Our mission is to end incarceration by activating the power of the people it directly impacts.
We organize our members, both inside and outside of prisons, to advocate for their freedom and criminal justice policy in California.
We have more than 45,000 incarcerated members, and organizers throughout California.
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.
To end incarceration in California and implement just reforms, we need the insights of people who have been directly impacted by the current system, who know where it fails and what they need to be safe and treated fairly. We also need an organized, powerful community who can engage with policymakers and design our own answers to the problems we face. Our work builds this kind of informed, organized community through:
- Our mailing list of 45,000+ members in prison who receive news on CA criminal justice reforms and take part in Initiate Justice campaigns.
- Inside Organizers who communicate with us directly and receive monthly packets of political education, organizing strategy, and ways to mobilize their peers in support of our work.
- In-person trainings on community organizing and the policy and legislative process for people in prison, loved ones outside, and volunteers.
- Reports, surveys, videos, and events that change the narrative about people impacted by incarceration, and position directly impacted people as leaders in the CA criminal justice reform movements.
- Writing and passing legislation that dismantles the carceral system and builds the power of people who have been impacted by it– reducing sentencing harshness, restoring voting rights, creating credit earning opportunities, and more.