Initiate Justice has an inside-outside strategy where we prioritize organizing people directly impacted by incarceration, inside and outside prison walls. Most of our organizing takes place in prison visiting rooms, in front of county jails, and inside prisons themselves. We also pursue social media organizing strategies that target online groups of people with incarcerated loved ones, so that they can disseminate Initiate Justice information to their loved ones inside directly. We have a two-pronged approach to our organizing:
1) Educating: We educate our members on how the ballot proposition process works, their voting rights, and how propositions are implemented once they are passed. We also educate our volunteers, who are not all directly impacted by incarceration, about the mass criminalization system and inform them of ongoing campaigns they can be a part of to further Initiate Justice’s work.
2) Advocacy: We also directly educate our base about specific ballot propositions and offer advice on whether or not to support them and why. We also aim to draft, pass, and implement ballot propositions created by incarcerated people and their loved ones every election cycle.
We currently have:
- 8,000 incarcerated people who receive newsletters and policy updates from Initiate Justice quarterly
- 175 Inside Organizers who lead campaigns from inside CA prisons and educate and organize their peers
Outside Organizers are formerly incarcerated people, loved ones of incarcerated people, or allies, who build community around ending mass incarceration and lead Initiate Justice campaigns in their local community.
We also intend to launch The Institute of Impacted Leaders, a fellowship program to train people impacted by incarceration to become leaders of the movement, as organizers and policy advocates.