Over the past decade, efforts to use research and data to analyze trends and design bipartisan criminal justice policies have made communities safer and saved taxpayer dollars. However, these efforts sometimes obscure the individual realities of the people closest to the system: the person whose untreated mental illness is worsened by time in prison, the child of an incarcerated parent, the corrections officer battling the stresses of each workday, the father denied job after job because of his criminal record.
The Face to Face initiative challenges all policymakers to publicly engage with people in these situations by participating in a series of public activities through which they can interact with people who are in prison or jail, corrections officers, victims of crime, and others who have firsthand experience with the criminal justice system. The initiative was launched in August 2017 by the National Reentry Resource Center and the CSG Justice Center in partnership with the Association of State Correctional Administrators, JustLeadershipUSA, and the National Center for Victims of Crime.
Policymakers on both sides of the aisle have participated in Face to Face to gain a deeper appreciation of the challenges people involved with the system encounter, raise the visibility of these issues for the general public, and become more effective champions of data-driven policies to address those challenges.