About Us

#cut50,­ an initiative of The Dream Corps­, is a national bipartisan effort to smartly and safely reduce America’s incarcerated population by 50 percent over the next 10 years.

The Dream Corps helps cutting-edge initiatives grow big enough to impact millions of lives. We support economic, environmental and criminal justice innovators – all under one roof. Our shared platform helps leaders create synergies, leapfrog obstacles and maximize impact. View our 2015 Year-End Report here.

Our justice system is a human rights catastrophe and one of the biggest moral crises of our time.
— Van Jones, co-founder of #cut50 & president of The Dream Corps

Our vision

We envision a criminal justice system that recognizes the humanity of the 2.2 million people currently behind bars in America and moves toward compassion and treatment rather than punishment and incarceration. With empathy, understanding, and love we can build the political will needed to rectify the damage caused by the incarceration industry on individuals, families and our society. 

We have to put a human face on the statistics - to build empathy, and understanding. We can move from fear to hope, shame to redemption and fear to forgiveness.


For more than three decades, our elected leaders advocated for longer prison sentences and for increasingly minor offenses. 

The media and popular culture created a narrative to support that.  It drove fear into the heart of every mother, father and elected official in America. “Armed Superpredators,” “Willie Horton,” it cried.

    As a result, we sent too many people to prison, for too long, with a disproportionate and highly destructive impact on poor communities and communities of color. We now have:

    • More than 70 million people living with some type of criminal record
    • 23 million bear the label "convicted felon" 
    • 5 million children have at least one incarcerated parent
    • 2.2 million people in prisons and jails
    • $80 billion per year spent on prisons

    A new narrative is now taking shape: one of  bipartisan consensus and hope. 

    What we've achieved 

    • The first-ever Bipartisan Summit on Criminal Justice Reform drew participation from The White House, 13 members of Congress, 3 Governors and over 600 leading advocates and formerly incarcerated people. The event catalyzed new unlikely partnerships and several important criminal justice bills in Congress. 
    • Shaka Senghor's groundbreaking memoir, Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death and Redemption in an American Prison, is a New York Times Bestseller.
    • Our campaign for #JusticeReformNOW has collected 250,000 petition signatures and received the endorsement of 100+ celebrities including Alicia Keys, Amy Schumer, Russell Simmons and Stephen Curry.  
    • We have helped dozens of influencers pressure Congress to pass criminal justice legislation.