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:
- Education: we keep our community informed on the latest changes to California laws and prison policies that will affect them. We also create guides and offer trainings on how the public policy process works and how to create, support, and implement criminal justice reforms.
- Advocacy: we also directly educate our base about specific laws and ballot propositions that we support to reduce mass incarceration. We also attempt to draft, pass, and implement laws and ballot propositions created by incarcerated people and their loved ones every election cycle.
- 23,000 members who are currently incarcerated, who receive newsletters and policy updates from Initiate Justice quarterly
- 169 Inside Organizers who lead campaigns from inside CA prisons spread information and organizing strategy to their peers
Outside Organizers are formerly incarcerated people or people with incarcerated loved ones who build lead Initiate Justice campaigns in their community and region. We currently have full-time Outside Organizers in Los Angeles and the Bay Area to hold volunteer meetings and conduct outreach at prisons and in the community.
The Institute of Impacted Leaders is also a crucial part of our work to develop organizers across the state to win victories against mass incarceration.