CJI 2018 General Grants
CJI 2018 GENERAL GRANTS
CJI grantees challenge mass incarceration by funding impacted community organizers to affect meaningful, substantial, and enforceable systemic change. Building skills, connections, and local leadership, CJI grantees work to dismantle the social conditions that support mass incarceration, and provide a critical foundation for national resistance movements. Virtually all grantee groups are led by formerly incarcerated people and people of color, and all work in coalition with other grassroots efforts. In fact, our grantees embrace cross-issue and cross-community organizing to such a degree that it is impossible to list them by a single issue-area or constituency. In addition to the topic-areas listed, please note the number of grantees that include an emphasis on youth development and leadership; the plethora of cross-community efforts focused on immigration reform and law enforcement accountability; and the wealth of groups that include a decarceration component. Also, please note the geographic diversity of our grantees.
CIVIL RIGHTS AND ENDING PERPETUAL PUNISHMENT
Akron Organizing Collaborative (AOC) Akron, OH Awarded $10,000
Working within a former KKK stronghold city that has immense disparity, AOC is a network of allies working with state partners to amend Ohio's constitution regarding drug possession law and parole violations, a change which will free thousands of people from state prisons and prevent thousands more from going. CJI funding will help launch their Summer of Movement, bringing together community members, returning citizens, and crime survivors and their families, to engage in peace circles, political education, leadership development, and ultimately, volunteer activation.
Beyond the Box Initiative (BTBI)
New York, NY Awarded $7,000
BTBI supports formerly incarcerated people who are, or want to become, college students. ‘The Box,' a question on college applications about involvement with the criminal justice system, overly impacts African Americans and Latinos, who are a disproportionate share of the estimated 70 million people with criminal records in the U.S., by making it more difficult for them to obtain higher education and therefore living-wage employment. CJI's funding will allow BTBI to survey and demonstrate the needs of current and prospective college students. They will mobilize support for New York Senate Bill S3740, and work with organizations in other states to support similar legislation, to prohibit colleges from asking about an applicant's prior arrests or convictions during the pre-admissions process. BTBI also supports the #StillNotFree campaign to bring awareness to the need to remove barriers to civic participation, higher education, housing, and employment for people with criminal records.
Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons (FTP) Gainesville, FL Awarded $7,000
FTP conducts grassroots organizing and direct action at the intersection of criminal justice reform and environmental justice. The prison industrial complex exposes prisoners to dangerous environmental conditions, and pollutes surrounding communities and ecosystems by prison construction and operation. With CJI support, FTP will expand its organizing network to serve as a national resource hub. They will also sustain their Local Campaign Working Groups to:
Fight against construction of a federal prison in Letcher County, KY;
Put a stop to a proposed 10,000 acre mine threatening 3,000 Florida prisoners; and
Combat horrid conditions at state correctional institutions including Fayette, SCI Frackville, and other Pennsylvania prisons.
Connecticut Bail Fund (CBF) New Haven, CT Awarded $20,000
CBF bails out Connecticut residents from pretrial incarceration and immigration detention, and works alongside them and their communities to organize for meaningful system reform. CBF’s Participatory Defense Program provides weekly meetings for individuals and families in active criminal or removal proceedings, where participants share knowledge and strategize personalized defense plans. The group then generates advocacy campaigns, such as the Housing Not Jails campaign, led by homeless individuals released from jail by the bail fund. With CJI funding, CBF hopes to bail out 100 people from pretrial detention, and 25 people from immigration detention. They will also enact two new advocacy campaigns designed and led by released participants: one to reduce conviction for crimes rooted in poverty, and one addressing sentencing reform to diminish immigration consequences of criminal convictions.
DARE: Direct Action for Rights and Equality Providence, RI Awarded $10,000
DARE, a membership-based community organization, organizes low-income families in communities of color for social, political, and economic justice. DARE has run successful campaigns to Ban the Box, removing questions about former convictions/arrest records from job applications, and Fair Housing, to end the Providence Housing Authority's discriminatory ban that prevented individuals with criminal records from accessing public housing. DARE must now push the PHA to implement these policy changes. CJI funding will also support DARE's new campaign, Removing Barriers: Opening Doors, to remove occupational licensing barriers for Rhode Islanders with criminal conviction histories. This will further their goal to stop the marginalization and disenfranchisement of formerly incarcerated men and women and pave ways for them to successfully reintegrate back into society, unimpeded by structural barriers.
