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2021-2024 Roadmap

This roadmap is the first to be informed by the expertise of our growing, nationwide network of directly impacted leaders, grassroots organizations, and institutional knowledge of the inner operations of governmental entities.

JustLeadershipLUSA believes that there are bold, positive actions at the federal level that can be taken, relatively rapidly, that can unlock access to the basic human needs for the 70 million individuals living in communities across the United States with a criminal history, and provide pathways to opportunities for those currently incarcerated.

The recommendations in JLUSA 2021 Roadmap — the first of its kind — are informed by the organization’s growing nationwide network of formerly incarcerated leaders. While many advocacy organizations are making recommendations to the new Administration and Congress to create a more fair, humane, and just criminal justice system, these recommendations are unique. They reflect the experiences and expertise of those who have been directly impacted.

These recommendations provide solutions in four ways: through immediate presidential Executive Actions; reform of Administrative Rules and Regulations; and Legislative Recommendations that will require more time and effort. Finally, the removal of the devastating clause of the Thirteenth Amendment that still permits legal slavery behind bars, and ending voter suppression will be multi-year, requiring Constitutional Reforms involving both Congress and the state legislatures.

Let’s be clear: Systems of oppression are durable, and often respond with new forms of oppression.  Advancing justice is not simply about enacting legislative changes, shaping policy decisions, or tallying rights won; it is also about holding fast to the idea that freedom comes only when all of us are free, and working together to create the more just and equitable world that we all want to see.

Short Term
Executive Orders & Actions

Revitalization of an expanded version of the Justice Department’s Federal Interagency Reentry Council
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Appointment of a directly impacted individual as the Criminal Justice/Reentry Czar to serve in the White House Domestic Policy Council and lead the Interagency Reentry Council
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Order directing the use of humanizing language across all federal agencies
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Public awareness campaign
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Reconstitute the Office for Access to Justice Update
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Administrative Reforms


Issue guidelines defining discriminatory hiring and posting practices and establishing processes for reporting violations Update
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Remove discretion from Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funding that allows states to exclude directly impacted individuals from access to training opportunities
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Raise awareness about the availability of Work Opportunity Tax Credits for the hiring of directly impacted people Update
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Federal Bureau of Prisons

Emergency Preparedness Update
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Abolition of Solitary Confinement Update
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Impose a Moratorium on Use of Risk Assessment Tools
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Expansion of Medical and Mental Healthcare Update
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Redefine “homeless” so that people leaving prison are eligible for HUD homeless programs
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Remove the discretionary bans on public housing for people with criminal legal convictions Update
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Establish guidelines for quality implementation and technical assistance of Pell Grants, and establish regulations for higher education institutions to ensure post transfer of academic credits Update
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Personnel Management

Establish Regulations for Fair Chance Hiring Update
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Small Business Administration

Repeal Exclusions in the 7(a) Loan Program Update
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Long-Term Legislation

Passage of The Correctional Facility Disaster Preparedness Act Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Sen. Corey Booker (D-NJ) Update
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Repeal of ban on public assistance - SNAP/TANF via the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 Update
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Passage of the Humane Correctional Health Care Act
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Passage of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act and legislation to address the disproportionate impact of marijuana criminalization on people of color, including community reinvestment, etc. Update
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Amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include people with criminal background as a protected class
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Abolish the federal death penalty via passage of the Federal Death Penalty Prohibition Act of 2021
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Repeal and reverse impact of the 1994 Crime Bill
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Constitutional Reform

Repeal the Thirteenth Amendment’s conditional exception permitting involuntary servitude for incarcerated people Update
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End Felony Disenfranchisement Update
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JLUSA is working with its partners and allies to implement the Roadmap’s policies at the federal level.  

JLUSA served on the Advisory Council established by FWD.us to conduct the first ever public opinion survey to measure the effect of using people-first language on the public’s attitudes towards criminal justice reform.  Based on the data, the final report concluded:

“Using people first language led respondents to question their biases and acknowledge that people are not fixed or defined by their past actions. This not only makes respondents more open to the opportunity for redemption or second chances, it makes them more critical of the criminal justice system and its potential for overreach.”

DeAnna Hoskins, president and CEO of JLUSA and Zoe Towns, vice president for Criminal Justice Reform at FWD.us co-authored an op-ed in The Washington Post titled “How the Language of Criminal Justice Inflicts Lasting Harm.” They reported the survey’s findings and urged the media and the public at large to adopt people-first language.

People First: The Use and Impact of Criminal Justice Labels in Media Coverage


On July 1, 2021 Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a moratorium on federal executions while the Justice Department conducts a review of its policies and procedures.   JLUSA continues to advocate for the passage of the Federal Death Penalty Prohibition Act of 2021 (H.R. 262), introduced by Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).

Learn More

Download and share our 2021-2024 Roadmap.
Download ROADMAP


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The JustUS Coordinating Council (JCC) is a national collective of systems-impacted individuals, allied organizations, and partners across all 50 states, including D.C., that informs decision-making at the federal, state, and local policy levels.