About Us

Those closest to the problem are closest to the solution, but furthest from resources and power.


JustLeadershipUSA is dedicated to cutting the US correctional population in half by 2030. JLUSA empowers people most affected by incarceration to drive policy reform.

Mass incarceration is the most significant domestic threat to the fabric of our democracy. The reason for such high incarceration rates is not serious crimes but misguided policies such as mandatory minimums, three-strikes laws and reductions in the availability of parole and other early release mechanisms. Through targeted advocacy, strengthening leadership and membership support, JustLeadershipUSA believes a decarcerated America is possible.

Reveal The Truth

At a cost of $85 billion annually, 2.3 Million Americans are behind bars and an additional 5.6 Million Americans are under correctional supervision.

The Sentencing Project, 2013

Reveal The Truth

“I believe that the launching of JustLeadershipUSA will be viewed, one day, by historians and advocates alike as a true game changer: the moment in the emerging movement when formerly incarcerated people finally had a chance to be heard, to organize, and to influence policy in major ways — even though many of them still lacked the right to vote.”

Michelle Alexander Author of The New Jim Crow and long-time civil rights advocate
JLUSA Advisory Board Member


Advocacy Campaigns

Organizes and supports decarceration advocacy campaigns on the local, state and federal levels

Leadership Training

Trains and supports formerly incarcerated people to become stronger and more effective leaders

Member Engagement

Engages members to help build support and raise awareness through advocacy and activism

Glenn E. Martin


Glenn E. Martin, JustLeadershipUSA

Glenn E. Martin is the President and Founder of JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA), an organization dedicated to cutting the U.S. correctional population in half by 2030.  He is part of the vanguard of advocates working to make that future a reality. His goal is to amplify the voice of the people most impacted, and to position them as reform leaders. At its core, JLUSA challenges the assumption that formerly incarcerated people lack the skills to thoughtfully weigh in on policy reform. Rather, JLUSA is based on the principle that people closest to the problem are also the people closest to its solution.

Mr. Martin speaks from personal experience, having spent six years incarcerated in a New York State prison in the early 1990s. That experience has informed his career, which has been recognized with honors such as the 2016 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award and the 2014 Echoing Green Black Male Achievement Fellowship. Mr. Martin is also the founder of the #CLOSErikers campaign. Prior to founding JLUSA, he was the Vice President of The Fortune Society, one of the most respected reentry organizations in the country, the Co-Director of the National HIRE Network at the Legal Action Center, and one of the Co-Founders of the Education from the Inside Out Coalition.

Mr. Martin’s bold, unflinching leadership is recognized by leaders from across the political spectrum.     Praise from Karol V. Mason, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs is representative of the accolades he has received:  “Thanks to you and so many other like you, we are on our way to restoring common sense to our corrections policies and correcting a terrible imbalance in this country.”   Mr. Martin is a sought after public speaker and a frequent media guest appearing on national news outlets such as NPR, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, Al Jazeera and CSPAN.

Despite these accolades and achievements, Mr. Martin has continued to experience the stigma of a record, even while being recognized as a national justice reform leader. He was invited to the White House in 2015 to discuss mass incarceration and law enforcement issues. Before being allowed to enter, he was separated from his colleagues by the Secret Service and required to wear a special credential and have an escort—all due to his past conviction. After this embarrassing episode, he was ushered into his scheduled meeting late, after all other guests had been seated and the justice reform meeting had already begun without him. The irony was not lost on Mr. Martin. Leveraging his national platform, he published an open letter to President Obama in the Wall Street Journal, explaining that this type of treatment “erodes the life” of principles of justice and fairness. He was later invited back to the White House to speak on a panel and meet with President Obama. Today Mr. Martin continues to use his multiple platforms to influence justice policy and lift up the voices of those most impacted.

Team Members

Founder and President
Glenn E. Martin
Vice President
Brent J. Cohen
Senior Advisor to the President
Tom Ochs
Chief of Staff
Valrie Fowler

Senior Training Consultant
David Mensah
Director of Policy & Campaigns
Janos Marton
Alumni Associate
Ronald Simpson-Bey
Membership Coordinator
Anastasija Ocheretina

Development & Communications Associate
Alexander L. Bryden
Advocacy Coordinator
Erin George
Community Organizer
Vidal Guzman
Community Organizer
Sarita Daftary-Steel

Community Organizer
Alfredo Carrasquillo
Database & Technology Administrator
Ronald Joe
Design & Digital Media Associate
David Etheridge-Bartow
Senior Grant Writer
Linda Woodbine

Lead National Organizer
Lex Steppling
New York Statewide Organizer
Katie Schaffer
Fair Hiring Project Coordinator
Megan French-Marcelin
Senior Policy Analyst
Dylan Hayre

Board of Directors

Annabel Davis-Goff
Bruce Western
David Solomon
Glenn E. Martin
Jackie Mann
Lawrence V. Gelber
Robert Liu
Sue A. Kaplan, J.D.
Board Chair
Vivian D. Nixon

Advisory Board Members

New York
Barbara Edwards Delsman
New York
Charlita Cardwell
North Carolina
Daryl V. Atkinson
Dorsey Nunn
New York
Felicia Reback
New York
Francis Greenburger
Michelle Alexander
Norris Henderson
New York
Piper Kerman
William “Bill” Cabin