Jerome Dillard, Executive Director and one of the Founders of EXPO, has a long history of working with and for system-impacted people. Based on his own experiences with incarceration, he sees prison as a form of genocide that drains people of hope for their future. Through EXPO, he seeks to restore that hope by advocating for change in the system that structurally discriminates against so many people and their families. His purpose is to ensure that system-impacted people are treated with dignity and respect and that they receive the resources and support they need to thrive in their communities upon release.
Jerome’s work involves direct mentoring of system-impacted individuals as well as policy reform with legislators, judicial officials, and corrections staff. In each of these roles, Jerome creates space for and elevates the voices, stories, and needs of system-impacted individuals. Further, his talent for developing relationships built on mutual trust and accountability has allowed him to work with organizations as diverse as Dane County, the Department of Corrections, and Nehemiah. As a result of his experiences and expertise, Jerome is unique in being recognized by both system-impacted individuals and those on the outside as a leader in re-entry and reform.