Coleman Powell (He/They)

Investigative Fellow

Coleman works as an investigator supporting litigation challenging the criminalization of poverty and creating space for decarceration. He supports pre-trial detention litigation, COVID-19 litigation, Private Probation litigation, Prosecutor Project litigation, and the Houston Policing project.

Prior to joining CRC, Coleman supported the participatory defense movement and researched the intersections of the school-to-prison/confinement nexus. In addition to this, he has done policy work around understanding the so-called progressive prosecutor movement, most importantly thinking about how to move power outside of the prosecutorial office and promote decarceration. Coleman is interested in how to use impact litigation as a tool to create space for grassroots actors to push their work forward and directly free incarcerated people.

He has spent significant time developing workshops that ask us to interrogate what keeps us safe in order to promote abolitionist thought & practice in a variety of spaces, most recently Stanford’s Design School. Coleman graduated from Swarthmore College with highest honors and a special major in Comparative Racial & Transnational Politics as well as a minor in Arabic studies. If there is a concert anywhere from DC to NYC, Coleman is likely to be there. 

“The prison industrial complex has fundamentally altered how we relate to one another. I do this work because I want to be in deep relationships of care with my community and strive towards Black liberation.”