Justice Advocacy Project

The Stanford Justice Advocacy Project (formerly the Three Strikes Project) represents individuals serving unjust prison sentences for minor crimes, assists prisoners successfully reentering their communities, and advocates for fairer and more effective criminal justice policies in California and across the country. The Project is staffed by Stanford Law students and supervising attorneys and works in coordination with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund on numerous projects, including the enactment and implementation successful ballot measures reforming California’s criminal sentencing laws, the Three Strikes Reform Act of 2012 (Proposition 36) and the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act of 2014 (Proposition 47).

Litigation & Reentry

Justice Advocacy Project

We represent individual clients in state and federal court facing unnecessary and unjust criminal sentences. Over 100 of our clients have been freed from prison, many of whom had been serving life sentences for nonviolent crimes under “Three Strikes and You’re Out” laws. We are also actively involved in prisoners’ lives once they are released from custody, helping provide services and supporting programs that assist prisoners returning home and reentering their communities.

Policy Analysis & Reform

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We study and work to reform criminal laws and policies to advance a fairer and more effective criminal justice system. We have forged partnerships with state and federal government and law enforcement officials, civil rights advocates, crime victims organizations and other reform advocates to lead successful statewide ballot measure reform campaigns in California and implement a broad array of public policies and programs.

Experiential Learning


Law students are involved in all aspects of the Project’s work, including litigation, policy analysis and reform advocacy. Students enroll in a seminar in the history of criminal sentencing policies, advanced criminal procedure and post-conviction litigation strategies. Students forge close relationships with Project clients and assist in ongoing litigation.

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Thousands of inmates are released from prison every day with nowhere to go and no family or friends who can support them. The Project’s “Ride Home” team meets released inmates at the prison gates, helps them navigate their first hours and days of freedom and transports them to a pre-approved residential reentry program.

New York Times Magazine