Fair Chance Project (FCP) Los Angeles, CA Awarded $6,000
FCP represents formerly and currently-incarcerated people and their loved ones, organizing to demand just sentencing laws, fair parole practices, and the reintegrating of formerly-incarcerated people into society, so they can help build strong, self-sustaining communities. With CJI funding, FCP will deepen its movement-building within prisons and on the streets. Current programs include Families United to End LWOP (life without possibility of parole), Walking the Yard mentoring program, and prisoner-informed legal work. In 2017, FCP launched Saving Lives/Changing Lives, a 12-week youth leadership program led by two former representatives of the CRIPS street organization, who grew up with massive levels of violence, spent over 60 years in prison combined, and now seek to steer youth to a more productive path.
Families For Justice As Healing (FJAH) Jamaica Plain, MA Awarded $10,000
FJAH, a legislative advocacy organization, speaks from the perspective of incarcerated and formerly-incarcerated women and their children, advocating for community wellness alternatives to incarceration. They enable incarcerated and formerly-incarcerated women to lead efforts for change in sentencing policies, organizing statewide through the Suffolk County Drug Arrest Moratorium Coalition, the Women’s Justice Circle, and Participatory Defense Trainings. With CJI funding, FJAH will work with the National Council of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Primary Caretakers to develop alternatives to incarceration for people who are caretakers of children, elders, and family members with disabilities.
How Our Lives Link Altogether! (H.O.L.L.A.!) Brooklyn, NY Awarded $15,000
H.O.L.L.A.'s Healing Justice Movement, established by formerly incarcerated African American men, is an intersectional youth-led project for youth of color to (re)build community structure through grassroots leadership and healing strategies. In collaboration with The Center for New Leadership on Urban Solutions, H.O.L.L.A. trains youth to mobilize intersectional political power for criminal justice policy reform. With support from CJI, H.O.L.L.A. will host trainings and healing circles, and develop a documentary / mixtape. H.O.L.L.A.'s youth organizers will also conduct a city-wide community assessment to gather data on the ways in which institutional and structural violence has impacted youth of color and their communities. This will guide strategies to address systemic issues through an engaged youth-led coalition for healing and justice.
Homies Unidos Inc. Los Angeles, CA Awarded $25,000
Homies Unidos works in California and El Salvador to promote peace among Central American people, through violence prevention, promotion of human rights, and empowerment of youth and families to achieve their full potential. CJI funding will support Homies Unidos in promoting healing practices, providing media and advocacy training to their staff, and increasing organizing efforts in communities. Salvadorans serving life sentences in California often do not receive parole due to a lack of resources in their country of origin, which they must demonstrate during parole board hearings. Homies Unidos will partner with Association of Salvadorans Deprived of their Liberty in the Exterior (ASAPLE) to develop re-entry plans, including securing land for a re-entry center in El Salvador that will receive deported immigrants. Homies Unidos will also visit incarcerated people, and carry out advocacy efforts with the Department of Corrections and the Office of Parole Board Hearings.
Jericho Movement Chesterfield, VA Awarded $15,000
The Jericho Movement works to free all civil rights and national liberation era political prisoners (1960s-70s) in the U.S., expose the reach of the FBI’s past and current Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO), and establish relationships to prevent future political prisoners. CJI will support Jericho's In the Spirit of Nelson Mandela Campaign, which will lobby the United Nations to convene a special hearing on how COINTELPRO led to the repression, entrapment and incarceration of present-day political prisoners. Jericho will engage in campaigns for the release of political prisoners with the longest sentences, who are living under the most harsh conditions, including solitary confinement. They will also lobby local and congressional support to convene a hearing to review COINTELPRO’s impact on Black communities, and present information through the U.S. Human Rights Network at the United Nations in Switzerland.
