Board of Directors
Natalia Cornelio is an attorney, public servant, advocate, and criminal justice reformer. She lives in the 2nd ward with her husband and their dog. She believes in community, and she’s an aztec dancer.
“Nata” currently works as the Director of Legal Affairs for Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis in Precinct One, where she helped draft and finalize the settlement in the misdemeanor bail reform lawsuit, ODonnell v. Harris County.
Before this, she was the Director of Criminal Justice Reform at the Texas Civil Rights Project. As director, she was counsel and advocate for hundreds of parents along the United States-Mexico border after being forcibly separated from their children under Trump’s unlawful family separation policy.
Additionally, she settled TCRP’s debtor’s prison lawsuit against the City of El Paso to end the City’s practice of incarcerating people for their inability to pay traffic tickets, expanded the project’s investigations against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and its cruel treatment of its prisoners in solitary confinement, and worked with local partners to decrease criminalization of juveniles who interface with the criminal justice system.
She has also defended the constitutional rights of those impacted by the criminal justice system as an attorney for the Federal Public Defender for the Southern District of Texas in Houston, and have worked on criminal and immigration appeals at the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, CA.
Canon Brown graduated from Michigan State University with a double major in Political Science and International Studies in 1995. Then went to work as an insurance agent with Liberty Mutual while studying for the LSAT Graduated from Valparaiso University School of Law in 2002 as the Vice President of BLSA and was the first African American to write for the Law Review. Currently working as a Senior Paralegal for the Law Office of Erinn G Brown and also is the CEO of Brown Organic Farms in Michigan where they specialize in pharmaceutical grade CBD products and services. When Canon is not working, he enjoys spending time outdoors hunting, fishing, farming, and attending his son’s baseball games.
Tyler James is currently managing a political campaign in Harris County. Previously, he worked as a Senior Policy Advisor for Commissioner Rodney Ellis, focusing on economic justice, technology and open government, worked on the paid sick campaigns as State Political Director of Workers Defense, served as political advisor to Amber and Steve Mostyn working with dozens of candidates and organizations on GOTV efforts across the state and in Harris County and worked on progressive policy and consumer protections at the legislature, and was Regional Field Director for the Sylvia Garcia for Senate campaign.
When he isn’t reading policy papers and creating spreadsheets Tyler deflates his ego by screwing up guitar solos in a cover band and losing at board games to his daughter.
Pure Justice uses community organizing, civic engagement, education, and research as methods to help reform institutions and systems that perpetuate social and criminal injustices, aiming to improve the lives of low-income and working-class families.
Our members include working families, victims of criminal or social injustice, as well as concerned and compassionate members of the community.
Every campaign we launch and victory we win is based on the desires and concerns of our members. Pure Justice simply provides the tools and platform necessary for them to advance their issues.
Research and Policy
Reforming Community Supervision
According to a Council of State Governments report, “45% of state prison admissions nationwide are due to violations of probation or parole for new offenses or technical violations. On any given day, 280,000 PEOPLE in prison—nearly 1 IN 4—are incarcerated as a result of a supervision violation, costing states more than $9.3 BILLION ANNUALLY." Reforming community supervision and other forms of correctional control would significantly reduce recidivism rates and provide financial resources for alternative rehabilitative methods.
Community Outreach Workshops
Know Your Rights Workshops
The media has highlighted police brutality particularly during traffic stops in a way like never before. This has caused the public to be more concerned about what is and isn’t allowed during a traffic stop. Pure Justice offers a “Know Your Rights” workshop to assist the community in addressing this concern.
State and Local Government Workshops
The 2016 presidential election ignited citizens across this country to become more politically engaged; however, many don’t know where to start. Pure Justice offers a workshop in helping community residents understand how state and local government is structured and how government is intended to work. This workshop does not advocate any particular partisanship nor does it endorse or encourage the selection of any political candidate.
Pure Justice works with low-income and former indigent clients of the local public defender’s office to ensure they were properly serviced by a criminal justice system that should work for ALL people regardless of socioeconomic background.
Case Review Clinic
A case review consists of the following:
- Review of prior convictions to determine if any post-conviction relief options are available.
- Expungement Petition: Assist in completing and filing expungement forms.
- Pardon Petition: Assist in completing and filing pardon petition forms.
- Connect victims to social services: refer victims and members to partnering agencies and attorneys.
Prison Book Drive and Pen Pal Services
In our efforts to provide rehabilitative relief to those impacted by the criminal justice system, we send mail to inmates in various prisons across Texas to make sure they know they are have not been forgotten. We receive requests for such services from family members of inmates as well as our partners at Solidarity on Death Row.
WHAT SUPPORTERS SAY?
"Pure Justice has brought a unique way and innovative way to engage and teach the young men of our organization about their constitutional rights through their legal awareness workshop."
"We appreciate the Pure Justice staff for partnering with other organizations to help bring thousands of bottles of water to Flint, MI during the height of our crisis. Happy the are still concerned about their hometown.
"When I needed legal assistance beyond their capacity, they referred me to their partnering law firm who helped me tremendously!"