Meet the Founder

Andrea James  is the Founder of Families for Justice as Healing, author of Upper Bunkies Unite: And Other Thoughts On the Politics of Mass Incarceration, a 2015 Soros Justice Fellow, and recipient of the 2016 RFK Human Rights award.

Andrea worked within the criminal justice system for more than 25 years, from her days as a youth worker, to her work as a criminal defense attorney. In 2009 she was sentenced to serve a 24-month federal prison sentence. After a lifetime of work seeking justice on behalf of disenfranchised people, she was stunned at what she encountered upon entering the federal prison system as an incarcerated person. Andrea uses her experience to raise awareness of the affect of incarceration of women on themselves, their children and communities, and to raise awareness of the need to shift from a criminal legal system to a system focused on human justice.

Andrea lives in Roxbury, MA with her husband and children.