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Project NIA
Project NIA’s newest zine, Police Abolition 101, is a collaboration with Interrupting Criminalization and illustrator Noah Jodice. The Against Punishment curriculum, created by Mariame Kaba and contributing authors, helps participants imagine a world without prisons and policing by detailing how punishment undermines safety. 

Worth Rises 
Last week, Worth Rises launched The Prison Industry: The Curriculum, a public self-study course based on our recent report, The Prison Industry: How it Started, How it Works, How it Harms. In addition to making these resources publicly available, the team is hosting a small, paid learning group of directly impacted fellows who will be guided through The Curriculum, additional trainings, and a discussion forum exclusively for directly impacted community members. We will mail The Curriculum course material to roughly 1,000 incarcerated people each week.

Coalition to End Money Bond
Last month, the Illinois legislature passed the Pretrial Fairness Act, written by organizers in the Coalition to End Money Bond and Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice. This landmark legislation will make Illinois the first state to completely end the use of money bond.  On February 4, advocates, legislators, and impacted individuals came together for a teach-in about the impact and role of organizing in passing Pretrial Fairness Act. Key organizers also released this article on the five years of work that led up to this decision and what still needs to happen. 

Restorative Justice Project at Impact Justice
Last month, Cymone Fuller joined RJP as a co-director. RJP also announced the launch of their National Training and Innovation Center for Restorative Justice Diversion. The Center will offer restorative-justice-based learning and training opportunities for community members and organizations, criminal legal and education system partners, and funders. This month, the team is hosting a free webinar series on restorative justice, restorative justice diversion, and using their diversion toolkits.

Prison Policy Initiative
In January, the Prison Policy Initiative published Winnable criminal justice reforms: Promising state reform issues for 2021. This document outlines 27 high-impact criminal justice reforms that we can see in the next year. Legislative recommendations include ways to expand alternatives to policing and incarceration, reduce the footprint of probation and parole, end the exploitative business models of private correctional contractors, and more. PPI sent the report to 800 state legislators with proven track records of championing changes to their state justice systems.

Promise of Justice Initiative
PJI has released our third report on policing and detention in East Baton Rouge (EBR). The report, Brutality in the Name of ‘Safety’: Baton Rouge Parish Policing and Tactics, examines discriminatory policing tactics in Baton Rouge, and highlights the parish’s particularly violent and racist law enforcement methods. The report calls for a diversion of policing investment into a reinvestment of funds for social services and to local organizations that address the root causes of crime, such as poverty and education inequality. 

Color of Change
On January 28th, Color Of Change kicked off its Winning Justice webinar series, featuring local organizers and activists engaged in prosecutor accountability from Los Angeles, New Orleans, Broward County, and Manhattan. As part of their national work to hold prosecutors accountable, Color Of Change has released a draft of its “Roadmap for Reform Prosecutors,” which uses lessons learned to outline policies and practices that can be used to inform reform prosecutors, and is welcoming feedback. Color of Change is hosting a broader discussion of the roadmap on February 17th.

American Conservative Union Foundation
ACUF was the leading conservative organization behind Michigan’s multi-faceted jails reform package. The package of 20 bills was the culmination of a multi-year effort that, in combination with the historic passage of Clean Slate, firmly secures Michigan as a national leader in criminal justice reform. These reforms will prioritize diversion, expand officer discretion to issue appearance tickets rather than make arrests, reduce the number of crimes in the state’s criminal code, and reshape penalties for a number of offenses.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
LCCHR will co-host the Vision for Justice Virtual Summit on Friday, February 19, 2021. The virtual summit is dedicated to envisioning a new paradigm for safety in America - one that invests in communities, not in criminalization and incarceration, to keep people safe. The Vision for Justice community includes 120 organizations who are committed to transforming our criminal legal system.

New Virginia Majority
NVM continues to work towards passing SJ 272 and HJ 555, bills that would restore voting rights for formerly incarcerated community members in Virginia. This work to change Virginia’s constitution is a multi-year process that will return the fundamental right to vote to thousands of directly impacted people once passed.

IN THE NEWS:

Protest at St. Louis Justice Center
This week, 117 people at the St. Louis Justice Center took over part of the jail in response to the site’s COVID-19 policies. Before this, local organizations had received over 60 complaints and been notified of similar protests in December and January. Organizers have been fighting for COVID-19 measures to prevent unnecessary harm to incarcerated individuals for nearly a year. In some places, this worked. But court proceedings are still stalled, visitation is still suspended, and people are still being held in de facto solitary confinement. In most states, people in the carceral system are still last on the vaccine list despite their increased risk.

RESOURCES:

Jobs Postings
Here is an updated list of current job openings at grantee organizations. Please share this resource with your networks. If you have any other job postings to add to the list, please email Povneet at povneet@openphilanthropy.org.  



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