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Join us in the fight for a fair and humane justice system! In light of #GivingTuesday (November 27th), we are raising funds to sustain our work at Restore Justice. Whether you donate $5 or $500000, your contribution will make an impact on countless lives affected by crime and incarceration in our communities. Every bit helps. Thank you for your support.
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Re:store Justice works in partnership with incarcerated people, survivors of crime, district attorneys, and the community. Our mission is to re-imagine and reform our criminal justice system to be one of true inclusion and justice.
We recognize that basic dignity and equal rights for all is the foundation to freedom, justice, and peace in the world. We envision a fair criminal justice system – one guided by the principles of restorative justice – that empowers directly impacted individuals to share their lived experiences to drive meaningful change from the inside-out. In working together to better understand each other, we believe in healing traumas, finding lasting solutions to crime, and building safer, healthier, and more equitable communities. While we push for criminal justice reform, we are first and foremost a human rights organization. We work directly with impacted people– crime victims, incarcerated people, and families — to find healing and restore communities. We do this by training advocates, representing incarcerated individuals at parole hearings, hosting restorative justice symposia inside of prisons, presenting the voices and images of those incarcerated, and advocating for legislative reform.
- This year, we spearheaded and successfully passed Senate Bill 1437, a bill that reforms the felony murder rule in California, historically changing the State’s unfair 168 year old murder statute. We anticipate that the retroactive impact of this law will reduce California’s incarceration rate by at least 1,000 people; the prospective impact of preventing disproportionate sentences is immeasurable.
- We have committed ourselves to providing legal representation at no charge for parole hearings and commutation applications. We proudly report that 100% of clients represented by R:J this year have been found suitable for parole. R:J works in conjunction with the University of San Francisco School of Law Criminal and Juvenile Justice Clinic, training students to represent clients before the parole board. Commutation applications prepared by R:J have resulted in a commutation of sentence by the Governor for several individuals.
- We have held two Transformative Justice Symposiums this year, bringing together over one hundred survivors, incarcerated individuals, CDCR staff, district attorneys, and community members for dialogues centered on accountability, healing, and systemic solutions. We have worked with DAs from over ten counties.
- We have established a transitional home and community space in Oakland that provides direct services for people returning from a life sentence.
- We presented FirstWatch, a first-of-its-kind media project started by a group of men incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, to the world. All the content is shot, directed, cut, & scored entirely by the journalists inside. Through our partnership, the project has received extensive coverage on social media and from digital publications such as, Splinter News, ATTN: Upworthy, WitnessLA. Collectively, the videos have been viewed nearly 1.5M times. Additionally, FirstWatch has launched a personal essay series called Re:vision through R:J and is now working with the New York Times on an op-doc film that is currently in production.
- In community, we have educated, engaged and activated over 20,000 individuals to advocate for justice reform in California.
- Expanding more programming and reentry services.
- We are partnering with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to conduct trainings inside California prisons about SB 1437. RJ, in conjunction with attorneys across the state, wrote the Guidebook to SB 1437 and prepared a form petition to allow eligible people to petition the court for relief. On this tour, RJ staff will be distributing the petition they created along with the Guidebook to SB 1437 and other documents people will need to have in order to submit their petition. RJ staff will also be giving lectures inside and answering questions in order to assist incarcerated people to determine their eligibility for resentencing relief and to provide information about the process of petitioning the court.
- Our policy goals for next year include addressing both front-end and back-end reform of our criminal justice system. We will continue to work in partnership with both grass roots and national organizations, district attorneys, and all impacted by our criminal justice system.
- Currently, FirstWatch is working on a six-part docuseries consisting of 30 minute episodes, which delve into topics including, but not limited to: parole, re-entry, toxic masculinity, self-help, and art in corrections.