FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 6, 2014–San Rafael–Ellen Barry announced in July that she will be stepping down as Executive Director of Insight Prison Project, effective August 5, 2014. Ellen joined IPP in June of 2012, bringing her truly extraordinary experience and legacy with her. Barry, a MacArthur Genius winner, Soros Senior Justice Fellow, and former Nobel Peace Prize nominee, has worked as an advocate for prisoners and formerly incarcerated people, racial justice, and human rights for over 35 years. She founded Legal Services for Prisoners with Children--a nonprofit organization which has advocated on behalf of incarcerated parents, their children and family members--and she was executive director of that organization from 1978 to 2001. From 2002 to 2012, she worked as a consultant on criminal justice and other human rights matters through Women and Justice Issues.
"In my two years with IPP, I have been honored to work alongside so many incredibly dedicated and talented staff members and volunteers” says Barry, “and it has been a privilege to lead an organization that does such extraordinary and transformative work with prisoners and crime survivors. While I will no longer be the Executive Director, I look forward to being a part of the IPP family for many years to come.” During her time at IPP, Barry worked to bring strong financial management structures to the organization, involvement in the national progressive, criminal, and restorative justice communities, and expansion of IPP’s transformative programs.
"IPP was blessed to find Ellen available and willing to take the helm of a Restorative Justice organization, if only for a couple of years, and we are grateful for her service,” says IPP President, Billie Mizell. “Having followed Ellen’s work and accomplishments long before she came to IPP, I have been truly humbled to have the opportunity to work with one of the great social justice change-makers of our time. Although we will miss Ellen terribly, we know that her passion for the work will continue to give us many opportunities to work together in the future.”
Mizell will be stepping in as Interim Executive Director, effective today, August 6, 2014. “Billie has a proven commitment to the mission and values of Insight Prison Project,” says Dionne Wilson, IPP’s Board Vice President. “Her organizational skills have benefited IPP immensely during the time she has led the Board and she is the ideal person to lead the organization during this transition. We are thrilled that she has agreed to assume the Interim Executive Director role.” Mizell has worked in the Bay Area for the past 15 years as a legal analyst, litigation specialist, and writer for numerous social justice nonprofits, as well as the State of California. She has worked on many death penalty and wrongful convictions cases. She has investigated and written about the Angola 3 case for more than a decade, often working directly with Amnesty International. She assists the Northern California Innocence Project and teaches a class at Santa Clara Law. She is also on the Board of Directors for Death Penalty Focus. She has been leading IPP’s Board of Directors since 2012.
Insight Prison Project is a Restorative Justice organization that has, since 1997, been dedicated to reducing recidivism rates and improving public safety by conducting highly-effective in-prison rehabilitation programs that provide prisoners with the tools and life skills necessary to create durable change