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Adam Foss: A prosecutor's perspective on criminal justice reform

PSU Smith Center, 1825 SW Broadway
1825 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97201, US (map)

in the Ballroom



$25 General Admission, Free to formerly incarcerated people and university/college/school students and staff.

Followed by panel discussion with local leaders and advocates.

Adam Foss is helping to reinvent the role of the prosecutor in the US by encouraging a shift in focus from locking people up to restoring lives. Foss is a former prosecutor who worked in the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office in Boston, MA. His experience prosecuting cases and meeting people whose lives were marred by addiction, trauma, poverty and houselessness convinced him of the need for a new approach to crime. Mr. Foss believes that the profession of prosecution is ripe for reinvention requiring better incentives and more measurable metrics for success beyond, simply, “cases won” leading him to co-found Prosecutor Impact - a non-profit developing training and curriculum for prosecutors to reframe their role in the criminal justice system. Now, he is bringing his visionary leadership to Oregon to share his ideas with Portlanders.

Recently, The Mandela Foundation recognized Mr. Foss as the 2017 Nelson Mandela Changemaker of the Year. Fast Company named him one of the Most Creative People in Business of 2017. The Root named Mr. Foss one of the 100 most influential black Americans of 2016. He was named Graduate of the Last Decade by his alma mater, Suffolk University Law School and is a visiting senior fellow at Harvard Law School. He also is a fellow at the Open Society Foundation Leadership in Government initiative as well as a Director’s Fellow in the world renown MIT Media Lab. In February of 2016, Mr. Foss delivered a TED talk that has already eclipsed 2 million views. In 2015, he was voted one of the country’s 40 most up-and-coming lawyers by National Law Journal and in 2013, the Massachusetts Bar Association voted him Prosecutor of the Year. In both his professional and personal capacities, Mr. Foss volunteers much of his time to the community he works in.