Empower Missouri is growing, and we’re excited to introduce you to several new team members over the coming weeks. Today let’s hear from Gwen Smith, our Criminal Justice Policy Manager:
Hello everyone! My name is Gwen Smith and I am honored to be joining the Empower Missouri team as the Criminal Justice Policy Manager. In this role, I will manage the statewide Criminal Justice Coalition, composed of individuals and organizations working to reform Missouri’s criminal legal system. I will also lead Empower Missouri’s criminal justice-related policy research and legislative advocacy.
I am coming to this role after years of working with directly impacted individuals as a community based social worker. I have managed direct service and reentry housing programs, provided direct support to individuals incarcerated in jail and prison, and led local efforts to coordinate reentry support services. I believe that significant systemic changes are needed at every level of the criminal legal system to remedy the massive inequities perpetuated by the current system. We must think outside the box of incarceration in order to change the status quo, and dream bigger than what we believe is possible for Missouri.
I look forward to working with the diverse community members that make up the Criminal Justice Coalition to strategize and organize around these policy issues. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me for any questions or simply to connect.
Criminal Justice Policy Manager