Press Release

FAMM welcomes Matthew Charles as a policy associate

Media Contact:
Tripp Laino, 202-999-4273

FAMM welcomes Matthew Charles as a policy associate


WASHINGTON – FAMM President Kevin Ring today announced the hiring of Matthew Charles as a policy associate.

“Matthew has traveled the country to share his incredible story and promote second chances, and as a staff member, he’ll use his knowledge of policy and experience to fight for people who’ve been left behind by reforms,” said FAMM President Kevin Ring. “On a personal level, I am so excited and proud. Two and a half years ago, we were fighting to get Matthew released from an unjust sentence. Today, he joins us as a colleague. That’s what second chances are all about. That’s what FAMM is all about.”

Since 2019, Charles has served as a FAMM Justice Reform Fellow.

“I am excited to be moving to a new position with FAMM, and for the opportunity to continue working as an advocate for a better criminal justice system,” Charles said. “I am looking forward to working not just in my home state of Tennessee, but across the country.”

After spending a little over 21 years in prison on a 35-year federal sentence, Charles was released in 2016. He walked out of prison with nothing, but soon created a full life for himself. It turned out, though, that his release was a mistake, and in May of 2018, he was sent back to serve out the rest of his sentence—more than a decade left to go.

But Charles became one of the very first people to benefit from the First Step Act and was released again. He has since thrown himself into advocacy, appearing on Facebook Livetelevision, and his story has been covered by NPRNew York TimesDana Perino, and more.

For nearly three decades, FAMM has united the voices of affected families, the formerly incarcerated, and a range of stakeholders and advocates to fight for a more fair and effective justice system. FAMM’s focus on ending a one-size-fits-all punishment structure has led to reforms to sentencing and prison policies at the state and federal level and is paving the way to programs that support rehabilitation for the 94% of all prisoners who will return to our neighborhoods one day.


FAMM is a national nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice policies that safeguard taxpayer dollars and keep our communities safe. Founded in 1991, FAMM is helping transform America’s criminal justice system by uniting the voices of impacted families and individuals and elevating the issues all across the country.