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Speaking at California Legislature

Janet M. Dixon

Board Member

Janet is a member of A New Way of Life, a nationally acclaimed reentry program for women that works to empower and build the leadership skills of formerly incarcerated people.  Janet spent nearly 40 years in prison on an illegal sentence.  In 1980, Janet, who was only 18 years old and had no criminal record, was wrongfully convicted and life without the possibility of parole.  During her time in prison, Janet founded the Hyssop Praise

Dancers, painted large murals, and mentored scores of women. 

Since her release from prison in 2020, Janet has spoken before the California State Assembly in support of the passing of Senate Bill 467, which was later passed and allows a person to prosecute a writ of habeas corpus if a significant dispute has emerged regarding expert medical, scientific, or forensic testimony that was introduced at trial and contributed to the wrongful conviction.  This bill also expands the definition of false evidence to include the opinions of experts that are undermined by the state of scientific knowledge.  Janet also campaigned for the passage of California Proposition 17, an amendment to the California Constitution that allows people on parole for felony convictions to vote in California.

Janet continues to advocate for women aging in California state prisons, those with outrageous prison sentences, and those deserving of compassionate release and elderly parole. 

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