Glenn E. Martin Founder of JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA) and Founder of CLOSErikers

Incarcerate US Podcast Host Dant’e Cottingham Interviews  Glen E. Martin  from behind Prison walls. Dant’e is America’s 1st and Only Incarcerated Podcast Host.

Glenn E. Martin is an American criminal justice reform advocate, who served six years in a New York state prison, and is the founder and now former president of Just Leadership USA (JLUSA). JLUSA aims to cut the U.S. correctional population in half by 2030 through advocacy campaigns, leadership training, and member engagement. He also co-founded the campaign, Education from the Inside Out Coalition, a national campaign working to remove barriers to higher education

facing students while they are in prison and once they are released.

Martin regularly comments on criminal justice in the media, including CNN, CSPAN, Al Jazeera, and MSNBC

Glenn E. Martin Bio

Glen E. Martin was born and raised in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York. He is the son of a retired police officer.

He spent six years incarcerated in New York prisons. In 1995, convicted for an armed robbery of a New York City jewelry store and was sentenced to six years. He was detained on Rikers Island for a year and served five additional years in the Wyoming Correctional Facility in Attica, New York for his role in several armed robberies.

While in prison, Martin took college level courses. Glen views his liberal arts education as a key turning point in his life. While at the Wyoming Correctional Facility, he earned an associate degree in social science from the Jesuit Canisius College based in Buffalo, N.Y. He still faced barriers to employment with a criminal record even though he had a college degree.

In 2000, he was released from prison in upstate Attica, New York. At release, a correctional officer thanked him: “He said my being there helped pay for his boat, and that when my son came there, he would help pay for his son’s boat.”

United States Criminal Justice Reform

Glen E. Martin has worked with and founded various criminal justice reform non-profits. Martin also regularly comments on criminal justice issues. Martin has been critical of the disenfranchisement of felons in New York state, and in the United States. In 2014,  He gave a guest lecture at Bennington College on criminal justice reform.

Legal Action Center

Upon release from prison, he began his career with the Legal Action Center (LAC). Martin eventually served as the co-director of LAC’s Helping Individuals with criminal records Reenter through Employment (H.I.R.E.) Network. he worked to address the obstacles facing ex-offenders who try to reconnect with their communities and society at large. Glen discussed what he viewed as discrimination faced by people with criminal records, based on their criminal records and their race, noting that people of color are disproportionately represented in the American criminal justice system. He regularly spoke with media regarding criminal justice issues.

Fortune Society

From 2007 until 2014, Mr Martin served as Vice President of Development and Public Affairs for the Fortune Society, a group dedicated to helping people returning from prison to succeed with starting new lives.  Half of Fortune Society’s staff members were formerly incarcerated, and one-third of the board members were formerly incarcerated.

Mr Martin regularly spoke with the national media about criminal justice issues.


In November 2014, Mr Martin founded a new organization, JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA).  Mr Martin told Mic that he “believes the most compelling advocates of change are those who have been directly affected by incarceration.” he appeared on the Brian Lehrer show to discuss the purpose of prison. JLUSA hosts training for formerly incarcerated leaders wanting to have a voice in the national debate over criminal justice and prison reform. On December 21, 2017, he announced his resignation from JustLeadershipUSA, after an orchestrated campaign to smear his name, led by a former disgruntled employee and former allies in the movement to #CLOSErikers.

White House Experience

In early June 2015, Mr Martin, along with other criminal justice reform activists, were invited to the White House to discuss mass incarceration and law enforcement issues. Mr Martin was flagged by the United States Secret Service as a security risk because of his criminal record, and required to have a special escort in order to enter the White House complex for the discussion. Once cleared, Mr Martin used the incident “to frame the topic for larger criminal justice reform.” Ultimately, Martin met with President Obama to discuss JustLeadershipUSA and his efforts to help shrink the criminal justice footprint in the lives of all Americans.



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