Joshua Mitman

  • Hosted by Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth
  • Sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Service location Washington, District of Columbia
  • Law school Georgetown University Law Center
  • Issue area Children/Youth
  • Fellowship class year 2017
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

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

About a thousand individuals sentenced as children to die in prison have been provided an opportunity for release through parole. The Supreme Court mandated that these children receive a “meaningful opportunity for release” at parole, making necessary a national-level project to promote strategic parole hearing reform. Meaningful parole processes are essential to effectuate the Supreme Court’s decisions and offer a genuine opportunity for life outside of prison. Joshua’s project focused on filling this need, pursuing systemic reform and support nationwide to promote meaningful opportunities for freedom for youth who received extreme sentences.

Fellowship Highlights

In the past two years, Joshua has:

  • Developed a database of state parole policy, release rates, and practices with a national perspective that he has used in his support of advocates and litigators around the country
  • Provided resources and advice to people preparing for parole hearings, from access to pro bono representation, holistic parole preparation guides, and in person engagement with large groups of incarcerated self-advocates
  • Worked with state parole boards to impact policies and practices through educational presentations and ongoing relationships
  • Joined and led coalitions of advocates and people directly impacted by the subject matter to strategize about systems of change and establish longstanding grassroots reform campaigns

What’s Next

Joshua plans to continue his pursuit of criminal justice reform in states around the country. His attention remains concentrated on reducing our prison population and seeing people return home to their communities.

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