Justice Reform Collaborative

There is an urgent need to galvanize Latino leaders, activists, academics, and stakeholders in the justice system to acknowledge and address the intersection of Latino communities with policing, drug policy and criminal justice reform. The reality is that Latinos are disproportionally and adversely affected by discriminatory policing and criminal justice practices but rarely involved in shaping their solutions. This harm is real for Latinas and Latinos. Its salience is only dwarfed by the way our country treats African-Americans.

Our collective ability to change the public will and deconstruct the dangerously retributive nature of criminal justice requires joint efforts with all marginalized communities. But it also requires listening to the unique Latino voices for reform.

The reasons for Latino invisibility in this debate are multilayered but at the core is an overall black-white binary that limits the criminal justice dialogue. In many states Latinos who are arrested or imprisoned are not even counted or disaggregated from this binary. In other spaces the Latino victims of police violence never rise to the level of sustained media attention. We must do better for the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority. In many respects the system needs to be dismantled not just reformed as we cannot allow de-incarceration to be replaced by high-tech criminal supervision that results in incarceration anew.

At the Justice Reform Collaborative our networks of Latinx people who have been in prison, activists, lawyers and leaders will ensure that LatinoJustice rises to this challenge.

Download here: the brochure outlining the Justice Reform Collaborative.

Download here: the English version of Juan's prologue for El color de la justicia, the Spanish version of The New Jim Crow.

The Justice Reform Collaborative Projects

Meaningful Criminal Justice Reform

  • Prison Reform: all efforts to reduce mass incarceration of Latinx communities via restorative justice policies, and ensure that alternative supervision models do not perpetuate a carceral state.
  • Drug Policy Reform: Obtain meaningful drug policy reform centered on science, compassion, health and human rights, including marijuana legalization, nationally, and link to similar efforts in Central and South America and the Caribbean.
  • Re-imagining Reentry: Promote policies to end employment discrimination against persons who were formerly incarcerated or arrested and support other reentry efforts that facilitate incorporation into society. An example of our work on reentry is our Florida Rights Restoration campaign, a campaign that seeks to restore voting rights for formerly incarcerated people. You can read more about this campaign here.
  • And More: There are more criminal justice reform policies that we will also address, the options listed above are just some examples.

Latino/a Voices for Reform - Narrative Project

Checkout our YouTube Page

  • Narrative Building: Change the narrative of criminal justice reform by documenting and elevating the experiences of Latinas and Latinos who are directly impacted by the justice system for all media platforms and make them universally accessible for free.
  • Space for Sharing Personal Stories: Create spaces to elevate the voices and leadership of Latina and Latino people who have been impacted by the criminal justice system.
  • YouTube Page: We are building out this project on our Youtube page. You can visit our page by clicking the icon to the right or clicking here. Make sure you also subscribe so you can receive notifications when we release our next video.

Latino/a Analysis for Reform

  • Latino Data Gap: Eliminate the Latino data gap through efforts that expand data collection on the number of Latinas and Latinos arrested, imprisoned, on probation or on parole.
  • Research: Provide policy analysis, messaging toolkits and outreach materials to educate the Latinx community on justice restoration campaigns in Spanish and English.
  • Latino/a Surveys on Criminal Justice Reform: Conduct research on Latino public will, nationally and regionally, to gauge support for the efforts of the Justice Reform Collaborative.
  • Fact sheets on Criminal Justice Reform: provide policy analysis, messaging toolkits and outreach materials to educate the Latinx community on justice restoration campaigns in Spanish and English.

Mobilizing Latinos/as for Criminal Justice Reform

  • Latino/a Criminal Justice Reform Networks: Create new, and support nascent, Latino networks of criminal justice reform activists, lawyers and leaders in key states with significant Latino populations and engage legislative caucuses, chambers of commerce and faith-based leaders on state-based reforms.
  • Latino/a Criminal Justice Reform Convenings: Convene leaders, activists and criminal justice stakeholders nationally to strategically focus on federal and state-based reforms.
  • Latino/a Experts on Criminal Justice Reform: Publish a compendium of Latina and Latino experts in criminal justice, policing and drug policy reform accessible to media, academia, and conference organizers.

Updates from the Justice Reform Collaborative

Latinxs From Around the Country Convene in California to Strategize and Mobilize for Criminal Justice Reform

LOS ANGELES AND BAKERSFIELD, CA - This week advocates, academics and community members will gather in Los Angeles and Bakersfield for the 4th Annual national convening of Latinxs for criminal justice reform. This convening will also feature a preview of scenes from a work-in-progress film that LatinoJustice is developing in conjunction with esteemed director Carlos Sandoval.

LatinoJustice Rejects the Vilification of the Latino Community for Political Gain

Earlier today the White house released a statement that further vilifies the Latino community. This statement was released the week when a forum is being hosted on Long Island to allegedly address gang violence on Long Island. Juan Cartagena, LatinoJustice’s President and General Counsel, issued the following statement in response:

NAACP Legal Defense Fund and LatinoJustice Issue Joint Statement on Puerto Rico Police Response to May Day Protests

Earlier this week, Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) officers responded to a May Day march to protest school closures and austerity measures by using tear gas and violence against demonstrators, press, and legal observers. According to the ACLU of Puerto Rico, the PRPD response continued after the conclusion of the protests with warrantless arrests of demonstrators in their homes and dorm rooms. Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel for LatinoJustice and Sherrilyn A. Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), issued the following joint statement in response:

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