Our Leaders and Founders


Laura Nicks ( Director )

Laura Nicks is a trailblazer, a no-nonsense Erin Brokovich of prison reform whose work has led to sweeping legislative reform throughout Arkansas’s criminal justice system. She’s a fierce advocate who believes in second chances because, for her, the hope of a second chance is what kept her alive during the darkest time of her life.

Nicks was imprisoned at 17 after she helped hide the weapon her abusive boyfriend used to kill her aunt in 1985.
Since her release, Nicks has worked to expose the impact of imprisoning children and the impact of solitary confinement. In her address, she called for the state to limit life-without-parole sentences to people over the age of 21. At that age the brain is still not fully developed. Arkansans under that age are not able to legally smoke, drink alcohol, or gamble. If they can't be trusted to make those choices until 21, how can they be sentenced to life for choices they made before that age?