On the heels of an unprecedented spring, we now find ourselves at a precipice, experiencing a cultural awakening.
More and more people are waking up to the reality that our justice system is anything but just. They are beginning to see our nation’s justice system for what it is – inhumane and fundamentally unjust. And they are realizing that it’s time for something new.
The understandable question follows – “If not this, then what?”
Shifting money from government systems to effective community-based programs is not just an abstract idea. We must help people visualize something new in place of our current, failed justice system. We must paint a picture of a new model of justice that is restorative, community-led, and racially just.
What we are calling for is not a moonshot.
There are leaders and organizations working tirelessly to build and implement new models of justice that are rooted in community and led by those who have been most impacted by the system’s harms. And they are working.
Earlier this year, Public Welfare Foundation released four videos highlighting different approaches to increasing investment into effective community solutions while decreasing investments into failed government systems. Colorado took money out of the prison system and put it into community services; Oakland ran a focused tax initiative; and D.C. government officials reallocated budget dollars to invest in Credible Messengers, hiring the people they used to arrest to serve as interventionists.
The videos are available on Public Welfare Foundation’s YouTube channel.
These stories serve as a response to the question so many are asking — to show that divestment and reinvestment are not only already happening, but are also working.
A transformative vision of justice is possible. And it’s worth fighting for.