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Initiate Justice

We fight mass incarceration by activating the power of the people it has directly impacted.

Our Strategy

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, training our members and their families to advocate for their well-being. We share updates on important policy developments in California, and give our members trainings, guides, and opportunities to make their voices heard to reform our criminal justice system. We also change how people view incarcerated people, elevating them as leaders and policy experts in the reform movement.

Learn more about our work here!

Who We Are

Initiate Justice was created by and for incarcerated people, formerly incarcerated people, and people with incarcerated loved ones.

We are 9,400 incarcerated members, 110 Inside Organizers, Outside Organizers in LA and the Bay Area, and volunteers across CA. 100% of our Board and Senior Leadership are people impacted by incarceration.

Meet our team here!

Featured Campaigns

Announcing the Institute of Impacted Leaders

Launching in 2019, the Institute will develop the community organizing and policy advocacy skills of people impacted by incarceration, inside and outside of prisons. We will conduct in-person training to 20 Outside Organizers around CA and Inside Organizers at 18 CA facilities (half of the prisons in CA) in 2019. Learn more about the Institute of Impacted Leaders.

Voting Rights For All:

162,000 currently or formerly incarcerated people have lost their right to vote under current California Law. Initiate Justice is campaigning to restore voting rights to all Californians. We are using multiple approaches:

  • A CA constitutional amendment (2019) for voting rights during parole
  • A CA ballot initiative (2020) for voting rights for all CA citizens
  • Democracy Needs Everyone report sharing 1,000 of our incarcerated members’ policy priorities
  • If I Could Vote video of Initiate Justice organizers who have visions to improve our community, but don’t have the right to vote

Follow our social media and watch for updates on our Voting Rights page.

AB 45: Prison Copayment Elimination Bill (2019)

We are proud to be co-sponsoring AB 45, an important Bill to eliminate copays in healthcare in CA state prisons. We’re joined by the California Coalition for Women Prisoners and ACLU of California supporting this bill introduced by CA Assemblymember Mark Stone. Read more on our current legislation page.

SB 1437 Passes, Repealing the Felony Murder Rule!

Initiate Justice co-sponsored SB 1437 to end the Felony Murder Rule, effective January 1st, 2019. Previously, the Felony Murder Rule sentenced people with murder, even if they did not commit a murder, or know that one would take place. This bill was Initiate Justice’s first co-sponsored bill to pass, and is retroactive, a huge win for our members our members who had been affected by the felony murder rule. Read more about SB 1437 on our legislation page.

Unlocking the power of families, inside and out.

Connect an incarcerated loved one!

Sign them up for our mailing list so your loved ones on the inside can stay informed!