Blueprint for Smart Justice Idaho Statehouse Release

January 7, 2020 @ 11:30 am 12:30 pm

Join the ACLU of Idaho at the Idaho Statehouse for the release of our Blueprint for Smart Justice Idaho report. This report is based on a two-year criminal justice research project conducted by the National ACLU, its state affiliates, and the Urban Institute.

The goal of the Blueprint is to provide solutions meant to cut incarceration rates, reduce racial disparities, and focus on Idahoans, not prisons.

Speakers will include:

Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb – Idaho State Senator

Cherie Buckner-Webb chose to effect change in a new arena by running for public office in 2010. She was elected to the Idaho House of Representatives in 2010 and the Idaho Senate in 2012 to present day. Cherie’s message in the Statehouse reflects the same collaborative and visionary goals she emphasizes in her life and work. Cherie, a certified professional coach and consultant, brings a breadth of experience to the practice.  Her extensive international business background includes positions in program management, diversity consultation, sales and marketing, business and organizational development, operations, and e-commerce. Buckner-Webb also shares her expertise with dozens of organizations through her work on boards and committees.

Joe Howell – criminal justice advocate, Ace Industrial Supply business partner

Joe Howell, is a resident in the treasure valley and a longtime advocate of fair chance employment in the Treasure Valley and in North Idaho. Joe (a past parolee) is the owner of a small construction company, Total Construction Solutions and manager at Ace Industrial Supply that embraces many of the fair chance policy hiring practices and as a result has over a 10-year success record of training probationers and parolees in new careers working in sales. He also supports individual with record by renting out local sober living houses in the valley that also encounter the difficulty of finding housing. Joe understands the struggles that a person with record endures and is an advocate for the untapped talent and skills of this community

Leo Morales – Executive Director, ACLU of Idaho

Leo joined the ACLU of Idaho in 2011 as the organization's communications and advocacy department director. He became the executive director in 2015. Prior to joining the ACLU, he worked with a statewide non-profit advocacy organization addressing issues of poverty and racial justice. During his tenure as executive director, Leo has worked with his colleagues to push for comprehensive criminal justice reform, including ongoing efforts to overhaul Idaho’s public defense system, challenging Idaho’s death penalty system, and efforts to reduce Idaho’s prison population.


Kathy Griesmyer -- Policy Director, ACLU of Idaho 

Kathy joined the ACLU of Idaho in 2011 and currently serves as the chief lobbyist for the organization. Before joining the ACLU of Idaho, Kathy worked on a civic engagement campaign to organize Idahoans to exercise their right to vote and educate them on Idaho's election system. Kathy graduated from the University of Oregon in 2010.

Join us to support criminal justice reform in Idaho! 

Idaho’s inmate population has increased over 800% since 1980. About 1 in 5 Idahoans have a criminal record. Mass incarceration harms families, communities, and society without evidence that it reduces crime rates. It also costs Idaho taxpayers millions of dollars per year.

One area from the blueprint we’ll be focusing on is removing barriers to employment faced by those with criminal records. We plan to introduce the Fair Chance Employment Act during the  2020 legislative session. This legislation would prohibit employers from asking about criminal records until an applicant is offered an interview or employment offer.