Creating meaningful, personal interactions between policymakers and people who have firsthand experience with the criminal justice system.

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.

Face to Face, a project led by The CSG Justice Center, creates meaningful interactions between policymakers and people who have firsthand experience with the criminal justice system.

Face to Face News

The first thing I would tell every governor is it matters. It matters what you do, not what you say. And when you're a governor of a state, you have a remarkable opportunity to change people's lives. You've just got to make sure that you're out there doing the will of the people. And the will of the people is all people, not just certain people.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson

Key Staff


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Brenna Callahan
Public Affairs Manager, Communications and External Affairs
Brenna Callahan drives strategic media relations and public affairs to advance organization-wide initiatives. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, Brenna managed national communications for a civic engagement nonprofit. She previously developed and managed a communications and economic equity policy
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portfolio for Mayor Marty Walsh’s Office of Women’s Advancement at the City of Boston. Brenna also worked in both development and operations roles at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, where she managed agency-wide programming. Brenna earned a BA in English from Boston College and an MPA at Suffolk University.
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    Sheridan Watson
    Public Affairs Manager, Communications and External Affairs
    Sheridan Watson develops media relations, public affairs, and digital strategies to advance organization-wide initiatives. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, she served for more than 10 years as a spokeswoman and communications advisor for three members of Congress. Previously,
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    she managed a portfolio of policy issues for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and served in communications roles at the Archdiocese of Washington and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Sheridan earned her ABJ in public relations from the University of Georgia and her MA in legislative affairs from The George Washington University.
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