Person

Anne Irwin

Occupation(s):

Criminal Justice Reform Advocate

Director, Smart Justice California

Vice President, JK Irwin Foundation

Father:

John Irwin, Founder of JK Irwin Foundation

Anne Irwin is the founder and director of Smart Justice California, a left-of-center criminal justice policy advocacy group. [1] She is also the vice president of the JK Irwin Foundation (JKIF) and the daughter of JKIF founder John Irwin. [2] [3]

Irwin is also a donor to Democratic candidates for public office. [4]

Family

Anne Irwin is the daughter of John Irwin, the founder of the left-of-center criminal justice and drug reform fund JK Irwin Foundation (JKIF). As a young man, John Irwin was infatuated with the idea of living “the life” of an outlaw. He robbed a gas station and was subsequently imprisoned, during which time he decided to pursue an education in criminology. After he was released from Soledad Prison in 1957, Irwin enrolled in the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to pursue a degree in sociology, which he earned in 1962. He received his doctorate at University of California, Berkley, in 1969. He was hired at San Francisco State University in 1967 and taught until he retired in 1994. [5]

John Irwin observed what he considered to be an “unfair system” of imprisonment, where criminals were given lengthy prison sentences instead of “more rehabilitative alternatives.” He endeavored to spend his life helping convicts get better treatment. He started his career of writing books dedicated to the issue of prison reform in 1970 with the publication of The Felon; other titles, such as Prisons in Turmoil, The Warehouse Prison, and Lifers followed, earning him recognition and success in the criminal justice reform movement. [6]

In addition to being an academic, John became involved in a series of criminal justice nonprofits. In 1967, he founded Project Rebound, a campus group at S.F. State that worked to help released inmates go to college. Later, Irwin co-founded Prisoners Union, a civil rights group for inmates which is now defunct. He was known as the originator of the Convict Criminology movement, consisting of convicts-turned-professors working to “critically examine” the justice system. Irwin was on the board of the Sentencing Project, a national nonprofit dedicated to prison reform. [7]

John Irwin married one of his graduate students, Marsha Rosenbaum, who became the director emerita of the San Francisco office of the Drug Policy Alliance. They had four children: Johnny, Jeanette, Katie, and Anne. [8]

Career

Anne Irwin attended New York University from 1995 to 1999 for her bachelor of arts degree in political science and sociology. She went on to earn a J.D. from Stanford Law School in 2004, where she was a member of the American Constitution Society of Stanford Public Interest Law Foundation. [9]

From 1999 to 2001, Irwin worked as a legislation and policy assistant at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). She interned at the nonprofit Equal Justice Initiative from May 2003 to August 2003. She worked as a law clerk in the United States District Court for Nancy Gertner of Massachusetts from 2004 to 2005. [10]

From March 2007 to September 2013, Irwin worked as the deputy public defender (trial attorney) in the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office. In this role she represented thousands of criminal defendants, advocating for their rights. Irwin successfully challenged on a constitutional basis the San Francisco Housing Authority’s practice of banning people from its properties. [11]

In May 2014, Irwin became the vice president of her father’s foundation, the JK Irwin Foundation (JKIF). JKIF works to drastically reduce America’s incarceration rates by funding and supporting criminal justice reform initiatives. [12]

In May 2017, Irwin launched Smart Justice California, a criminal justice policy advocacy group, as a fiscally sponsored project of Tides Advocacy. She works as the director of the group. [13] It is financially supported by prominent California criminal justice reform donors Patty Quillin (spouse of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings), Quinn Delaney (spouse of Bay Area real estate developer Wayne Jordan, who runs a criminal justice foundation with her), Elizabeth Simons (daughter of hedge fund billionaire and philanthropist James Simons), and Kaitlyn Krieger (spouse of Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger). [14]

Activity

Anne Irwin has a personal Twitter account where she posts about politics. Her account bio reads, “#FinallyMYPresidentAfterFourYears,” a reference to support for President Joe Biden. [15]

In October 2021, Anne Irwin published a Medium blog post defending the radical policies of San Francisco district attorney Chesa Boudin, the adopted son of Weather Underground operatives Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. [16]

Irwin has donated to dozens of Democratic candidates running for office, including President Joe Biden, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, California governor Gavin Newsom, and numerous candidates running for district attorney positions and seats in the state legislature. [17]

References

  1. LinkedIn. “Anne Irwin – Founder and Director- Smart Justice CA.” Accessed December 31, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/anneirwinsmartjusticeca. ^
  2. LinkedIn. “Anne Irwin – Founder and Director- Smart Justice CA.” Accessed December 31, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/anneirwinsmartjusticeca. ^
  3. Kevin Fagan, “Criminal turned criminologist John Irwin dies.” SFGate. Accessed December 31, 2021. https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Criminal-turned-criminologist-John-Irwin-dies-3205069.php. ^
  4.  [1] Center for Responsive Politics. OpenSecrets.org. Donor Lookup. “Anne Irwin”. Accessed December 31, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/donor-lookup/results?name=Anne+Irwin. ^
  5. Kevin Fagan. “Criminal turned criminologist John Irwin dies.” SFGate, January 7, 2010. Accessed January 1, 2022. https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Criminal-turned-criminologist-John-Irwin-dies-3205069.php. ^
  6.  Kevin Fagan. “Criminal turned criminologist John Irwin dies.” SFGate, January 7, 2010. Accessed January 1, 2022. https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Criminal-turned-criminologist-John-Irwin-dies-3205069.php. ^
  7. Kevin Fagan. “Criminal turned criminologist John Irwin dies.” SFGate, January 7, 2010. Accessed January 1, 2022. https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Criminal-turned-criminologist-John-Irwin-dies-3205069.php. ^
  8.  Kevin Fagan. “Criminal turned criminologist John Irwin dies.” SFGate, January 7, 2010. Accessed January 1, 2022. https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Criminal-turned-criminologist-John-Irwin-dies-3205069.php. ^
  9. LinkedIn. “Anne Irwin – Founder and Director- Smart Justice CA.” Accessed January 1, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/anneirwinsmartjusticeca. ^
  10.  LinkedIn. “Anne Irwin – Founder and Director- Smart Justice CA.” Accessed January 1, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/anneirwinsmartjusticeca. ^
  11.  LinkedIn. “Anne Irwin – Founder and Director- Smart Justice CA.” Accessed January 1, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/anneirwinsmartjusticeca. ^
  12. LinkedIn. “Anne Irwin – Founder and Director- Smart Justice CA.” Accessed January 1, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/anneirwinsmartjusticeca. ^
  13. LinkedIn. “Anne Irwin – Founder and Director- Smart Justice CA.” Accessed January 1, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/anneirwinsmartjusticeca. ^
  14. Jeremy B. White. “4 wealthy donors fuel overhaul of California’s criminal justice system.” Politico. Accessed January 1, 2022. https://www.politico.com/states/california/story/2021/07/17/four-wealthy-donors-fuel-overhaul-of-californias-criminal-justice-system-1388261. ^
  15. “Anne Irwin Scott.” Twitter. Accessed January 1, 2022. https://twitter.com/anneirwinscott. ^
  16. Anne Irwin. “The Truth Takes a Backseat When Politics Hits Our Courts.” Medium. Accessed January 1, 2022. https://medium.com/@anne_irwin/the-truth-takes-a-backseat-when-politics-hits-our-courts-1b3797b85f0e. ^
  17. Center for Responsive Politics. OpenSecrets.org. Donor Lookup. “Anne Irwin”. Accessed December 31, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/donor-lookup/results?name=Anne+Irwin. ^
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