Louis L Reed

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Louis Leonard Reed
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Louis L. Reed

(1977-02-07) 7 February 1977 (age 46)
CitizenshipUnited States Of America
  • Criminal Justice Reform Strategist
  • JLUSA Fellow
  • Certified & Licensed Practitioner
  • HuffPost Contributor
  • Author

Louis L. Reed is an acclaimed author, social & criminal justice activist, and the Sr. Director of Membership and Partnerships for the REFORM Alliance. He served 14 years in federal prison and 5 years on supervision. Louis is a licensed and board-certified addiction practitioner. Louis's professional experience includes working as the Director of National Organizing & Partnerships for Dream.Org (formerly known as #cut50). There, he led advocacy for the passage of the historic First Step Act through the Empathy Network, where he grew the nation's largest bi-partisan grassroots advocacy coalition of justice-impacted people. Throughout his career, Louis has worked with the government, which includes conceptualizing and serving as Director of the Mayor’s Office for Reentry Affairs in the City of Bridgeport, CT, providing services for all persons impacted by the criminal justice system both in and returning to the City after incarceration. Under his leadership, he replicated the best-practices model in major US cities, including, but not limited to, Atlanta, New York, Kansas City, and Hartford. Louis's legislative advocacy includes the successful passage of more than 30 bills throughout the United States, including, Connecticut's Clean Slate, expanding access to licenses for people living with criminal records, limiting asset forfeiture practices by law enforcement, and strengthening reentry practices and services for people returning from prison. He has also led innovative training for government agencies and non-profit organizations on implicit biases, racial & cultural sensitivity, and person-centered language. Louis is a guest commentator on the Law & Crime Network, a Council of Criminal Justice trustee, a Forbes Coaches Council Member, Huffington Post contributor on Prison Traumatic Stress Disorder, and has appeared on The Breakfast Club, CNN, CBSN, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and in national publications. Louis has received many awards recognizing his work and leadership, including recognition by The Brigadoon’s 2020 top 20 influential leaders, and a 2021 Ebony Magazine Power 100 nomination. Louis lives in Connecticut and has consulted for Fortune 500 companies on DEI&B, strategic partnerships, and social impact and responsibility.[1].


Louis was born in 1977 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States. He completed his higher degree from The University of Texas at Dallas. Louis holds degrees in criminal justice and psychology, and is a board-certified addictions counselor and licensed alcohol & addictions practitioner. Prior to joining #Cut50, Louis was the Connecticut Policy Strategist for the Katal Center for Health, Equity and Justice where he worked on SB-13, and ran his own addiction and mental health practice in Bridgeport, CT, serving clients across Southern Connecticut[2].

Professional career

Louis Leonard Reed is the Program Manager for the Mayor’s Initiative for Reentry Affairs, City of Bridgeport, Connecticut. He is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of the Louis L. Reed Empowerment Group which specializes in life coaching, addiction recovery support, offender reentry management, executive coaching, and relationship counseling, and the Executive Director of Vision of Purpose, a social justice organization based in Connecticut[3]. Louis has appeared on C-SPAN and MSNBC and has been published in The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal and other media outlets. He was recently interviewed at length in BlackMattersUS on the subject of dealing with prison traumatic stress disorder. He is the Indie Author Legacy Author of the Year (Spirituality) winner for his best-selling empowerment book: 9 Steps to Fall UP When You Trip DOWN: Converting Mistakes into Miracles[4].

Louis L. Reed and CUT50

Louis Leonard Reed is the Director of Organizing and Partnerships for #Cut50. He brings to #Cut50 years of experience in government, criminal justice expertise, policy advocacy, business, and public health [1]. Las Vegas, NV – #cut50 National Organizer, Louis L. Reed will be traveling to over 10 states to learn about the urgent needs of those impacted by mass incarceration. At his fourth stop in Las Vegas, Nevada, he will be joined by Undersheriff Kevin McMahill, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police District Attorney Steve Wolfson, Clark County District Attorney’s Office Director James Dzurenda, and Jon D. Ponder Founder & CEO, HOPE for Prisoners for a discussion on the state of criminal justice reform in Nevada[5].

Louis L. Reed and First Step Act

Louis L. Reed is wrongfully convicted, criminal justice reformer and social justice activist who was the leading impacted advocate for passing of the historic Congressional FIRST STEP ACT[6] [7][8].

Reed is the national organizer for Cut50, an initiative started by CNN’s Van Jones, aimed at supporting the FIRST STEP Act—a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill which is getting national attention for it’s rare coalition of supporters [9]. To learn more about where the Act is one year later, The Takeaway talked to Jonathan Terry, a policy adviser at the Institute for Innovation in Prosecution at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and Louis L. Reed, national organizer for #Cut50, a bipartisan initiative to cut crime and incarceration in half across the country [10].


Louis has received many awards recognizing his work and leadership, including recognition by The Brigadoon’s 2020 top 20 influential leaders, Black People Rock, a 2021 Ebony Magazine Power 100 nomination, and ICONN’s 2020 Activist of the Year[11]

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Louis L. Reed". Dream Corps.
  2. "Louis L. Reed". Louis L. Reed.
  3. "JustLeadershipUSA \ Louis L. Reed". JustLeadershipUSA.
  4. https://www.amazon.com/Steps-Fall-When-Trip-Down/dp/0692586199
  5. "#cut50's National Organizer, Louis L. Reed to screen CNN's The Redemption Project with key justice reform activists". July 17, 2019.
  6. "People Released from Prison Under First Step Act Join Judiciary Hearing". Medium. October 21, 2019.
  7. "First Step Act". September 22, 2020 – via Wikipedia.
  8. "3,100 Americans are heading home today from prison. It's our duty to support them | Opinion". Newsweek. July 19, 2019.
  9. "Locked up for nearly 14 years, this activist is fighting for criminal reform justice through the FIRST STEP Act". TheGrio. December 17, 2018.
  10. "One Year After The First Step Act | The Takeaway". WNYC Studios.
  11. "Book Louis Reed for your next event". Iconn Talent Booking.

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