Our Story

Our Story

Our work

The Clinton Young Foundation seeks to advocate for incarcerated people sentenced to long-term prison sentences, including, but not limited to, death sentences or life sentences, by:

  1. raising social awareness of the injustices in the American criminal justice system and promoting criminal justice reform;
  2. advocating for human rights, including the rights of those incarcerated;
  3. conducting post-conviction research and review;
  4. offering rehabilitation and reentry services; and
  5. offering parole assistance with long prison sentences.

Education is important to us. Therefore, the Clinton Young Foundation engages in public legal education and research on the injustices in the American criminal justice system, such as the death penalty. The Foundation believes in the full abolition of the death penalty; by educating society about the death penalty, the Clinton Young Foundation seeks to change the public’s opinion on the death penalty and therefore promote substantive policy changes. The Clinton Young Foundation will accomplish this purpose by:

  1. researching and publishing at least 2 scholarly articles each year, either in the Netherlands or in the United States;
  2. affiliating with similar nonprofit organizations and collaborating on their research projects;
  3. hosting monthly lectures and presentations on the American criminal justice system at secondary and post-secondary institutions; and
  4. creating awareness of injustices in the American criminal justice system through social media and the Clinton Young Foundation website.

The Clinton Young Foundation also offers independent legal services to criminal defense attorneys in their pre- and post-conviction proceedings and seeks release for clients in applicable cases. The Clinton Young Foundation aims to accomplish this by:

  1. providing meaningful mitigation and investigation services to criminal defense attorneys at either an affordable price or no cost at all; and
  2. independently representing or assisting defense attorneys with independent legal representation.


The Foundation got its name from Clinton Young; a death-sentenced individual in Texas that has been convicted and sentenced to death for two capital murders that we believe he did not commit. Clinton was denied a fair trial by gross prosecutorial misconduct that was recently established. Clinton’s case stands for so many cases around Texas and the United States and shows that we have a long way to go before the American criminal justice system can be called ‘just’ again. In the meantime, we will continue helping people who are trapped in the system, like Clinton has been for the past 20 years.

The Clinton Young Foundation has been established by Renate Bouwmeester in 2014. In 2017 Merel Pontier entered the Foundation as a member of the Executive Board. Anne-Sophie Scholtens, Emily Klair Bloom, and Paul Bloom joined the Executive Board in 2020. Together they constitute the daily management of the Foundation. As of September 2020, Merel is no longer a member of the Executive Board but the Legal Director and attorney for the Foundation. The Foundation is registered at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce under number 60425768.

Besides the Executive Board, the Foundation has a dedicated team of members, consisting of lawyers, jurists, law students, and marketing specialists.

​Naturally, the Foundation has a non-profit objective. As of October 2020, the Clinton Young Foundation is also a US non-profit with a federal income tax exemption. This means it is now easy for Americans to donate to the Foundation, and get a tax benefit for federal taxes. The Foundation also has a similar status (ANBI status) in The Netherlands. Foundations with an ANBI status are (strictly) monitored by the Dutch Tax Authority. In return, there are tax benefits. For Dutch people who donate to our Foundation, this means they could have a tax benefit if all conditions are met.

We believe in transparency and reliability. We think it is important for our donors to know what their money is being used for. Therefore, we publish our financial accountability statements each year. Besides the financials, we also publish our policy plan every two years. In this policy plan we tell you what the Foundation stands for, what our recent activities have been, and what activities we have planned for the future. As of now, we have only published it in Dutch, but we strive to publish both documents in English soon as well. If you have any questions about either one of these documents, please do not hesitate in contacting us.