In pursuit of this vision, Better Day’s mission is to undertake research and action
focused on ending the horrific switch that transforms children from victims to perpetrators.

Better Days Mission

Advocating for the freedom of incarcerated foster care children through a multipronged approach:

  1. Public Education Campaign to help reveal the pitfalls of our foster care system to the general public through storytelling and beyond.
  2. Conduct Research within the prison population to help expose and quantify these perpetuated violence cycles. Unearth research and other findings to advocate for legislative and programmatic changes on a county, state, and eventually federal level.
  3. Provide Services to affected populations. Starting with healing circles in various institutions (CDCR, DJJ, Group Homes, and other DCFS Facilities). Reentry support for Returning Citizens that the Foster Care System has touched.

About Jarrett Harper

Jarrett Harper is the Founder and Executive Director of Better Days. He advocates for foster care reform & criminal justice reform while working to stop life sentences for children, develop better rehabilitation resources for those returning to society, and end the foster care-to-prison pipeline.

A Los Angeles County foster care system survivor, Jarrett endured 20 years of mass incarceration. After experiencing unimaginable trauma and abuse, at 16, Jarrett took the life of his abuser to protect himself and his younger brother. A year later, he was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole plus ten years. Despite having no chance of release from prison, he found forgiveness and hope and transformed his own life by helping change the lives of other men in prison who had the opportunity to get out.

After 20 years of creating and facilitating self-improvement programs for his peers, Jarrett’s sentence was commuted by Governor Jerry Brown through the tireless work of a group of dedicated advocates, including Bryan Stevenson, John Legend, Ty Stiklorius, Elizabeth Calvin from Human Rights Watch, Scott Budnick as well as Loyola Law School. On June 18, 2019, he was released from prison by Governor Gavin Newsom. Shortly after his release, Jarrett became an ambassador for Represent Justice’s Just Mercy campaign and has quickly become a sought-after speaker, booking engagements for Verizon, Google, YouTube, Jordan Park, The Washington Post, National Urban League, USC, Princeton, LRNG, Beit T’ Shuvah, Big Brothers, and Big Sisters, Human Rights Watch, Parole Justice That Works, and most recently the Boston Celtics.

Social Contributions

July 2023
Protecting Kids in the Justice System – Human Rights for Kids – Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC)
Washington DC

This panel featured advocates, experts, and people with lived experience in the justice system as children. Panelists will speak on topics covered in a soon-to-be-introduced bipartisan package of legislation, including raising the minimum age of prosecution of children, strengthening Miranda Rights for Kids, and protecting child victims of sex crimes and trafficking who commit crimes against their abusers.
• (Panelist) Jarrett Harper, CEO and Founder of Better Days
• (Panelist) Yasmin Vafa, Rights4Girls
• (Panelist) Melissa Goemann, National Juvenile Justice Network
• (Panelist) Katrina Massey, Protecting All Children from Trafficking (PACT)
• (Panelist) Michael Mendoza, Anti-Recidivism Coalition
• (Panelist) Jerome Dixon, Anti-Recidivism Coalition

May 2023
Fostering Positive Outcomes Through Mentoring – Mentor – National Foster Youth Institute (NFYI)
Washington DC

This congressional briefing discussed the evidence base supporting positive outcomes for foster youth with mentors and offered a chance to hear from program representatives, mentors, advocates, and young people about their experiences.
• (Featured Speaker) Jarrett Harper, Foster Care & Criminal Justice Advocate
• (Featured Speaker) Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, Chari Congressional Youth Mentoring and Congressional on Foster Youth
• (Featured Speaker) Mike Garringer, Senior Director, Research and Evaluation, MENTOR
• (Featured Speaker) Christina Haines, Senior Director, Strategy and National Impact, Silver Lining Mentoring
• (Featured Speaker) Jermaine Myrie Chief Executive Officer, Mentor

February 2023
Beit T’Shuvah Gala
Beverly Hills, CA

A Jewish alcohol/drug/addiction/re-entry facility. This is the largest fundraiser of the year to honor the Saul and Joyce Brandman Foundation and to invest in the vital work of Beit T’Shuvah.
• (Spotlight Speaker) Jarrett Harper, CEO and Founder of Better Days

January 2023
National Mentoring Summit
Washington DC

Bridging Divides Through Mentoring – Discussing the role mentoring plays in uniting individuals and communities.
• (Spotlight Speaker) Jarrett Harper, CEO and Founder of Better Days

October 2022
Boston Celtics - Shamrock Foundation
Boston, MA

Extends the reach of the Boston Celtics championship legacy into their community through programs that directly benefit children in need.
Raised $3 Million dollars.
• (Moderator) Kristen Ingram
• (Panelist) Grant Williams, NBA Player
• (Panelist) Malcolm Brogdon, NBA Player
• (Panelist) Jarrett Harper, CEO and Founder of Better Days
• (Speaker) Jarrett Harper, The Jarrett Harper Story

