The criminal justice system is bloated, expensive, ineffective, and damaging. Public funds spent on criminal justice could be better deployed elsewhere:
WHAT: Public funding from the criminal justice system could be better spent elsewhere.
HOW: We invest in organizations that seek to redirect dollars from corrections to housing, human services, and other community investment, or “Divest/Invest.”
- Law For Black Lives. Law For Black Lives “is a Black femme-led national network of nearly 4,000 radical lawyers and legal workers committed to building a responsive legal infrastructure for movement organizations and cultivating a community of legal advocates trained in movement lawyering.” Butler’s support jump started divest/invest work by creating resources, training local advocates, experimenting with communities at the local level, and co-creating narrative resources. We helped present this work nationally through a webinar sponsored by Funders Together to End Homelessness.
- 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 chapters across the state, many of which plan to prioritize housing for reinvesting the savings. SpiritHouse and its partners are committed to building a healing model of safety and wellness and displacing the model where police “are the arbiters of community safety.”
- Housing Plus. Butler supported a demonstration project in New York City, created by Housing Plus and partners to divert women during the pre-trial period from jail to a community-based alternative. During that time, women are offered services to help them stabilize and meet their criminal justice requirements. The results were so strong that the Mayor’s Office of Diversion Re-entry and Prevention funded a three-year demonstration project.