Justice Advocacy and Three Strikes Project

Experiential Education


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

Justice Advocacy Project 9

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

Justice Advocacy Project 8

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

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The Prevalence and Severity of Mental Illness Among California Prisoners on the Rise read more

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Law Enforcement is on the Front Lines of Race War read more

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Proposition 47 Progress Report: Year One Implementation read more

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When Did Prisons Become Acceptable Mental Healthcare Facilities? read more

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Proposition 36 Progress Report: Over 1,500 Prisoners Released; Historically Low Recidivism Rate read more

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Progress Report: Three Strikes Reform (Proposition 36); 1,000 Prisoners Released read more

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In the News

Roby So (left) and Carlos Cervantes in Pomona, Calif. Credit Damon Casarez for The New York Times

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.

Read New York Times Magazine

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

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