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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 5, 2015

Contact:
Alex Gudich, 415-240-2016, alex@cut50.org
Molly Haigh, 907-750-1999, molly@fitzgibbonmedia.com
Michele Setteducato, 732-614-3818, michele@fitzgibbonmedia.com

Amy Schumer, Stephen Curry, Ed Norton,
Russell Simmons, Shonda Rhimes, 90+ Celebs Join 130,000 Americans
Demanding Criminal Justice Reform in 2015

Washington, DC – Amy Schumer, Steph Curry, Ed Norton, Jesse Williams, Chris Pine, Russell Simmons, and Piper Kerman are among 90+ celebrities calling for reform to our criminal justice system -- a call sounded by #cut50, a bipartisan effort to safely and smartly reduce our incarcerated population by 50 percent over the next 10 years.

The historic campaign comes on the heels of major bipartisan legislation in Congress. Last week, an all-star group of Senators including Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) came together to begin rolling back mass incarceration with the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act. In the House, the SAFE Justice Act has been called the most comprehensive justice reform legislation in decades.

President Obama said late last week that he was "optimistic that members on both sides of the aisle, in both houses… can put a meaningful criminal justice reform bill on my desk before the end of this year."

For the first time, major celebrities are petitioning Congress to pass a meaningful criminal justice reform bill and roll back the incarceration industry in America.

Poll after poll shows that the majority of American people, of all political persuasions, agree - it is time to fix our broken justice system.

The #JusticeReformNOW petition, organized by #cut50, has received more than 130,000 total signatures collected across multiple petitions hosted on Care2, Credo Working Assets, MoveOn & a recently launched petition at Change.org/JusticeReformNOW - all petitions call for a comprehensive, criminal justice reform bill this year.

Now, leading public figures are voicing their support.

"The moment to pass a meaningful bill is now -- before the 2016 elections complicate any bipartisan efforts," said Van Jones, co-founder of #cut50, which is an initiative of the Dream Corps.

"Like many of the artists and entertainers speaking out on this issue today, I have seen the terrible failure of the War on Drugs firsthand, especially in communities of color.  It is time that Republicans and Democrats work together in Washington to fix this broken system. Their leadership must inspire states across the country to take action, so we can end mass incarceration, once and for all." - Russell Simmons, CEO of Rush Communications

"Lives won’t change until laws change. There are too many Americans immobilized behind bars for no good public safety reason - not able to be with their families or contribute to their communities," said Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison.  "People deserve a second chance, so they can fulfill their potential and take care of their responsibilities.  It’s essential that we take the necessary policy steps to make this possible."

"In the past 8 years working in the criminal justice system I have come to realize that we spend way too much money incarcerating non-violent offenders. We can and must do better as a society and a nation." - Tim Robbins, Actor, Director and Activist

"Many of us, especially in the hip-hop community, have long used music and art to raise awareness and understanding about the ways in which our communities have been failed by the criminal justice system.  With 2.4 million people incarcerated in America, and a real opportunity for change, we’re ready to to turn up the volume.  Whatever we can do to use our respective voices and platforms to demand justice reform, we are prepared to do that." - Angie Martinez, Multi-media personality and Power 105 radio host.

"The devastating and undeniable fact is, the American prison industry locks up too many people, unnecessarily and for too long. Every year, we waste an astonishing amount of public and human resources while ruining countless lives and devastating communities. It’s time to rethink our approach: It’s time for justice reform, now."  - Jesse Williams, star of ABC's hit series Grey's Anatomy, Board Member for the Advancement Project and Executive Producer of Question Bridge

#cut50 has declared Monday, October 5th, a national "day of action" for criminal justice reform. Celebrities, political leaders, concerned Americans and cultural leaders will be taking to social media to spotlight both parties’ opportunity to take legislative action now.

"Our broken criminal justice system harms more than it helps and wastes $80 billion a year. Americans are ready to fix it. Now it’s up to the national leaders in both parties to answer this call by passing strong federal legislation," said Van Jones.

#cut50 believes urgent action is needed to pass meaningful legislation through Congress and give President Obama a bill to sign before the end of the year.

The petition can be found at JusticeReformNow.org and current roster of celebrity signers is below:

  1. Adrian Grenier

  2. Affion Crockett

  3. Alfre Woodard

  4. Alicia Silverstone

  5. Amy Schumer

  6. Angie Martinez

  7. Annalynne McCord

  8. Arsenio Hall

  9. Ashley Judd

  10. Audra McDonald

  11. Boris Kodjoe

  12. Brendon Ayanbadejo

  13. Carrie Keagan

  14. Cedric The Entertainer

  15. Charlamagne

  16. Chloe Flowers

  17. Chris Pine

  18. Chris Kluwe

  19. Christy Turlington

  20. Debbie Allen

  21. Deepak Chopra

  22. DL Hughley

  23. Dule Hill

  24. Edward Norton

  25. Eliza Dushku

  26. Emily Deschanel

  27. Gabourey Sidibe

  28. George Lopez

  29. Gina Prince Bythewood

  30. Hill Harper

  31. Jesse Williams

  32. Jessica Chastain

  33. Jill Scott

  34. Joakim Noah

  35. Joe Rogan

  36. John Forte

  37. Judd Apatow

  38. Julianne Moore

  39. Juliette Lewis

  40. Jussie Smollet

  41. Kelly Slater

  42. Kenny Hamilton

  43. Kenny Smith

  44. Laverne Cox

  45. Luis Guzman

  46. Malik Yoba

  47. Margaret Cho

  48. Mark Ruffalo

  49. Marlon Wayans

  50. Matt McGorry

  51. Maxwell

  52. Melanie Fiona

  53. Michael Beaden

  54. Michael Ealy

  55. Michael K Williams

  56. Michael Sam

  57. Michael Skolnik*

  58. Michelle Williams

  59. Mike Epps

  60. Moby

  61. Morgan Spurlock

  62. Nick Cannon

  63. Nipsey Hussle

  64. Norman Lear

  65. Octavia Spencer

  66. Omar Epps

  67. Quincy Jones

  68. Raegan Gomez

  69. Reggie Bush

  70. Richard Branson

  71. Rick Warren

  72. Ricki Lake

  73. Rosie O'Donnell

  74. Russell Brand

  75. Russell Peters

  76. Russell Simmons

  77. Samantha Ronson

  78. Sanaa Lathan

  79. Sean “Diddy” Combs

  80. Selita Ebanks

  81. Shepard Fairey

  82. Shonda Rhimes

  83. Stacy Barthe

  84. Steph Curry

  85. Susan Sarandon

  86. Tamar Braxton

  87. Taryn Manning

  88. Tatyana Ali

  89. Tim Robbins

  90. Tonya Pinkins

  91. Tyrese Gibson

  92. Van Jones

  93. Vivica Fox

  94. Wayne Brady

  95. Will.I.Am

  96. Zac Posen

###

#cut50 is an initiative of the Dream Corps. #cut50 works across party lines to safely and smartly reduce America’s incarcerated population by 50 percent over the next 10 years. For more information visit www.cut50.org

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