Change from Within

In Change from Within: Reimagining the 21st-Century Prosecutor, a new breed of elected prosecutors describe how they are using the power of the prosecutor’s office to change business as usual in the justice system.


Published by Fair and Just Prosecution and The New Press, this unprecedented book features intensely personal profiles of 13 transformative DAs, in their own words. Each story is accompanied by an image inspired by the prosecutor’s vision of justice and created by a formerly incarcerated artist.

Meet the Artists

Thanks to a partnership with Mural Arts Philadelphia, each chapter in Change from Within is accompanied by a piece of artwork inspired by the prosecutor’s vision of justice and created by an artist who was once incarcerated. These powerful images bring the prosecutors’ stories to life. See all of the artwork and learn more about the artists. »

Sarah George, 2021

By Luis “Suave” Gonzalez
Mixed media, watercolors, and acrylic

Points of Connection (Portrait of Larry Krasner), 2020

By James “Yaya” Hough
Acrylic on canvas

Satana in Situ, 2021

By Jared Owens
Acrylic and paper on panel


Meet the Movement

With communities across the nation reimagining public safety and calling for an end to mass incarceration, a new generation of elected prosecutors has emerged with a powerful vision to transform the criminal legal system. We invite you to meet some of the members of this incredible movement. »

Parisa Dehghani-Tafti

Commonwealth’s Attorney
Arlington County & the City of Falls Church, VA

Kim Foxx

State’s Attorney
Cook County (Chicago), IL

Eric Gonzalez

District Attorney
Kings County (Brooklyn), NY


More Praise for Change from Within

“For too long, ‘tough-on-crime’ approaches have failed to keep communities safe in a way that advances fairness and justice, refusing to give way to data on what really works. This collection of stories is essential to understanding the direction we need to move in and the people who can help get us there.”

– Joyce White Vance, Distinguished Professor of the Practice of Law, University of Alabama School of Law and Former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama


“This is an important book about our criminal legal system, with deep insights from elected prosecutors working at the cutting edge of reform. It is also a moving book about thirteen people trying to make meaningful change from inside a profoundly flawed institution. Their voices and stories are inspiring, conflicted, often sad, and sometimes beautiful. Change from Within is a book for anyone thinking about how to make our criminal system smaller, fairer, and above all, more humane.”

– Alexandra Natapoff, Lee S. Kreindler Professor of Law, Harvard Law School


“In too many jurisdictions, prosecutors have prioritized convictions over justice, putting the wrong people behind bars for decades, life sentences, or even on death row. Change from Within offers a thoughtful perspective on a new breed of prosecutors struggling to right these egregious wrongs of the past. It presents a moving, clear-eyed, and ultimately uplifting attestation of the future we can create together.”

– Barry Scheck, Co-Founder and Special Counsel, the Innocence Project


“Art has an uncanny ability to change hearts and minds, and there is no one better suited to bring the fight for justice to life than the formerly incarcerated artists whose work is featured in Change from Within. Their vibrant and emotional pieces tell a story equally as powerful as the words on the page.”

– Agnes Gund, Founder & Chair, Art for Justice Fund


“As a former federal prosecutor, I have learned that maximizing prison time does not always maximize justice. Change from Within tells the inspiring stories of 13 courageous prosecutors who have rejected overly simplistic ‘tough on crime’ slogans and are instead finding innovative ways to fulfill their important missions. Using data and evidence-based approaches, they are improving public safety through crime prevention, public trust, and measured sentences.”

– Barbara McQuade, Professor, University of Michigan Law School and former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan


“The accounts in Change from Within provide a rare and important opportunity for numerous progressive prosecutors from around the country to tell the powerful stories of how their own experiences with the criminal legal system drove them to run for office, to explain in their own words their (often varied) views on what a more just system should actually look like, and to discuss how they have worked to overcome the persistent resistance they have faced.”

– John F. Pfaff, Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law


Change from Within demonstrates why every single person in this country must pay attention to their local prosecutor’s race. These stories paint a vivid picture of how a small but mighty group of people can make a huge difference in fixing our broken criminal legal system. This book gave me hope and will move anyone who reads it to push for change in their community.”

– Vincent Schiraldi, Senior Fellow, Columbia Justice Lab, and former Commissioner, New York City Departments of Correction and Probation


“A poignant and inspirational read, Change From Within captures the spirit and passion of the prosecutors who are at the forefront of the fight to end mass incarceration. It will leave you wanting to know more about this growing movement.”

– Carter Stewart, Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio