The Redemption

October 19, Washington D.C.

About The Event

About The Event

On October 19, 2023, NACDL and the NACDL Foundation for Criminal Justice held the Redemption Gala in Washington DC. 

This very special event included a celebration of NACDL's 65th Anniversary. In addition, we were very honored to recognize the work of those whose work help bring positive change in our criminal legal system including Jeffery Robinson, Rene Valladares, and the Last Prisoner Project. 




National Museum of the American Indian
4th St SW, Independence Ave SW, Washington 



Thursday evening, 6;30 P.M.-10:30 P.M.
October 19, 2023

Emcee and Honorees


Speaker 3

Jason Flom

Co-founder of Lava Records and Lava for Good, podcast host, activist, and philanthropist.


Speaker 1

Jeffery Robinson

Founder of the Who We Are Project


Speaker 2

Rene Valladares

Federal Public Defender/Adjunct Professor/Trainer/Author


Speaker 3

Last Prisoner Project

National, nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to cannabis criminal justice reform.


Photos from the Evening

Honoring Champion of Justice Jeffery Robinson

Honoring Champion of Justice Rene L. Valladares

Sincere B. Allah

Honoring Champion of Justice Last Prisoner Project

Closing Remarks by Executive Director Lisa M. Wayne

The Evening's Journal

2023 NFCJ Redemption Gala

Event Venue

The National Museum of the American Indian

The NMAI, a division of the Smithsonian, is located on the National Mall at the corner of 4th St SW and Independence Avenue in Washington, DC. 


Honoree Bios

Jeffery Robinson

Jeffery Robinson

Jeffery Robinson is the executive director of The Who We Are Project. Until April 2021, Robinson was an ACLU deputy legal director and the director of the ACLU Trone Center for Justice and Equality, which houses the organization’s work on criminal justice, racial justice, and reform issues. Since graduating from Harvard Law School in 1981, Jeff has three decades of experience working on these issues. For seven years, he represented indigent clients in state court at The Defender Association and then in federal court at the Federal Public Defender’s Office, both in Seattle. In 1988, Jeff began a 27-year private practice at the Seattle firm of Schroeter, Goldmark & Bender, where he represented a broad range of clients in local, state, and federal courts on charges ranging from shoplifting to securities fraud and first degree murder. He has tried over 200 criminal cases to verdict and has tried more than a dozen civil cases representing plaintiffs suing corporate and government entities. Jeff was one of the original members of the John Adams Project and worked on the behalf of one of five men held at Guantanamo Bay charged with carrying out the 9/11 attacks.

In addition to being a nationally recognized trial attorney, Jeff is also a respected teacher of trial advocacy. He is a faculty member of the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia, and has lectured on trial skills all over the United States. He has also spoken nationally to diverse audiences on the role of race in the criminal justice system. He is past president of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and a life member and past member of the board of directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Jeff is also an elected fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Rene L. Valladares

Rene L. Valladares

Rene L. Valladares has been the Federal Public Defender for the District of Nevada since 2011. He is an adjunct professor at the UNLV Boyd School of Law and a part-time instructor at the UNLV Criminal Justice Program. Rene lecturers nationally on criminal law and criminal procedure issues, including conspiracy law, search and seizure, and the impact of culture on the criminal justice system. He also serves on the Federal Defenders Performance Management Group and the Federal Defenders’ Death Penalty Working Group. Publications include co-editing the first edition of the treatise Cultural Factors in Criminal Defense, now in its fourth edition (Juris Publishing, 2002). Rene received his JD from the University of Florida in 1987 and LLM in International Law from the University of Miami in 1993.

Last Prisoner Project

Last Prisoner Project

The Last Prisoner Project was founded in 2019 out of the belief that no one should remain incarcerated for cannabis offenses.

We brought together a group of justice-impacted individuals, policy and education experts, and leaders in the worlds of criminal justice and drug policy reform to work to end the fundamental injustice that is America's policy of cannabis prohibition.

Our dedicated team works tirelessly to achieve our goal of freeing the tens of thousands of individuals still unjustly imprisoned for cannabis.




1660 L St NW, 12th Fl, Washington, DC 20036

Phone Number

(202) 872-8600