Criminal Justice Reform Initiative

Now is the time to re-imagine the criminal justice system. We believe that when justice is truly realized, both safety and opportunity are defined and created by communities themselves, so that they may become free of the heavy weight of the criminal legal system. CJRI’s work is to support and amplify community-level policies and practices that can transform how we think of justice in the United States.

Our new Justice and Governance Partnership initiative will play a critical role in transforming justice at the local level. This network, over time, will comprise of up to 10 local jurisdictions around the country and will generate data-driven, community-informed policies and practices that the whole country can learn from.

Working with the Justice Mapping Project and other national partners, as a part of this work we’ll launch a new tool for local jurisdictions, the Justice Audit. The Audit is designed to report and track the forms of governance, training, and oversight in criminal justice and related agencies in a community, including but not limited to policing. Most importantly, the Audit is rooted in community-engaged development, transparency, and accountability in ways that push us toward a much needed form of community-involved justice. Based on Justice Audit findings and extensive community input, we’ll support partner jurisdictions to create Justice Reinvestment Plans – objectives for improving local policy and practice across a broad ecosystem of supports that will improve the lives of those most impacted by the justice system.  Learn more about the Justice Governance Partnership.

We know that the criminal justice ‘system’ is multifaceted and disjointed and connected to other sytems; and so our approach is to think of it as a justice ecosystem across which we need to make significant, lasting change happen. Within the justice system itself, we break the ‘justice continuum‘ into three segments, and identify 18 different areas in need of change, and know that a broader ecosystem (housing, education, workforce, etc.) must be considered as well.

Today’s world demands big dreams and big plans. We have both, so stay tuned as we announce more new work. To stay informed, sign up for our email list (below), check out our upcoming and recent events and other news, subscribe to our Shades of Freedom podcast, and follow CJRI on Twitter.