Law students participate in all aspects of our work. Project coursework includes a seminar covering the history of criminal justice policy and constitutional case law, advanced criminal procedure, and post-conviction litigation strategies. Participating students also draft court pleadings on their behalf, and help analyze and propose, analyze, and help implement reforms.
Litigation & Reentry
We represent individual prisoners serving excessive sentences and engage in civil rights impact litigation challenging mandatory minimum sentences and unfair prison policies. We also support our clients upon release with a novel program developed with the Obama administration to provide immediate support when freed prisoners are most vulnerable to relapse and recidivism.
Reform & Analysis
We have spearheaded successful criminal justice reform campaigns leading to early release of thousands of inmates sentenced for nonviolent crimes, including many sentenced to life. We also study what works (and doesn’t work) in the justice system, including analysis of sentencing policies, treatment of people with mental illness, racial disparities, and recidivism mitigation strategies.
Publications and Reports
|The Prevalence and Severity of Mental Illness Among California Prisoners on the Rise read more|
|Law Enforcement is on the Front Lines of Race War read more|
|Proposition 47 Progress Report: Year One Implementation read more|
|When Did Prisons Become Acceptable Mental Healthcare Facilities? read more|
|Proposition 36 Progress Report: Over 1,500 Prisoners Released; Historically Low Recidivism Rate read more|
|Progress Report: Three Strikes Reform (Proposition 36); 1,000 Prisoners Released read more|
In the News
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.
Lawmakers Unveil Broad US Criminal Justice Reform Bill
Global Post (AFP) read story
Out of Prison, and Staying Out, After 3rd Strike in California
The New York Times read story