Open Society Institute Names 2010 Soros Justice Fellows

Open Society Institute Names 2010 Soros Justice Fellows

The Open Society Institute has announced its Soros Justice Fellows for 2010, a group of eighteen scholars, lawyers, advocates, and journalists hailing from nine states and the District of Columbia who will receive a total of $1.4 million for efforts to reform the U.S. justice system.

Since 1997, OSI has awarded more than $15 million to Soros Justice Fellows as part of a broader effort to curb mass incarceration and ensure a fair and equitable system of justice in the United States. This year's fellows, each of whom will receive a twelve- to eighteen-month stipend ranging from $45,000 to $108,750, include Reginald Dwayne Betts, who will write a book about the ways crime and mass incarceration affect individuals not in prison; Ronald Chatters III, who will advocate on behalf of the thousands of people with disabilities who leave Los Angeles jails every year; William Collins, who will examine the ways in which racial and ethnic minorities are purged from Louisiana capital juries; and Alexandra Cox, who will develop and implement research and protocols for improving relationships between youth and staff in juvenile facilities.

Fellowships also were awarded to Amanda J. Crawford for a series of magazine articles on the consequences of the drug war; Manuel Criollo, who will spearhead an effort to challenge Los Angeles County's truancy law and gang database; Renee Feltz and Stokely Baksh for a multimedia investigative report on Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Operation Secure Communities; Guy Gambill, who will advocate for alternatives to arrest and incarceration for veterans; Raj Jayadev, who will develop an action network within communities most targeted by the justice system; Laura McCargar, who will work to help stem the flow of Connecticut youth into the school-to-prison pipeline; Alison McCrary, who will challenge law enforcement practices that criminalize New Orleans' Social Aid and Pleasure clubs and Mardi Gras Indian groups; Zachary Norris for a national effort to support families of incarcerated youth; Laurie Jo Reynolds for a series of educational and cultural programs that address the unintended consequences of sex offender statutes in Illinois; Marie Claire Tran-Leung, who will use the federal Fair Housing Act to challenge discrimination in the private rental housing market against people with criminal records; Jesse Wegman, who will write a book and a series of articles on jailhouse lawyers; Flozelle Woodmore, who served twenty years of a life sentence for killing her abusive partner, to organize friends and family members of people serving life sentences; and Malcolm Young for a project that aims to increase job opportunities for formerly incarcerated people.

"The Soros Justice Fellows offer hope and the possibility for real and lasting change for a criminal justice system that has long been in crisis," said Ann Beeson, OSI executive director for U.S. programs. "Now, more than ever, we welcome their commitment and vision."

"Foundation Names Winners of Prestigious Justice Prize" Open Society Institute Press Release 04/14/2010.