Leadership in Action: Criminal Justice Reform

Congress recently passed what is being heralded as the most significant and sweeping criminal justice reform legislation in nearly a decade. The bipartisan FIRST STEP Act not only eases mandatory minimum sentences under federal law but also puts more of an emphasis on vocational and rehabilitative programs in prisons. What immediate results can we expect to see in federal prisons across the country and how can it be ensured that these reforms benefit those most affected? What additional efforts need to be taken to reduce mass incarceration at the state and local levels? How can prison inmates be better prepared for their reintegration into society and how can recidivism be lowered? 

The Hill convened policymakers and advocates to discuss criminal justice reform and what it means for the more than two million people being held at federal, state, and local corrections facilities across the United States.


  • Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Sponsor, Democracy Restoration Act
  • Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), Ranking Member, House Judiciary Committee 
  • Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), House Majority Whip
  • Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-USVI), Member, Congressional Black Caucus 
  • Nicole D. Porter, Director of Advocacy, The Sentencing Project 
  • Topeka Sam, Founder and Executive Director, The Ladies of Hope Ministries 


  • Kim Ball, Director, School of Public Affairs' Justice Programs Office, American University 


  • Bob Cusack, Editor-in-Chief, The Hill
  • Jamal Simmons, Host, Hill.TV 


Tuesday, February 26, 2019
8:00 AM | Guest Arrival & Networking Breakfast
8:30 AM | Program Begins
10:00 AM | Program Concludes


The Newseum
Knight Broadcast Studio
3rd Floor 
555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

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