“Chris has worked so many years to support the people within our corrections system and promote strategies for successful re-entry.

This is a well-deserved feature about him and his work.”

Governor Jay Inslee, featuring Chris Poulos’s NBC Sunday Spotlight profile.

CJHD Welcomes New Executive Director

Center for Justice and Human Dignity Welcomes Christopher Poulos as Executive Director

OLYMPIA, WA – Following an extensive, nationwide recruitment effort, the Center for Justice and Human Dignity (CJHD) is honored to announce the appointment of Christopher Poulos as Executive Director, effective February 1, 2023. Poulos is an attorney and former senior government executive who brings a wealth of personal and professional passion and expertise to this pivotal role. His path led him from trauma, addiction, and incarceration to graduating from college and law school and serving at both the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and The Sentencing Project.

After attaining licensure in state and federal court, Poulos served as Executive Director of the Washington Statewide Reentry Council and, most recently, as Director of Person-Centered Services at the Washington State Department of Corrections. His position at the Washington State Department of Corrections was unique in that it was the first of its kind and the first time a formerly incarcerated person has held a senior executive role in a state department of corrections.

Poulos’s work and personal story have been featured on The Today Show and in The GuardianThe New York TimesWashington PostNBC NewsThe HillCrosscutThe Epoch Times and The Harvard Law and Policy Review. Poulos was selected as one of Portland Magazine’s “Most Intriguing People” and as “Law Student of the Year” by National Jurist Magazine.

Now available on-demand

The Role of the U.S. Sentencing Commission in Decarceration: First Step Act and Beyond

A weekly virtual panel discussion series examining how the U.S. Sentencing Commission and its guidelines impact mass incarceration. Featuring judges, scholars, and practitioners discussing how guidelines, policy statements, and data collection might advance decarceration efforts and address system disparities. Watch all panels here.

Visit our Events page to learn more!

Key Stats

Our System Needs Change


Percent increase of the prison population in the United States since the 1970s.

1 hour

The limited amount of time per day that the more than 60,000 people in U.S. solitary confinement are allowed for showers, brief exercise, or medical visits.

13 states

The number of states in the hottest regions of the country lacking universal air conditioning in their prisons, tragically leading to preventable and inhumane heat-related illness and death.