Northwest Detention Center Resistance Seattle, WA Awarded $10,000
NWDC Resistance/Resistencia al NWDC is an undocumented-led grassroots movement that follows the leadership of those detained at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma, Washington, at a time when undocumented and documented immigrants are under attack. NWDC Resistance assists and builds with NWDC detainees, supports their grievances, explores innovative legal options, and organizes in solidarity with them. CJI funding will support NWDC Resistance in developing the leadership of undocumented and former detainee participants, and in building stronger public support. NWDC Resistance will conduct actions featuring directly-impacted speakers, make presentations about detainee-led organizing, and participate in networks and coordinated campaigns to end inhuman conditions such as parent/child separation, and meager rations for those detained. Rather than solely reacting, NWDC Resistance will go on the offense and work on the city, state, and federal levels to attack detention and deportation expansion.
Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition (OPPRC) New Orleans, LA Awarded $10,000
OPPRC organizes to decrease incarceration and improve conditions in Orleans Parish Prison (OPP). With CJI support, OPPRC will advocate for policy changes that reduce the jail population to comply with OPP’s 1,438 bed-cap. OPPRC will also work to permanently shut down the Temporary Detention Center (TDC) for “temporary overflow populations,” the operation of which violates local zoning law. Finally, OPPRC will fight the approval and construction of an 89-bed mental health jail expansion by exposing violence in the jail and mobilizing directly-impacted people to meet with public officials to ensure that their voices are heard during decision-making processes.
People's Justice Project (PJP) Youngstown, OH Awarded $10,000
PJP organizes low-income people and people of color to lead the fight against state violence, criminalization, and mass incarceration in Columbus, Ohio. With CJI support, PJP will register, educate, and mobilize low-propensity voters of color to contribute to winning a ballot initiative against mass incarceration, and approach parity with white voter registration rates. PJP will strive to redefine who is considered a victim of crime, create new narratives to counter fear-based racialized "tough on crime" approaches, and connect directly-impacted people with trauma recovery services and other resources. PJP will also develop leadership ready to drive the subsequent local fights around community reinvestment, bail reform, and pre-arrest diversion.
Project SAFE Philadelphia, PA Awarded $7,000
Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood is one of the most concentrated markets for drugs and sex work, and one of the most intensely policed areas on the Eastern Seaboard. With CJI support, Project SAFE will center their harm reduction work on addressing the local, regional, and national effects of criminalizing sex work and drug use. They will support post-incarceration re-entry by building volunteers’ and participants’ technical capacity around criminal justice. They will develop a plan to provide in-jail support, and will work with participants and their loved ones within a Participatory Defense framework to address the harms of criminalizing sex work and drug use. Project SAFE will also develop mechanisms to find and track participants who are arrested or otherwise engaged with law enforcement, and also engage with law schools, paralegal programs, and other provider training centers to replicate successful efforts in improving their participants' experience in legal settings.
Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP) New York, NY Awarded $10,000
RAPP works on the back-end of the criminal justice system by organizing to accelerate the release of elderly people who have already served extremely long sentences, are parole eligible, and of low-risk to public safety, but are denied release due to the nature of their original offenses. CJI will support RAPP’s work to remove the remaining parole commissioners appointed by the former Governor George Pataki, and to have a fully-staffed parole board consisting of members with social service backgrounds who better reflect the demographics of the people confined. By pressing for consideration of parole release for older people who have served a minimum number of years and reached aged 50+, RAPP will contribute to moving the national narrative in reconsidering the imposition of overly severe punishments.
Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL)
Chicago, IL Awarded $7,000
SOUL seeks to build a table leaders of faith to adopt a radical criminal justice reform platform in Chicago. They will train and develop leaders from each congregation or institution to be key players, working alongside organizers to redefine public safety in communities of color. CJI will support SOUL's work to:
engage communities in reshaping policies relating to police accountability
eliminate monetary-based bail
decriminalize marijuana and other drugs with limited societal risk of harm
engage 1500 community members in conversations about criminal justice reform
restore voting rights and expand access to voting for incarcerated people
Starting Over, Inc. (R-AOUON) Corona, CA Awarded $15,000
All Of Us Or None is a national organizing initiative of formerly incarcerated people, their loved ones and allies, who organize to end discrimination in employment, housing, education, and social services faced by incarcerated and formerly-incarcerated people. With CJI funding, R-AOUON will maintain campaigns to advocate for fair housing, fair hiring, Sheriff’s Department accountability, and voter registration. They will co-sponsor and advocate for passage of AB 535, a bill lifting the ban on jury service for people with felony convictions. In addition, R-AOUON will create a sustainability plan so their members can continue their critical work even if grant funds become unavailable.
