The Due Process Institute is a bipartisan nonprofit that works to honor, preserve, and restore principles of fairness in the criminal legal system. 

Led by a public policy professional with 20 years of project management, lobbying, legal, and teaching experience, guided by a bipartisan Board of Directors, and supported by bipartisan staff, the Due Process Institute creates workable solutions for challenging policy concerns through advocacy and education.



President Trump Signs the First Step Act

Following overwhelming votes of support in the Senate (87-12) and the House (358-36), President Trump signed The First Step Act into law on December 21, 2018. The Due Process Institute has been a leader in the lobbying and education regarding this historic piece of criminal justice reform legislation.

"This is a remarkable culmination of years of effort by reformers to get Congress to recognize the need for change," said Director of Rule of Law Initiatives Joe Luppino-Esposito. "The First Step Act will go a long way towards improving public safety and making the federal prison system a place for actual 'corrections', rehabilitation, and redemption. This is the type of reform that stresses justice and effectiveness above all else.

"I look forward to seeing more bipartisan support for reform in the near future as we think about what our next steps ought to be."

Watch the Signing Ceremony

Press Release: Due Process Institute Looks Forward to Senate Vote on the First Step Act


The Due Process Institute is heartened by the news that the US Senate will take up the First Step Act and consider it on the floor as early as this week. The First Step Act is supported by the Due Process Institute and dozens of organizations from both sides of aisle because it recalibrates the federal criminal justice system to focus on rehabilitation and redemption, rather than punishment for its own sake. The bill would also change some particularly long sentences.

Read the rest here

Due Process Institute Joins Advocates in Responding to NAAUSA on First Step Act

DPI signed a letter sent to the Senate leaders of both parties responding to a letter from the National Association of United States Attorneys, and explaining why the group's opposition to the First Step Act should be rejected. 

Read our letter here

Luppino-Esposito Quoted in Wash Post, Wash Examiner, on First Step Act

Director of Rule of Law Initiatives Joe Luppino-Esposito was quoted by DC reporters on the continued movement of the First Step Act, as the new version of the bill was introduced in the US Senate. 

 "The genius of this bill is that it re-focuses on the primary purpose of prison: rehabilitating and correcting criminal behavior," said Luppino-Esposito.  

Read more

SITSA Wrongly Expands Penalties and Concentrates DOJ's Power UPDATE

Both the House and Senate are considering the inclusion of "Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Scheduled Analogues" (SITSA) (H.R. 2851/S. 1327) as part of their bill packages to take action relating to the nation's opioid epidemic. The Due Process Institute signed a bipartisan letter opposing the legislation because the bill will broadly expand penalties for drug offenses, concentrate power within the Department of Justice (DOJ), punish people who lack criminal intent, and overcriminalize certain behavior.

UPDATE: The House's final opioid bill package does not include SITSA. 

Read the opposition letter

Due Process Institute Leads Letter Opposing H.R. 6729

The Due Process Institute sent a letter to House leadership raising concerns about H.R. 6729  "Empowering Financial Institutions to Fight Human Trafficking Act of 2018”  and opposing its placement on the suspension calendar. Joined by Freedomworks, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and Defending Rights and Dissent, the Institute opposes this fast-track measure for a bill that will negatively affect privacy rights of individuals and increase surveillance based on mere suspicions of wrongdoing.

Read Our Concerns

DPI Hosts SCOTUS Criminal Law Preview

Experts Look to the Biggest Cases for 2018-2019


 On the morning of September 21, the Due Process Institute hosted "Two Views: An Exploration of Key Cases from Supreme Court's Criminal Law Docket." The event, which took place at the historic Willard Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Washington DC, featured Stanford Law Professor Jeffrey Fisher and Erin Murphy of Kirkland & Ellis, LLP. These leading constitutional law experts went in-depth into the most important criminal law cases that the Supreme Court will hear in October.  

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