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The formerly incarcerated are “Leading With Conviction.”

Some of the most significant and effective leadership on reform has come from organizations that are led by or consist primarily of people who are most directly affected by the system: incarcerated or formerly incarcerated people or their families.

As JustLeadershipUSA asserts, “The most compelling advocates of change are those who have been directly affected by incarceration;” its “Leading with Conviction” program provides training to formerly incarcerated people to further develop as leaders in advocacy and community organizing.JustLeadershipUSA, “Leadership,”

In August 2017, several organizations joined together to launch the Face to Face Initiative, which “challenges all elected officials to participate in a public activity through which they can interact with formerly or currently incarcerated people, corrections officers, victims of crime, and others who have firsthand experience with the criminal justice system." Council on State Governments Justice Center, “Face to Face Initiative,” So far, the initiative has inspired visits to prisons and meetings with formerly incarcerated people by several governors, lieutenant governors, and attorneys general, of both political parties and in states as diverse as Connecticut, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio.Ted Gest, “Governors Face Up to Criminal Justice Reform,” Council on State Governments Justice Center, August 14, 2017.