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 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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Michael Clark
Director, Communications and External Affairs
Michael Clark leads the CSG Justice Center’s strategic communications efforts, including the execution of media-related strategies, the development of publications, and the coordination of its digital properties. In addition, he plays a leadership role in the organization’s national campaigns, as
well as oversees its Government Affairs operation and manages key external partnerships. Mike previously managed the CSG Justice Center’s public relations. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, Mike worked as a journalist for The Hartford Courant, The Press of Atlantic City, and The New York Post, covering a wide range of issues including state and local government and politics, public safety, tourism, and business. He later transitioned into public relations, serving in management positions at two New York PR agencies and representing a variety of companies and nonprofit organizations. He holds a BA in journalism from the University of Connecticut.
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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,
    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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