2017 Grantees: Arrest Diversion MicroGrants to
Support Equity & Inclusion

Decided December 2017, Awarded January 2018

2018 Grantee: People's Justice Project of the  Ohio Organizing Collaborative .

2018 Grantee: People's Justice Project of the Ohio Organizing Collaborative.

For decades, oppressed and marginalized communities in the U.S. have been targeted, victims of a Drug War declared for them, yet waged on them. Treatment and harm reduction options were not available to people who are poor, black and brown; LGBTQI, especially trans; undocumented; uninsured; or suffering from physical, mental, addictive, and emotional illnesses. By design and by neglect, the toll of destroyed lives has risen, decade after decade. 

CJI is honored to work in partnership with the Open Society Foundations to support and encourage these same communities to design and implement a pre-booking, pre-arrest drug diversion grants program for their own people, the Arrest Diversion Micro-Grants to Support Equity and Inclusion. The realization is finally dawning that blame and punishment are getting us nowhere while compiling more lost and devastated lives, greater national debt, and swelling numbers of people in cages. In an effort to decrease the number of  incarcerated people who are in need of treatment and alternatives, this "Starving the Beast" program was launched to provide micro-grants of $15,000 to 20 organizations in diverse communities around the country. 

These grantees were selected by the Starving the Beast Circle, a circle that includes people directly impacted by drug use and/or the War on Drugs, as well as impassioned donors with a justice orientation. This is CJI’s grant-making model, which we have practiced since our inception. We believe in activist-advised grant-making because the expertise of those closest to the problem is necessary to create truly effective solutions.

To learn more about these burgeoning programs please click on the grantees listed below or download the complete profile list at right.


Anti-Sterilization and Coercion Project (SisterReach) – Memphis, TN

Sanctuary & Restorative Justice Outreach (Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos) – Santa Cruz, CA

Bed Stuy Human Justice Initiative (CNUS: Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions) – Brooklyn, NY

Bmore POWER Involvement in Baltimore's LEAD Program (Behavioral Health System Baltimore Inc.) – Baltimore, MD

D.I.V.E.R.T. Detention Interventions Validating Experiences (La Plazita) – Albuquerque, NM

Decolonize (Thinking), Reclaim (Voice), Revitalize (Community) – (American Indian Prison Project Working Group) – Saint Paul, MN

Determined to Diversion (Movement Strategy Center) – Oakland, CA

Diversion through Peer Mentoring and Harm-Reductive Services (Sex Workers and Allies Network) – New Haven, CT

Emerge (Women With a Vision) – New Orleans, LA

Empowering Local Communities in the Development of Washington D.C.'s LEAD Program (HIPS) – Washington, DC

First of All I'm a Person: Humanizing Stories of Drug Use (NY Harm Reduction Educators Inc.) – New York, NY

Girard Avenue Arrest Prevention Project: GAPProject (Northern Liberties Neighbors Association) – Philadelphia, PA

People's Justice Project (Ohio Organizing Collaborative) – Youngstown, OH

Power Inside (Fusion Partnerships Inc.) – Baltimore, MD

Putting Sex Worker Rights and Harm Reduction into Diversion Program Policies (Social & Environmental Entrepreneurs SEE Inc.) – Morristown, NJ

Putting Unity Back in Community (EPOCA) – Worcester, MA

Reign 4 Life Violence Intervention & Prevention (Abba Leadership Center Inc.) – Levittown, NY

Restorative Justice in Nashville (Gideon’s Army: Grassroots Army for Children) – Nashville, TN

Reverse the Cycle of Incarceration Inc. – Atlanta, GA

Transcending Barriers Survival Crime Pre-Arrest Diversion (Transcending Barriers Atlanta Inc.) – Decatur, GA