. To date, these efforts brought more than 14,000 people home from prison and positively changed conditions for more than 32,000 incarcerated women.
Marton, a civil rights attorney, spent his career leading successful campaigns to shift public consciousness about incarceration, fight corruption, and stand up for historically marginalized communities. As a candidate in the 2021 race for Manhattan District Attorney, Marton ran on a bold platform to use prison as a last resort, end solitary confinement, dramatically reduce pretrial incarceration, and shorten lengthy sentences. His groundbreaking policy platform was praised by grassroots groups across New York City and became the gold standard in the race.
Prior to running for office, Marton led criminal justice reform campaigns for the American Civil Liberties Union in dozens of states to reform bail, sentencing, and parole. He was also an originator of the successful #CLOSErikers campaign, while serving as Director of Policy and Campaigns at JustLeadershipUSA. Janos helped develop the campaign to successfully pressure Mayor De Blasio to put forward a plan to close the infamous jail and was responsible for scaling it to other cities like #CloseTheWorkhouse in St. Louis.
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 level. 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
On March 2nd, Dream Corps JUSTICE will host the largest coordinated day of action for criminal justice reform, the Day of Empathy, focused on connecting lawmakers across all 50 states with advocates and people who firsthand experience with the justice system.
Janos Marton, National Director of Dream Corps JUSTICE: “The work that Dream Corps JUSTICE leads, through its network of impacted advocates and its bipartisan coalition, has tremendous potential to transform a deeply broken and racist system. There is a moment of opportunity in front of us: More people than ever before, from both political parties, understand how broken and unequal our justice system has become. Bipartisan reforms continue to gain momentum in state capitals across the country. But to turn this moment into a movement, we must do more than change laws. We have to shift the way people think about prisons, jails, and the people in them. Dream Corps JUSTICE and its campaigns are led by people directly harmed by the justice system and I’m excited to continue investing in the leadership of our staff and the impacted organizers and advocates we work with across the country.”
Nisha Anand, CEO of Dream Corps, said: “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.”
Pamela Winn, Empathy Network Member: I have participated in the National Day of Empathy for several years, leading legislative advocacy in the State of Georgia on behalf of women who are incarcerated. Having a national spotlight on the work organizers are doing to push for reform and doing it with the support of influencers who use their platforms to amplify the issues has been a tremendous asset to our successful outcomes.
ABOUT DREAM CORPS
Dream Corps closes prison doors and opens doors of opportunity through our nationally renowned programs Dream Corps JUSTICE, TECH, and GREEN For All. We bring people together across racial, social, and partisan lines to create a future with freedom and dignity for all. We are working to build a future where “we the people” means all of us. Learn more at thedreamcorps.org.
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