September 2022
Boston Celtics Play for Justice
Boston, MA

Partnership with the NBA to create proximity between players and people involved in the criminal justice system.
Roundtable: Boston Celtics Team and Coaching staff, as well as 15 returning citizens
Topics: Criminal Justice Reform, Bridging the gap between sports, entertainment, and social justice
• (Speaker) Jarrett Harper, The Jarrett Harper Story

November 2021
Jack and Jill Youth Conference
Los Angeles, CA

Jack and Jill of America create a medium of contact for children and teens to stimulate their growth and development. Through lobbying, education programming, dissemination of education materials, and the organization of community and charitable events, Jack and Jill of America, Inc has promoted public awareness and interest in children and teens, including child development, child growth, child quality of life, childcare and the portion of children’s rights.
• (Panelist) Jarrett Harper, Represent Justice, Ambassador
• (Panelist) Senator Kamlager

November 2021
Prop 17-Free The Vote, Allow Returning Citizens to Vote
Los Angeles, CA

Description: Represent Justice advocate for Prop 17 

  • (Speaker) Jarrett Harper, Represent Justice, Ambassador 
October 2021
Human Rights Watch “Voices for Justice”
Beverly Hills, CA

Speaker series with voices from people impacted by the system who speak out and express the need for equitable justice. Raised $1.56 Million dollars.

  • (Moderator) Elizabeth Calvin, Senior Advocate in the Children’s Right Division at Human Rights Watch

(Speaker) Jarrett Harper, Social Justice Impactor at Friends at Work

October 2021
Campaign Ambassador and Activist- Represent Justice
Los Angeles, CA

Represent Justice is a 501c3 based in Los Angeles, CA. This campaign launched alongside Warner Brothers’ release of the film ‘Just Mercy’ an adaptation of Bryan Stevenson’ NY Best-Selling book of the same title. As a Black American directly impacted by the systems portrayed in the film, my role as an Ambassador and Activist is to share my life experience,  discuss the importance of this film and build allies in the fight for criminal justice reform. This method of spreading awareness through storytelling aims to bring attention to the many gaps within the broken criminal justice system.

  • (Speaker) Jarrett Harper – Participation in appearances on behalf of Represent Justice Campaign as a spokesperson at events, press appearances, and for recorded content, sharing my story (video/audio) to be distributed on  Represent Justice assets, participating in monthly campaign calls, creating social media posts, and generating excitement and buzz for the campaign, offering strategic guidance to the campaign to support storytelling activities.
August 2021
Quarantunes Independent Fundraising Organization
Los Angeles, CA

Raised $800,000 for The Alliance for Children’s Rights 

(Speaker) Jarrett Harper, Friends at Work, Social Justice Impactor

June 2020 – August 2021
Children’s Rights Division-Human Rights Watch
Los Angeles, CA

Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization headquartered in New York City that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. The Children’s Rights Division focuses on issues affecting children worldwide, including child labor, armed conflict, education, migration, and juvenile justice. My position focuses on educating targeted audiences about the foster care-to-prison pipeline. This is a fixed-term and part-time job reporting to the Senior  Advocate of the Children’s Rights Division based in Los Angeles, which included participation in various speaking engagements, including conferences, high-level meetings, seminars, and workshops. Attending collaborative workshops with underserved communities and religious groups to target specific issues and create action for foster children. The development and  

implementation of ongoing programs for foster children. Consultation to individuals and organizations. 

  • (Officer) Jarrett Harper, Children Rights Division – Human Rights Watch 
June 2021
Congressional Briefing Panel-Rayburn House Office Building
Washington DC

Advocate Package of Bi-Partison bills before the House of Representatives for “Treat Kids Like Kids.” (Moderator) Michael Mendoza, Anti Recidivism Coalition 

  • (Moderator) Elizabeth Calvin, Human Rights Watch 
  • (Panelist) Melissa Mercado 
  • (Panelist) Jerome Dixon 

(Panelist & Speaker) Jarrett Harper, CEO and Founder of Better Days

June 2021
USC Class Panel Discussion
Los Angeles, CA

Class panel discussion of the music industry and how it connects to social justice and entrepreneurship. 

  • (Speaker) Jarrett Harper, Social Justice Impactor at Friends at Work 
  • (Speaker) Ty Stiklorius, CEO of Friends at Work 
  • (Speaker) Charlie Puth. Musician
May 4, 2021
The Collective Justice for All Initiative
Los Angeles, CA

 Serves as a critical component to close the representation gap of Black leaders serving in key positions that make and administer the law, such as; Attorney Generals, District and State Attorneys, Judges, and Sheriffs. 

  • (Moderator) Stephanie Brown James, Co-Founder and Senior Advisor 
  • (Panelist) Senator Cory Booker 
  • (Panelist) Congressman Hakeem Jeffries 

(Panelist) Jarrett Harper, CEO and Founder of Better Days

July 2020
Washington Post – Race in America / Prison Reform
Los Angeles, CA

Topics of Discussion: Impact of Covid19 in the prison system, The relationship between law enforcement and Race in America 

  • (Moderator) Michele Norris 
  • (Panelist) Common and Activist Rapper/Entertainer 
  • (Panelist) Scott Budwick – Producer of the film “Just Mercy”
  • (Panelist & Speaker) Jarrett Harper, Represent Justice, Ambassador 


July 2020
Quaratunes Independent Fundraising Organization
Los Angeles, CA

Purpose: Fundraising to support Organizations struggling during Covid19. 

