Advisory for Thursday: Actors, Advocates, and Senators Stand Up for Sentencing Reform

Media 04.26.16

WASHINGTON – On Thursday, April 28, at 12:30 p.m. ET, in advance of the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, actors, formerly incarcerated individuals, advocates, and Senators will host a press conference and briefing at the Russell Senate Office Building in support of sentencing reform.

Pending bipartisan legislation could provide relief for thousands of people who were unjustly sentenced to racially biased and unreasonably long prison terms. Actors like Matt McGorry of “How to Get Away with Murder,” Hill Harper of “CSI:NY,” Melissa Fitzgerald of “The West Wing,” and Terrence J, will join formerly incarcerated advocates, clemency recipients and Senators Dick Durbin (D. Ill.) and Mike Lee (R. Utah) to call for meaningful criminal justice reforms including the passage of the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act. That legislation was passed out of committee six months ago and would be one of the most significant reforms to our criminal justice system in years.

The event is officially titled “#JusticeReformNOW: Celebrities for Justice & Voices of Impacted People” and is co-sponsored by #cut50, the ACLU, and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

Click here for a tweet from Russell Simmons about this event.

RSVP: Email [email protected] to RSVP.

WHAT: Actors, Advocates, and Senators Stand Up for Sentencing Reform


12:30 – Press Conference

  • Senator Richard Durbin (D, Ill.)

  • Senator Mike Lee (R. Utah)

  • Hill Harper, Actor and Author, “CSI: NY”

  • Matt McGorry, Actor, “Orange is the New Black,” “How to Get Away with Murder”

  • Melissa Fitzgerald, “The West Wing” & Senior Director, Justice for Vets

  • Terrence J, Television Personality and Actor, “Perfect Match”

  • Van Jones, Co-founder & President #cut50 & Political Correspondent, CNN

  • Redditt Hudson, Co-Founder,  National Coalition of Law Enforcement Officers for Justice, Reform and Accountability

1:10 – Briefing

  • Van Jones, Co-Founder and President of #cut50, and Political Analyst, CNN

  • Norman Brown, Formerly Incarcerated Advocate, Washington, DC

  • Ramona Brant, Formerly Incarcerated Advocate, Charlotte, North Carolina

  • Alton Mills, Formerly Incarcerated Advocate, Chicago, Illinois

  • Amy Povah, President, CAN-DO Foundation

  • Jason Hernandez, Formerly Incarcerated Advocate, McKinney, Texas

  • Michael Short, Bush-Era Clemency Recipient, Fort Washington, MD

WHEN: Thursday, April 28 12:30 p.m. ET

WHERE: The Russell Senate Office Building, Room 325. 2 Constitution Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002

#cut50 is a national, bipartisan effort popularizing the idea that we can smartly and safely reduce the number of people in our prisons and jails by 50% over the next ten years.  By humanizing the narrative and pursuing transformative legislation, we can unlock prison doors and open doors to new opportunity for millions of people impacted by the incarceration industry. Visit

For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country. Through litigation, public education, and advocacy, the ACLU Center for Justice seeks to transform the criminal justice system into one that is fair and free of racial bias, that keeps communities safe and healthy without an overreliance on incarceration, that is evidence-based rather than fear-based, and that respects the constitutional and human rights of all who come into contact with it. Visit

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit