Goals & Strategies
First and foremost, we seek measurable, progressive change to the criminal justice system and a more balanced approach to public safety. Specifically, we seek:
- A reduction in the over-reliance on incarceration as a response to social problems;
- A redirection of public resources away from less effective and more costly approaches to public safety (incarceration) toward more effective public services that can build strong, safe communities (education and human services) and prevent future violence and crime; and
- Increased social and community support for survivors of crime.
To achieve these ends and create long-term, sustainable change, we believe it is essential to work with, and build the leadership and power of, those most directly affected by the criminal justice system. We also recognize that structural racism underlies and drives criminal justice policies in the U.S. and we are committed to prioritizing work that engages and serves communities of color that are disproportionately affected by both crime and over-incarceration.
We believe that a single strategy is unlikely to create and sustain the kinds of social change we are working towards. Therefore, we focus on a range of strategies that can be described as a combination of grassroots leadership development, organizing, public education, and professional advocacy. More specifically, we do the following:
- Build coalitions and alliances with other groups and organizations who support our policy goals;
- Engage in direct advocacy with policymakers and organizing campaigns;
- Provide education, training, and leadership development to our members to increase their effectiveness as grassroots policy advocates and organizers; and
- Produce well-researched print and electronic materials as tools to mobilize broader public support for reform and to inform and educate the public, the press, policymakers, and our members.
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