Our criminal justice system must be humane, fair, and equitable.
WHAT: Mass incarceration is a symptom of a racially biased and overly punitive system that wastes taxpayer dollars, damages families, divides communities, and fails to make us safer.
HOW: We invest in organizations that harness the power of impacted people to re-envision public safety, with the aim of redirecting dollars from corrections to housing, human services, and other community investment: “Divest/Invest.”
• Women on the Rise, Atlanta GA.
Women on the Rise is led by “trans, cis, and gender non-conforming” impacted women who created powerful grassroots advocacy campaigns resulting in numerous criminal justice reforms in Atlanta. Our support helped them close one of the Atlanta jails, and advocate to get it repurposed for community use. They strive to “advance a vision of a radically restructured society where justice exists for all people.”
• Forward Justice/SpiritHouse.
Butler supports SpiritHouse and Forward Justice’s efforts to organize locally and statewide in North Carolina to recapture criminal justice savings and invest them in communities. The Second Chance Alliance is 6 grassroots chapters across the state, many of which plan to prioritize housing for reinvestment. SpiritHouse engages in community organizing to redirect public resources for true community safety –“policies, practices and programs that could generate long term solutions.” It is building a healing model of wellness to displace the model where police “are the arbiters of community safety.”
WHAT: The U.S. is an international outlier in sentencing juveniles to life without parole (JLWOP). JLWOP highlights the injustices that young people can face: transfer of youth to the adult system, racial disparities, inhumane confinement, grossly inadequate legal representation, and trauma. Ending JLWOP is integral to advancing broader juvenile and criminal justice reforms.
HOW: We provide seed funding and support advocacy toward ending JLWOP.
• Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth We helped launch the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth which works nationwide to abolish juvenile life without parole. Since its founding, the number of states that ban juvenile life without parole has more than tripled.
• Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project We helped launch the Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project which works to keep children out of jails and prisons, to bring home people who were sentenced to life in prison as children, and to facilitate successful reentry through critical supports and services.
WHAT: The death penalty is a racially biased, expensive, broken system that puts innocent people at risk, fails to make us safer, and serves neither law enforcement nor murder victims’ families. With coordinated support and advocacy, death sentences are down dramatically and at least 7 states have repealed the death penalty, either legislatively or by judicial fiat.
HOW: We invest in organizing and advocacy to support abolition of the death penalty.
• Catholic Mobilizing Network. Catholic Mobilizing Network organizes to educate, amplify, and advocate for the repeal or limited use of the death penalty. It focuses on states with high likelihoods of successful repeal efforts, deploying close relationships with Catholic and secular partners to bolster the narrative that the death penalty is an episodic practice that not only has failed, but that also reinforces racial biases.
• Reprieve US. Reprieve’s Stop Lethal Injection Project has ended the supply of lethal injection drugs to the United States and debunked the “humane execution” myth.
• Responsible Business Initiative . We were a seed funder of the Responsible Business Initiative, formed to harness EU investment in the US. RBI leverages these corporate and diplomatic voices in service of ending the death penalty and to help shine a bright light on criminal injustice.