The past few months have underscored a powerful truth that many have known for decades, if not centuries. America’s justice system is unjust. And people are ready for change.
For years, groups and leaders across the country have been building a movement to see that change through—often against all odds. In this video, we highlight just a few of them, and the work they’re doing to remake the justice system—and to steer us away from incarceration toward community health and safety.
While all of these efforts share similar goals, they have different areas of focus.
Building and broadening the movement for reform. A large majority of Americans agree that our justice system is in urgent need of reform. Now is the time to strengthen that support and put it into action. People who have seen the biases of the system up close—among them, the formerly incarcerated, crime survivors, and the families of both—are leading this work. Our partners including the Smart Justice Advocates, Formerly Incarcerated, Convicted People and Families Movement (FICPFM), and Alliance for Safety and Justice are working on the front lines of these efforts.
Expanding opportunity by providing second chances. Between 70 and 100 million Americans have a criminal record. These records can be an insurmountable barrier to finding housing or a job—and yet the process of getting them cleared is both expensive and complex. From Washington to Connecticut, our partners are working to enact Clean Slate policies, which automatically clear criminal records for people who remain crime-free for a set period of time.
Transforming prosecution. Our partners at For the People, Fair and Just Prosecution, Public Rights Project, Prosecutor Impact, Vera Institute, and Right on Crime are working to bring transparency, accountability, and data-driven decisionmaking to prosecutorial practices. Together, these partners are working to ensure that prosecutor offices truly serve the interests of their communities—advancing justice, health, and safety.
Through all of these efforts, we can build a better, more equitable justice system.