Urban Peace Movement (UPM) Oakland, CA Awarded $10,000
UPM builds the leadership of low-income, systems-impacted youth of color to transform the culture and conditions that drive community violence and mass incarceration. UPM’s "Healing-Centered Youth Organizing" model supports young people’s self-confidence and empowers them to work for healing, racial justice, and social and economic equity. CJI will support UPM to continue their work engaging young people in participatory defense strategies to protect their civil rights, and in enforcing California’s Prop 57, which prohibits prosecutors from directly filing youth into adult court without going through a judge. UPM will also push to decrease the number of young people in custody, on probation, and on parole, through targeted policy initiatives such as stopping the transfer of youth into the adult system. They will also organize to increase access to quality jobs and opportunities for formerly-incarcerated people.
LAW ENFORCEMENT ACCOUNTABILITY
Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP)
Oakland, CA Awarded $15,000
Led by the most impacted families and communities in the Bay Area, APTP creates replicable and sustainable models for rapidly responding to and eradicating police terror in communities of color. CJI's funding will make it possible to secure a physical space in East Oakland. APTP will also expand their First Responders Team trainings on community response and train other groups locally, nationally and internationally to respond to police terror. They have published a First Responders Guide, which will now be adapted to address ICE. This year, the APTP policy team will focus their efforts on the police budget and the Police Officer’s Bill of Rights, which makes it difficult for the public to find out the names and conduct records of officers in their communities.
Call to Action for Racial Equality Charleston, WV Awarded $10,000
CARE is a statewide racial justice leader, combating systemic racism in West Virginia. Funding from CJI will allow CARE to advance policing reform across the state by replicating an eight-part program adopted by the Charleston Police Department to reduce racial disparities in policing. They will also present the model to thirteen city councils and provide ongoing monitoring of the Charleston PD to ensure that policy changes are implemented and sustained, and effective. CARE will cultivate a future generation of racial justice leadership through partnerships with higher educational institutions and by creating CARE clubs across the state.
Justice Committee Jackson Heights, NY Awarded $7,000
The Justice Committee (JC) empowers low-income Latinx communities and other people of color to organize against police violence and systemic racism in New York City. JC prioritizes developing the leadership of youth and elders in its multi-generational campaigns, and works to strengthen their intersectional analysis to build solidarity with other anti-racist, immigrant, and people of color-led organizations. With CJI's support, JC will incorporate knowledge and skills gained through their Community Defense Training Series into Cop Watch patrols, and incorporate new patrol protocols by July 2018. They will use Know Your Rights trainings and other workshops to conduct political education, and they will organize ten families who have lost loved ones to lead policy and police accountability campaigns.
Stop LAPD Spying Coalition Los Angeles, CA Awarded $7,000
The Stop LAPD Spying Coalition grounds their work in racial justice, building community power to curb law enforcement’s use of counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency tactics to harm communities of color. With CJI support, the Coalition will expand its organizing, community education, and outreach on their Our Data Bodies, Surveillance and Youth, and Predictive Policing campaigns; organize town halls to counter state violence and develop community-based solutions and self-defense; strengthen partnerships with teachers, students and families to organize against the expanding narratives around "Black Identity Extremist" and MS 13 gang activity; and work with the LA teachers union’s racial justice working group to strengthen community-based communications strategies. They will also use participatory action research working groups to expand research and analysis on the impacts of Predictive Policing (which is profile policing), and its feedback loop of criminalization. Working with the National Lawyers Guild, they will build legal strategies to support dismantling LAPD’s Los Angeles Strategic Extraction and Restoration (LASER) program, which uses license plate scanners and cellphone trackers to tell patrol officers where crime is most likely to occur, and to track formerly convicted people and others they believe are most likely to commit crime.