Raised $750,000 for Free America – John Legend’s Non-Profit Organization 

Topics of Discussion: The need for progressive prosecutors to create a more just legal system, The importance of electing black officials to leadership roles (i.e., District Attorneys, Politicians, Judges) to advocate for people of color. 

  • (Moderator) Richard Weitz, Co-Chair Endeavor WME, and Demi Weitz (Daughter)
  • (Panelist) Jarrett Harper, Friends at Work, Social Justice Impactor
June 2020
National Urban League 17th Legislative Policy Conference
Los Angeles, CA

Topics of Discussion: Foster Care to Prison pipeline, Lack of social distancing available in prisons during Covid 19, how to safely release people back to society, Negative impact of the carceral institution, and how policy reform can significantly enhance public safety. 

  • (Moderator) Marc Morial, President and Chief Executive Officer
  • (Panelist & Speaker) Jarrett Harper, CEO and Founder of Better Days, Represent Justice, Ambassador

(Panelist) Craig Silliman, EVP public policy and general counsel

May 2020
The Collective’s Justice for All Initiative
Washington DC

Description: The mission of this Represent Justice Facebook Live Conversation for Mental Health Awareness month is to inspire people to talk about their lived experience navigating mental health challenges, destigmatize issues not always discussed openly, and galvanize a movement to drive significant cultural, political, and policy changes. 

  • (Speaker) Jarrett Harper, Represent Justice, Ambassador 
  • (Speaker) Stefanie Brown James, Co-Founder and Senior Advisor  
  • (Speaker) Senator Cory Booker
  • (Speaker) Congressman Hakeem Jeffries
February 2020
USA Nexus Summit
Washington DC

Description: Rachel Gerrol, Co-Founder of Nexus, assembled a group of leaders in the criminal justice space to speak at their 2020 Summit. This convention was held at the US Institute of Peace, with over 500+ next-generation Nexus members in attendance. Over the past decade, Nexus has grown to be the world's largest network of significant young philanthropists and impact inventors. 

(Speaker) Jarrett Harper, Friends at Work, Criminal Justice Reform Presentation, The Jarrett Harper Story

February 2020
Google and YouTube – Children Behind Bars
New York, NY

YouTube is using virtual, augmented reality to advocate for prison reform. The Google-owned video-sharing platform partnered with Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (CFSY)- a non-profit that works to end extreme sentencing for youth in America – launching Project Witness, which uses technology to show the realities of child incarceration. 

  • (Speaker) Jarrett Harper, Represent Justice, Ambassador
February 2020
Project Witness Google Headquarters
New York City

Google and YouTube, in partnership with the Campaign for Fair Sentencing of Youth, launched Project Witness  (50,000 views to date). This project uses immersive storytelling tools to build empathy through proximity. This campaign utilizes Google Lens and Virtual reality to anchor viewers in the experience of an incarcerated child. My participation in this project consists of a Google animation of my journey through the criminal justice system as a child. 

  • (Speaker) Jarrett Harper, Represent Justice, Ambassador
December 2019
Correctional Leaders Association Screening
Norco, CA

State-of-the-art concert featuring Common at the California Rehabilitation Center, creating proximity with artists and inmates, encouraging healing circles and rehabilitation.  

  • (Panelist) Jarrett Harper, Represent Justice, Ambassador 
  • (Panelist) Common, Rapper
  • (Panelist) Scott Budnick, producer Just Mercy
December 2019
California Endowment
Los Angeles, CA

California Endowment is a not-for-profit foundation with $3.4 million in assets under management. The foundation primarily focuses on healthcare issues, including access to healthcare, health, and well-being in California. It is the largest private healthcare foundation in California. 

  • (Moderator) Dr. Robert K. Ross, California Endowment 
  • (Panelist) Shane Goldsmith, Liberty Hill Foundation 
  • (Panelist) Patrisse Cullors, Black Lives Matter, Board Chair of Dignity and Power Now 
  • (Panelist) Euniesses Hernandez, Just Leadership USA
  • (Panelist) Jarrett Harper, CEO and Founder of Better Days
October 2019
Blue Meridian
New York City

 The official first screening of ‘Just Mercy’ with a follow-up discussion. Jarrett’s  involvement as a panelist included elevating the voices and humanity of the incarcerated population through his own experiences in prison. In addition to his journey for redemption through rehabilitation, Jarrett connected the audience to Bryan Stevenson’s work and accomplishments by being a recipient of relief after his victorious argument in Supreme Court Miller vs. Alabama case. 

  • (Moderator) Megan Prunty Edelstein 
  • (Panelist) Producer, Scott Budnick  
  • (Panelist) Actress Oaran Oendrick, who portrays Millie McMillian in the film, Jarrett Harper
  • (Panelist) Jarrett Harper, Friends at Work, Social Justice Impactor