José Santos Woss

Legislative Manager, Criminal Justice and Election Integrity

Jose Santos Woss

José is the Legislative Manager for Criminal Justice and Election Integrity. He leads FCNL’s work on criminal justice reform, election integrity, and policing. He helps to lead the Interfaith Criminal Justice Coalition, an alliance of more than 40 national faith groups advocating to end mass incarceration.

Prior to joining FCNL, José was the Policy Fellow for the American Friends Service Committee bringing Quaker values to a busy policy portfolio consisting of criminal justice reform, human rights, and peacebuilding research. His passion for racial justice led him to help lead a coalition advocating for the human rights of Dominicans of Haitian descent facing statelessness. Before joining the Quaker community he lobbied on public health and appropriations for a large, international law firm. José started his career in public policy working in the United States Senate. While working for Senator Robert Menendez Jose built a robust understanding of public policy, legislative process, and effectively communicating policy/politics to constituents.

Before his time in the Senate, Jose was a social worker for HIV-positive clients in New York City. While attending Montclair State University and right after graduating he served as an AmeriCorps member in a community-based, immigrant-serving nonprofit helping recently-arrived African refugees in New Jersey. He also provided French interpretation and translation services for Survivors of Torture counseling and USCIS asylum interviews. José’s national service and time as a social worker illustrated the ways society and institutions are built to leave so many people behind.

Jose is a proud son of immigrants who’s passionate about political process, public service, and social justice. Jose is fluent in three languages. He attained the degree of Master of Public Administration from American University and is a graduate of Montclair State University. He tweets a little too much, reads about race and history, and tries to overcome his reputation as a bad cook.

Articles by José Santos Woss

Update Hope in the Face of Injustice 

While Congress didn't take up sentencing reform in 2016, we need to keep pressing for justice. This isn't just a policy -- it's a potential new start for thousands of people locked up with lengthy, unjust sentences.

Update Do Justice and Mercy: Time for Sentencing Reform 

We’re here to do justice and mercy for thousands of people. Each of you can do something about that. We know how to do this.

Update Mass Incarceration and the Legacy of Slavery 

Let’s remember that our work to undo the threads of slavery and act to address racism starts with the work of ending these institutional systems of control.

FCNL in the News Congress, Don't Punt on Criminal Justice Reform 

We can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. The criminal justice reform bills in the House and Senate will not release violent offenders, and isn’t a get out of jail free card. They will not solve the nation’s recidivism crisis –but they will take an important step in that direction.

Statement FCNL Applauds Justice Department Phasing Out Private Prisons 

The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) applauds the Department of Justice (DOJ) announcement that it will phase out contracts with private prison corporations.

Update Join Me to Lobby for Sentencing Reform 

We are living under systems that seek to militarize law enforcement with weapons of war, systems coated in the nation’s stain of our original sin of slavery, and systems that seek to control and contain specific communities. Those communities are overwhelmingly black and brown. And. They. Matter.

Update Turning the Tide on Incarceration 

We’re starting to turn the tide in Congress. “We have 5% of the world’s population, but we have 25% of the world’s prisoners.” This is being repeated over and over, between a multitude of briefings, press conferences, and FCNL’s meetings on Capitol Hill.

Statement FCNL Supports the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act 

The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (S. 2123) takes an important step toward restoring judging authority to judges, reducing mandatory minimum sentences, and lowering the population of federal prisons.