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.
Institute of Impacted Leaders
Initiate Justice’s Institute of Impacted Leaders is a 12-week organizing training program designed for people directly impacted by mass incarceration.
Participants learn about community organizing, how the policy process works in California, how to change statewide laws, and how to advocate for themselves and their loved ones in prison.
Practical activities include an advocacy day at the California State Capitol and in-district advocacy visits. Institute participants and graduates develop campaigns to win freedom and safety for all. All materials and travel are paid for by Initiate Justice, and graduates receive a $500 stipend upon completion.
After the program, graduates of the Institute take the skills they learn and go into state prisons to train our Inside Organizers. They also become Outside Organizers who help lead our work through our Membership, Leadership, and Advocacy Committees.
We advocate for policy change that will help end mass incarceration by cosponsoring legislative bills, campaigning for state ballot initiatives, and leading strategic campaigns to ensure policy implementation in line with our goals. Policy ideas come from our incarcerated members and campaigns are carried out by our Inside Organizers in prison and our Outside Organizers who are formerly incarcerated or who have loved ones inside.