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King Downing

President's Commission on Corrections Reform, Chair
Branch: Justice
Current Location: New York, New York
Hometown: New York, New York

King Downing is an attorney and founder of the Human Rights-Racial Justice Center, which advocates and organizes on criminal and economic injustice, including mass incarceration, police abuse and racial profiling. H2RJ projects include tribal border sovereignty and youth-criminal justice advocacy for the organization of Nicole Bell, whose fiancé Sean Bell was killed by the NYPD. H2RJ is a member of the Campaign to End the New Jim Crow.

Most recently, he directed the Healing Justice Program of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), where he worked on mass incarceration, including solitary confinement, prisoner advocacy and conflict resolution. AFSC sought to increase reliance on transformative, healing forms of justice rather than punitive practices that damage body or spirit, as well as to end racial injustice in all justice practices.

He is also former national coordinator of the ACLU's Campaign Against Racial Profiling, which worked to identify and end “stop and frisk,” including the school-to-prison pipeline and other police abuse.

He has appeared in the The New York Times, Newsweek, Court TV, CNN, NPR, HBO, The Daily Beast, Pacifica Radio Network, Investigation Discovery Channel and YouTube, and the following documentaries: Freedom Files—Racial Profiling (Court TV); Black and Blue: Legend of the Hip-Hop Cop (HBO); Injustice Files (Discovery Channel); The Jena 6; and Free Your Hood.

He is a contributor to the following books: Twelve Angry Men, (New Press) and Torture in the U.S., 2nd Edition, (AFSC).

King received his B.A. from Harvard University and is a graduate of Rutgers School of Law.