Advocacy Work

Re:Store Justice focuses our advocacy on ending life and extreme sentencing. We believe that we need to change the way we respond to violence and we are guided by those impacted most: currently and formerly incarcerated people, survivors of crime, and their communities. Through our own experiences and work, we understand that lengthy sentences do not address the needs of survivors.

If we want to end mass incarceration we cannot exclude the 40% of people in prison and jail that have committed violent offenses. The large number of people serving time for violent crime is not because of high rates of violence, it’s because of the long sentences that have increased due to a tough on crime era that have not been changed since. In a time when crime rates are at historic lows, our prison population will remain static unless we concentrate our efforts on people currently serving time for violence crimes.

In coalition with partner organizations, we fight to advance evidence-based and trauma-informed policies rooted in improving public safety, creating healthier communities, and protecting vulnerable populations. Through research and assessment, we identify health, economic, educational, social, and public safety policies that maintain inequalities between groups. We then hold our government accountable to make necessary structural changes to end life and extreme sentencing.

The legislative process can seem complicated and daunting, but it shouldn’t be. Through awareness-raising campaigns and open education, we believe in providing individuals with the tools they need to make informed decisions for justice reform. An overview of the legislative process can be found here.

Learn About Our 2020 Policy Priorities
Learn About Our 2019 Policy Priorities
Learn About Our 2018 Policy Priorities

COVID-19 Rapid Response

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March we have called for immediate attention to decarcerate our prisons, knowing that just one infection could spark a mass outbreak. Almost 6 months later, people in prisons across California are suffering from some of the highest infection rates of any place in the
US.

As the situation in prisons changes hour to hour, our response has been fluid. Over the last few months our COVID-19 response activities have been focused where they are urgently needed most. Our efforts range from direct support; through donations of PPE gear and cash donations for
incarcerated people, to purchasing personal hygiene and food (The Canteen Project), to community-led grassroots advocacy. Our advocacy has gone digital but nonetheless brought the community together through emergency town halls, twitter storms, and phone and email advocacy to targeted legislators.

The Canteen Project
#StopSanQuentinOutbreak
Guides: When Incarcerated People Transfer to an Outside Hospital
PPE Donations to Prisons Project

Programs in Prison

FIRSTWATCH

First Watch is a media project started at San Quentin State Prison by our Executive Director Adnan Khan while he was incarcerated. The program continues today with a new group of people behind the cameras. Through personal narratives told from the perspective of incarcerated people, the project highlights the hidden world inside prison walls.

Learn More About FirstWatch

Transformative Justice Class at California State Prison Lancaster

Re:Store Justice conducts several weekly classes at California State Prison Los Angeles County, which is 70 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. Working inside prisons builds a direct connection between our advocacy work to create a second chance for people sentenced to extreme prison terms and the people who are directly impacted by mass incarceration. We are aware that these opportunities impact survivor family members, and as a restorative justice organization, we are also committed to supporting survivors and addressing their unmet needs for healing, transformation and violence prevention. Our classes inside prison give survivor family members an opportunity to share their testimony. Sharing their stories is an opportunity for them to be heard and have their loved one remembered and acknowledged. For some survivors, contributing to the insight and rehabilitation of incarcerated individuals with the goal of healing and violence prevention can bring healing and meaning to their lives.

Learn More About our Transformative Justice Class

Restorative Justice

In both theory and practice, Re:Store Justice embraces and promotes the foundational tenets of restorative justice to heal individuals and our communities, and transform our justice system. Through our work organizing restorative justice symposia inside of prisons, training affected individuals and advocates, facilitating individual face to face dialogues, providing community days of healing for both survivors and responsible parties, and facilitating restorative justice classes in prison, we build and strengthen key relationships, provide opportunities for equitable dialogue, encourage accountability, and engage all stakeholders to be directly involved in the process of responding to harms caused.

Learn More About Our Restorative Justice Work
Survivor Support
Our in Prison Transformative Justice Symposia
Restorative Dialogues
Restorative Dialogues Facilitator Training
Donate To Help Us Continue Our work

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