FWD.us to lead expanded line of work, hires criminal justice reform expert

FWD.us is continuing to deepen its commitment to criminal justice reform, and today is announcing the hiring of Zoë Towns, former Criminal Justice Project Director at The Pew Charitable Trusts, as its new Senior Criminal Justice Reform Director. Zoë’s record of developing and implementing successful reform strategies in states across the country will be integral to shaping how the organization achieves meaningful policy impact on this critical issue.

Prior to FWD.us, Zoë oversaw statewide reform initiatives in Oregon, Mississippi, Utah, Maryland, Alaska, and Louisiana for The Pew Charitable Trusts. There, she collaborated with elected officials, administrators, practitioners, and advocates to forge consensus policy solutions, build diverse coalitions, and advance comprehensive pretrial, sentencing, and corrections legislative reforms. Earlier in her career, she helped pilot and then direct The Bronx Freedom Fund, a community bail fund in the South Bronx.

“We are excited to welcome Zoë Towns to lead our criminal justice reform work. Her record of balancing policy expertise with political practicality to get impactful reforms through in red and blue states alike will be fundamental as we shape this line of work. With her help, our plan is to chase big, audacious goals in coalition with policymakers and constituencies from across the political spectrum,” said FWD.us President Todd Schulte.

FWD.us will focus its criminal justice reform work on 1) safely reducing the number of people incarcerated, 2) shrinking the criminal justice system, and 3) creating opportunities for the tens of millions of people who have been incarcerated or who have criminal records. At the same time, we are also redoubling our efforts around immigration reform, including increasing engagement with members on both sides of the aisle and organizing hundreds of business leaders, as well as hundreds of thousands of supporters around the country, to send a clear message to Congress that the time for a Dream Act is now.

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