ORGANIZING IN TARGETED AND MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES
American Indian Prison Project Working Group (AIPPWG) St. Paul, MN Awarded 10,000
AIPPWG works for justice and political, social, and spiritual empowerment for incarcerated and detained American Indian / Alaska Native youth and adults. With CJI support, AIPPWG will:
Work with systems partners to improve access to Native healers and spiritual practices during incarceration and reentry,
Develop new partnerships to increase Native access to diversion programs.
Use their Indigenous Model of Restorative Practices to decrease recidivism and increase healing.
Partner with community volunteer organizations to support reentering Native youth and adults.
Create a "Children of Incarcerated Parents" program to increase contact between incarcerated Native women and their children.
Brave Space Alliance (BSA) Chicago, IL Awarded $7,000
BSA serves and organizes transgender women of color and gender-nonconforming people of color to become changemakers in the fight against misogyny, mass incarceration, and economic, racial, and health injustice. With the support of CJI, BSA will organize Chicago’s trans people of color community to:
Canvass streets and reach out to homeless and street-based trans people to open conversations about experiences with policing and mass incarceration;
Host Know Your Rights and de-escalation trainings;
Determine strategic targets and insights for arrest diversion programs and mobilize public pressure and ally organizations.
Work with the city of Chicago to create an arrest diversion agreement that can be shared with and applied to other major cities.
California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP) San Francisco, CA Awarded $15,000
CCWP challenges violence imposed on women, transgender people, and communities of color by the prison industrial complex. CJI's funding will support core programmatic work with current and formerly incarcerated women/trans people to further develop the coalition efforts of the Drop LWOP (Life Without Possibility of Parole) campaign, as well as bolster their lawsuit against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation regarding abuse of trans prisoners. CJI funding will also support a new salaried position in their growing L.A. chapter, and sustain CCWP's visiting programs at state women’s prisons and SF County jail, and support their Spitfire Speakers’ bureau of formerly incarcerated women/trans people.
LaGender, Inc. East Point, GA Awarded $20,000
LaGender, led by black and trans women of color, supports trans women of color in becoming agents of societal change through a holistic, loving approach. CJI will support LaGender's continued collaboration with the Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative (SNaPCo). LaGender will also strengthen re-entry support and outreach services for trans people of color in the Atlanta metropolitan area, connecting them to housing, substance abuse treatment, and healthcare providers trained in trans cultural competencies. They will also work to eliminate ordinances that encourage police to target, harass, and sexually assault trans people, including those pertaining to idling and loitering, disorderly conduct, and pedestrians walking outside of crosswalks. They will participate in a townhall on repealing such ordinances, to share direct experiences with criminal justice advocates and policy makers.
Moms of Black Boys United (MOBB United) New York, NY Awarded $10,000
MOBB United provides information and support for moms of Black sons, promotes positive images of Black boys and men, and influences policy and perceptions that impact treatment of Black boys and men by law enforcement and society on local, state and national levels. MOBB United began as a Facebook group for moms of Black boys on July 7, 2016, following the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, as a “safe space” to address concerns and propose solutions. Within hours, the group grew virally from 30 initial members to 21,000, and now comprises more than 180,000 mothers. With CJI's support, MOBB United will build the foundational infrastructure to develop as a sustainable organization. Their #ProtectThem media campaign will feature moms’ and sons’ stories of personal experiences with the criminal justice system. MOBB United will move beyond virtual seminars to hosting in-person training sessions and forums in local communities around the country, reaching those who have limited access to information on the criminal justice system.
National LGBT/HIV Criminal Justice Working Group New York, NY Awarded $9,000
The Working Group is a network of nearly 50 organizations and individuals, that uses research, education, and policy advocacy to reduce the unique harm perpetrated by of the U.S. criminal legal system against LGBTQ+ people and People Living with HIV (PLWH). CJI funding will support leadership development for formerly incarcerated LGBTQ+ people and PLWH, who will build skills to shape policy and develop effective ways to educate members of Congress about criminal justice issues and how they impact LGBTQ people and PLWH. As opportunities for positive impact on a federal level are severely limited under the current administration, the Working Group will focus on state-based and local efforts, by engaging with LGBTQ+ and HIV-focused organizations not yet working for criminal justice transformation, and on building congressional relationships so as to have effective allies in place when there are more opportunities to shape federal policy.
