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Joshua Mitman

2017, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Joshua Mitman

Joshua Mitman

Name of Host Organization: Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth
City, State: Washington, District of Columbia
Issue area: Children/Youth
Sponsors: Greenberg Traurig LLP

The Project

Joshua will promote systemic reform of state parole systems so that children previously given extreme sentences have a meaningful opportunity for release through parole.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
Well over a thousand individuals sentenced as children to die in prison now may have an opportunity for parole. Without a national-level project to promote strategic parole reform, the Supreme Court’s mandate that these children receive a “meaningful opportunity for release” will ring hollow. Meaningful parole processes are urgently needed to effectuate the Supreme Court’s decisions and offer a genuine opportunity for life outside of prison.
The Right Person For This Project
Joshua is the right person for the project because:
• He has experience working on juvenile justice issues in a variety of contexts, allowing him to understand the unique issues faced by the impacted population
• He has experience researching and working on parole issues, ranging from in-depth research projects in individual states to assisting clients in applying for parole from lengthy sentences
• He is passionate about ending mass incarceration and about criminal justice reform
Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship
In the first six months, Joshua will:
• Develop a tracking system for individuals newly eligible for parole
• Analyze state parole board policies and practices, with a focus of states most impacted by recent Supreme Court decisions
• Consult state partners to assess local needs
• Collect child development and trauma research relevant to parole board education
• Begin developing a training curriculum for pro bono attorneys representing individuals at parole