District Attorney Jody E. Owens, II
District Attorney Jody E. Owens, II is a native of Terry, Mississippi and a graduate of Terry High School and received his Bachelor of Arts in English from Jackson State University where he graduated summa cum lade. DA Owens attended Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C where was also a member of the Huver I. Brown Trial Advocacy Team and the Social Justice Law Review. While in Washington, D.C. District Attorney Owens worked for the late Senator Thad Cochran as a legal intern for the United State Senate Appropriations Committee. DA Owens is an Intelligence Officer in the United Sates Navy Reserves where he is holds the rank of Lieutenant.
In his previous work, DA Owens served as the Chief Policy Counsel and Managing Attorney of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Mississippi Office, where he led efforts to reform the state’s criminal justice, education, and mental health systems. DA Owens has successfully litigated class action lawsuits on behalf of children and adults throughout the Deep South in matters concerning mass incarceration, private prisons, and ending the school to prison pipeline. DA Owens’ work brought to light horrific and unconstitutional conditions of confinement forced upon children and youth in many for-profit and public juvenile detention facilities. DA Owens was the Southern Policy Law Center’s first Chief Policy Counsel coordinating wherein he managed the policy work in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Florida.
DA Owens has prosecuted and defended a range of criminal cases from misdemeanors to capitol felonies, including sex crimes, crimes against children, and homicides. DA Owens has received two gubernatorial appoints by governors Phil Bryant andTate Reeves due to his extensive knowledge on criminal justice issues. DA Owens is a national presenter and teacher on criminal justice reform. He is a recipient of the Presidential Award for Distinguished Contributions to Justice from the American Society of Criminology; he was named the top 40 under 40 by the National Bar Association, and is a recipient of the Gutsy Advocate for Youth award by the National Justice Network.