Elissa  Johnson

VP, Criminal Justice Campaigns

Elissa Johnson is the Vice President of Criminal Justice Campaigns at FWD.us, where she leads the team developing advocacy and campaign tactics to reduce incarceration in some of the country’s highest incarcerating jurisdictions.

Prior to joining FWD.us, Elissa was an attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), for eight years. While based in the Jackson, Mississippi SPLC offices, Elissa brought class action litigation related to prison conditions, juvenile justice, education, and other civil rights issues. She also helped drive successful legislative campaigns to reduce youth and adult incarceration in Mississippi. Later in her career at SPLC in Atlanta, GA, Elissa brought litigation related to access to counsel and worked with a small team of attorneys to develop a nationwide lawsuit on conditions in immigration detention facilities across the country. She clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Carlton W. Reeves in the Southern District of Mississippi. Elissa received her undergraduate degree in English and Sociology from Fisk University and a Master’s in Social Work and law degree from Loyola University Chicago. Elissa lives in Washington D.C.