Policy Research & Advocacy

We engage in advocacy initiatives designed to create public demand around the need for justice-system transformation, with a focus on tipping-point issues where our involvement alongside other community organizations and system-impacted advocates can be the most effective, and where we can make the greatest impact. 

We are currently supporting the following policy and advocacy initiatives as part of our 2021 Policy Agenda:

Active Bills

  • SB 1014 (Federal) – the First Step Implementation Act of 2021 bans JLWOP and provides  judicial review for all kids after no more than 20 years in the federal system
  • HB 1064 (Illinois) – Provides parole review for people who were under 21 years of age at the time of the commission of certain offenses and sentenced to life without parole
  • HB 2989 (Illinois) – Waives mandatory gun enhancements for people who were under 21 years of age at the time of the commission of the offense
  • SB 138 (Pennsylvania) – Dignity for Incarcerated Women Bill

Non-Active Bills

  • HB 254 (Louisiana) – Ensures that juveniles are eligible for parole

Letters of Support

  • AB 1007 (California) – Compensation for Survivors of Forced or Involuntary Sterilization Act is a bill that would provide reparations to survivors of forced sterilization under California’s eugenics laws from 1909 to 1979; and survivors of involuntary sterilizations in women’s state prisons after 1979.
  • AB 124 (California) – the Justice for Survivors Act supports survivors of violence, including human trafficking, intimate partner violence, and sexual violence, by providing trauma-informed sentencing relief and trial advocacy considerations.
  • SB 731 (California) – Adopts a structured, automated approach to sealing conviction records: automated sealing of all arrest records that do not result in a conviction, and sealing of conviction records following completion of sentence and a period of two years without any new felony convictions.SB 81 (California) – Requires a court to dismiss an enhancement if it is in the furtherance of justice to do so. Creates a presumption that it is in the furtherance of justice to dismiss an enhancement in specified circumstances. States that this presumption is only overcome upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence that dismissal of the enhancement would endanger public safety.
    • Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer (Submitted on June 9, 2021)
      • Current Status: Pending; Passed Senate; Assembly Public Safety Committee
  • SB 1014  (Federal) – The First Step Implementation Act grants sentencing review after 20 years to individuals prosecuted in the federal criminal justice system who are serving life and de facto life without parole sentences for crimes they committed as children.
    • Senator Durbin and Senator Grassley (Submitted on June 9, 2021)
      • Current Status: Pending; Senate Judiciary Committee