Johnny Perez is the Safe Reentry advocate at the Urban Justice Center’s Mental Health Project (MHP), a nonprofit law firm providing pro bono legal services to underserved populations in New York City. Specifically, he works directly with people with mental illness and histories of incarceration to connect them to the services in the community that will assist them to attain better measures of recovery and gain the stability necessary to avoid further contact with the criminal justice system.
Drawing on the wisdom of thirteen years of direct involvement with the criminal justice system, Johnny also works to change unjust policies and practices through his participation as a newly appointed member of the New York Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. Johnny is also a member of the NYC Bar Association’s Correction and Reentry Committee and a member of the Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement (CAIC).
Johnny is a sought after speaker and has been invited to speak at Cornell Law School andFordham University. He has made presentations before Amnesty International, the United Nations, and various state, regional, and national conferences on topics including reentry, prison education, and solitary confinement. Johnny’s commentary has been published in The New York Times, the Washington Post, Ebony Magazine, Newsweek magazine, and the Wall Street Journal.