We build the power of people directly impacted by mass incarceration to be leaders in the movement to end it. We organize both inside and outside of prisons, mobilizing incarcerated people, formerly incarcerated people, and their loved ones and allies in California to push the same campaigns. Most of our organizing takes place in prison visiting rooms, in front of county jails, through newsletters, and inside prisons themselves. We also provide timely updates on changes to law and criminal justice policy that will affect our members.
Who We Are
Initiate Justice was created by and for incarcerated people, formerly incarcerated people, and people with incarcerated loved ones. We are:
- 8,000 incarcerated members & 175 Inside Organizers across every CA state prison
- Policy & Organizing staff, Outside Organizers, & volunteers across CA
- 100% led by people impacted by incarceration & their loved ones
Voting Rights Campaigns:
In 2018, we tried to get the Voting Restoration and Democracy Act (VRDA) on the ballot to restore voting rights to 162,000 currently or formerly incarcerated people. Our grassroots, 100% volunteer effort did not gather the required 550,000 signatures, so we’ll try again in 2020!
In 2019, we are partnering with CA Assembly Member Kevin McCarty and All of Us or None, Vote Allies, Anti Recidivism Coalition, and People over Profits SD to restore voting rights to everyone on parole in CA. Follow our social media and watch for updates on our Voting Rights page.
“If I Could Vote” Video & Democracy Needs Everyone Report:
To support our work restoring voting rights, we are highlighting the voices of currently and formerly incarcerated people who want their voting rights restored, so that they can be part of the solution for a fairer, safer, and healthier California. Our “If I Could Vote“ Video and “Democracy Needs Everyone” Report demonstrate that the 162,000 people denied the right to vote in CA support policies that would improve jobs & the economy, health care, education, and public safety and criminal justice.
SB 1437 Passes, Repealing the Felony Murder Rule!
Initiate Justice co-sponsored SB 1437 to end the Felony Murder Rule, which convicted individuals of felony murder even if they did not commit the murder themselves and were not aware that a murder would take place in a situation. This bill, led by Senators Nancy Skinner and Joel Anderson passed on 8/30/18 in the CA Senate. The bill will go into effect January 1st, 2019, and is retroactive! This bill was Initiate Justice’s first co-sponsored bill to pass, and we are extremely proud that we were able to fight to make this bill retroactive for our members unfairly affected by the felony murder rule.
Unlocking the power of families, inside and out.