Art Way, Senior Director, National Criminal Justice Reform Strategy and State Director, Colorado

Art Way is a Senior Director for DPA’s National Criminal Justice Reform Strategy and State Director for DPA’s Colorado Office. As Senior Director, Art co-leads an internal process to generate a multi-year criminal justice reform strategy to guide DPA’s efforts in the field and is responsible for establishing DPA’s criminal justice policy and advocacy priorities.

Read Art's writings.

Art brings substantial public policy and criminal justice reform experience to DPA. He is a graduate of Florida Coastal School of Law where he was appalled at the gap between our constitutional liberties and what he witnessed growing up during the escalation of the drug war in the 1980s. Prior to joining DPA, Art directed the Racial Justice Program at the Colorado Progressive Coalition, where he worked to halt the overrepresentation of people of color in the state's criminal justice system. He successfully spearheaded a legislative campaign amending state law regarding police duties during searches. As a result, Colorado has the only consent-to-search legislation in the nation that protects pedestrians as well as motorists.

A belief in the ills of mass incarceration and drug war policies fuel Art's desire to manage DPA's efforts in Colorado, where his work involves minimizing the role of the criminal justice system in addressing drug-related issues. This work includes the passage and implementation of overdose prevention efforts, such as third-party naloxone distribution and the state’s 911 Good Samaritan law. Art has also been deeply involved in the passage and implementation of Colorado’s marijuana legalization law, and has travelled domestically and internationally as a speaker addressing this historic policy shift. 

His on-the-ground efforts in Colorado and nationally have expanded the base of drug policy reformers to include prominent racial justice and criminal justice stakeholders.