The People’s Justice Project (PJP) builds the power of black and brown people disproportionately affected by state violence, mass criminalization, and incarceration by centering community organizing and leadership development.
The leading goal of the PJP is the reduction of the number and racial disparity of youth and adults incarcerated in Ohio. Based upon this goal, the PJP seeks to advance both short and long term outcomes in criminal justice reform, and through these changes, to improve the health and well-being of Ohio communities.
The theory of change supporting the PJP is that on its own, policy reform will not be able to dismantle the deeply embedded systemic inequities in our state. Similarly, neither community organizing nor civic engagement can independently leverage the lasting changes needed without highly capable policy advocacy structures to promote and monitor statutory, policy, programatic, and funding reforms. Each method on its own comes up short. However, when policy changes are driven and supported by a base of critically conscious community members who have experienced the impact of these inequities and who are actively engaged in their communities and in the electoral process, systemic change is possible. Based upon this theory of change, the PJP engages in three core approaches – Community Organizing, Public Policy Reform, and Electoral Engagement and Mobilization.