National Network for Women in Prison (NNWP) Oakland, CA Awarded $10,000
NNWP builds leadership among incarcerated and formerly-incarcerated women and girls, and brings them together with progressive allies to impact public policy. With CJI support, NNWP will work in coalition to build on the National Convening to End Pregnancy Shackling, which they organized in 2017 in conjunction with Leadership Services for Prisoners with Children, by working with three states (TN, GA and VA or OK) that are launching campaigns to pass anti-shackling legislation. They will conduct Leadership Trainings for formerly-incarcerated women activists working on these legislative campaigns. NNWP will also develop a national statement/policy paper on ending the shackling of pregnant incarcerated women, develop a National Resource Guide for advocates and activists, and complete and distribute an Incarcerated Pregnant Prisoners Bill of Rights.
Operation Restoration (OR) New Orleans, LA Awarded $10,000
OR supports women and girls in achieving successful post-incarceration reentry, working to eradicate institutional injustices in the long term while providing resources and programs for women and girls who need them now. CJI funding will support OR’s Advisory Task Force on Justice Involved Women and Girls who will work closely with the Louisiana legislative branch to drive state-level policy outcomes. OR will also help recently-released women access necessary resources at The Closet, with clothes, computer access, and health and sanitary supplies. OR is also in the research phase of a primary caretaker court in New Orleans, Louisiana, which would be available to find alternative sentencing for primary guardians of children.
Workers Center for Racial Justice (WCRJ) Chicago, IL Awarded $10,000
WCRJ seeks to eliminate barriers to sustainable, living-wage employment for Black workers, end criminalization targeting Black communities, and advance a pro-worker agenda of inclusion and prosperity for all marginalized workers. With CJI funding, WCRJ will build an engaged base of formerly-incarcerated Black workers with critical consciousness and analysis of structural racialization, gender equity, capitalism, and labor’s intersection with criminalization. They will develop and advance state-level policies to reduce penalties for drug possession, eliminate mandatory minimums, and cap sentence length, while reinvesting the savings back into marginalized Black communities. WCRJ will also create a community oversight board for the Chicago Police Department and renegotiate the police union contract, through passage of a municipal ordinance or binding referendum.
CRIMMIGRATION: OPPOSING THE CRIMINALIZATION OF IMMIGRANT PEOPLE
Families for Freedom (FFF) New York, NY Awarded $6,000
FFF is a human rights organization founded and led by immigrants with criminal convictions who are fighting deportation. With CJI's funding, FFF will meet this moment’s urgent demands by expanding its geographic scope to include the Bronx, Harlem, and Sunset Park, Brooklyn, all underserved neighborhoods with large immigrant populations. FFF will also counter the misinformation that instills fear in communities, recruit new member leaders, and increase involvement of directly impacted people in their speakers bureau. On the policy level, FFF will document and publicize emerging trends by ICE and the NYPD.
Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) Chicago, IL Awarded $15,000
OCAD fights deportations and criminalization of Black, Brown, and immigrant communities in the Chicago area through organizing, legal and policy work, civil disobedience, and cross-movement building. Led by undocumented people, OCAD engages in collaborations and workshops to strengthen the immigrant rights movement by increasing its capacity to organize. CJI will support OCAD in its many campaigns, including providing cost-free legal representation for individuals facing immigration detention, criminalization, or deportation, and working to expand the Welcoming City Ordinance, Chicago's policy that protects most immigrants from being turned over to ICE by police. Additionally, OCAD will organize to make Chicago safer by eliminating the Chicago Gang Database, which will reduce the likelihood of police violence and profiling.
Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM) Providence, RI Awarded $10,000
PrYSM mobilizes Southeast Asian youth, communities, and allies to fight deportations through individual campaigns targeting ICE. PrYSM was a coalition partner in the successful campaign to temporarily halt ICE’s repatriation agreement with Cambodia, and was an anchor organization in the coalition that won passage of the Community Safety Act (CSA), a city ordinance that protects communities of color and LGBTQIA communities from police harassment. PrYSM continues negotiating with the City of Providence and its police to ensure CSA’s implementation, and promotes a community-based enforcement program. PrYSM builds on the campaign to pass the CSA by expanding community education and outreach to youth of color, formerly incarcerated youth, and people ensnared in the criminal justice system, and offers free to low-cost legal services, investigations into problem police, support for Copwatch, and programs to help heal from trauma.
Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP) New York, NY Awarded $7,000
QDEP fights for pro-immigrant policy reform at the New York State and federal levels, and provides direct service and advocacy for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Two Spirit, Trans, Intersex, Gender Non-Conforming, and HIV+ (LGBTQIA* GNC TS) immigrants in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. CJI funding will support QDEP’s work to support the Close Rikers decarceration campaign, the #FreeNewYork campaign to reform cash bail, speedy trial, and discovery laws, and the Dignity Not Detention Bill to stop the expansion of private immigrant prisons in New York State.
Trans Queer Pueblo (TQP) Phoenix, AZ Awarded $23,000
CJI will support TQP, an autonomous LGBTQ+ migrant community to cultivate leadership and build power to defend against criminalization, detention and deportation, and transform the national conversation on race, sexuality, and migration. TQP’s work encompasses efforts to:
release LGBTQ+ migrants from detention centers and jails,
provide grassroots resources including community legal courses to guide trans women through immigration representation;
provide leadership development to previously-detained LGBTQ+ migrants,
organize undocumented LGBTQ+ people of color to change laws, protect community, and push past reform to systemic transformation
Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) Inglewood, CA Awarded $20,000
CURB is a coalition of 70 grassroots organizations, that reduces the number of people imprisoned as well as the number of prisons and jails in California, while shifting state and local spending from imprisonment and policing to community-based programs and services. With CJI funding, CURB will continue to engage other organizations and single-issue movements in the work of decarceration. CURB will advocate to stop any new state prison and jail construction while focusing on policies that reduce the number of people incarcerated. CURB will also utilize its base to shift public opinion on incarceration through mainstream media and grassroots organizing.
Portland, OR Awarded $15,000
ENLACE, an international alliance of organizations, organizes with small organizations nation-wide to pressure public and private institutions to divest their money from the for-profit prison industry, bring an end incarceration and detention, and reinvest in community resources. CJI funding will support their Prison Divestment Campaign to break the prison industry’s lobbying power and confront policies and institutions that criminalize communities of color. ENLACE has united criminalized frontline leaders to form Freedom Cities, a framework for movement building, intersectional demands, and redefining what safety means for black and brown communities. With CJI's support, Freedom Cities will demonstrate how communities resist the current administration's racist policies, and dream and build a world where all people can thrive.
EXPO (EX-Prisoners Organizing) of Wisconsin Milwaukee, WI Awarded $10,000
Wisconsin incarcerates a higher percentage of its African American men than all states except Oklahoma, and spends more on corrections than on the entire University of Wisconsin system. EXPO builds power among formerly-incarcerated people in Wisconsin through leadership training and work with local and national partners to reduce inequitable practices and promote decarceration. CJI funding will support EXPO’s campaign to ensure that key concerns, including crimeless revocations, (re-incarcerating people on probation, parole, or extended supervision for minor rule violations), treatment alternatives to incarceration, and closing the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF), become central campaign issues in the 2018 elections.
Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project (YASP)
Philadelphia, PA Awarded $15,000
YASP empowers young people who are or have been incarcerated in adult jails and prisons in Philadelphia to express themselves creatively and to develop as leaders, both within and beyond the prison walls. With CJI funding, YASP will provide critical leadership to the No215Jail Coalition, a collaborative effort to stop jail expansion and end the use of cash bail in Philadelphia. By sharing their experiences, YASP organizers will highlight the devastating impacts of lengthy pretrial detention on young people and their families. They will collaborate with allies to ensure that the incoming District Attorney implements policies and practices that eliminate cash bail, keep young defendants out of adult court, and decrease the number of pretrial detentions. They will also work with allies in the City Council, Mayor's Office, First Judicial District, and state legislature to push institutions to end the use of cash bail, and continue to support the work of the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund to bring people home.