Non-Ranked Nonprofit Reviews: National Criminal Justice 2011

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"The United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population. But it has almost a quarter of the world's prisoners." NY Times
"The United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population. But it has almost a quarter of the world's prisoners." NY Times

This is the complete list of all non-ranked nonprofits reviewed by our experts. We do not have enough information at this time to recommend these organizations, but have provided you with the complete expert reviews to learn more.


The type of expert is indicated by one of the following colors:
F
Foundation Professionals
R
Researchers and Faculty
N
Nonprofit Senior Staff
O
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers)

Click on an organization to see what the experts say about its impact, strengths and areas for improvement.

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Equal Justice USA (4 recommendations) The organization is involved in successful cutting edge community organizing campaign efforts to abolish the death penalty in 10 states and builds strategic bridges to unusual allies in doing so utilizing smart, cost effective, strategic approaches.
Equal Justice USA

http://ejusa.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
The organization is involved in successful cutting edge community organizing campaign efforts to abolish the death penalty in 10 states and builds strategic bridges to unusual allies in doing so utilizing smart, cost effective, strategic approaches.
N
EJUSA has partnered with state abolitionist organizations, notably New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty, and New Jerseyans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, to achieve abolition of the death penalty at the state level.
N
Sharon Dietrich at CLS has spearheaded efforts with the EEOC to recognize criminal records based criminal records claims and inspired other legal service organizations across the US to develop legal barriers to reentry practices
N
EJUSA provides technical support to state and national organizations that work on the death penalty issue. It has done an amazing job of building bridges to diverse communities and in reaching out to law enforcement, conservatives, and murder victims' family members, in particular. EJUSA has played a major role in many legislative successes on this issue in recent years.

Organizational Strengths

N
The organization has a great leader, a cohesive team, constantly evaluated programmatic goals, a dedicated board, and a happily served constituency.
N
EJUSA has indefatigable leadership and staff able to coordinate complex state campaigns within a strategic framework. The organization is masterful at messaging around its mission.
N
CLS has provided technical assistance on representing clients with claims under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights act. The regular webinars taught by CLS staff have provided important updates.
N
The staff of EJUSA have a strong background in non-profit organizations and how to maximize their effectiveness. They provide excellent trainings and meeting facilitation and have helped to cultivate emerging leaders in the field of criminal justice reform.

Areas for Improvement

N
The organization could productively expand its operations and substantially improve its major donor program.
N
The staff could be more diverse.
N
More technical assistance to develop litigation strategies would be helpful.
Justice for Families (4 recommendations) Justice for Families (J4) is a new national support, advocacy and organizing initiative of families of court involved and incarcerated youth that works to challenge the community disinvestment, zero tolerance school policies, and punitive laws that lead to the disparate lockup of youth of color. J4 is building a national bipartisan movement for justice reinvestment--the reallocation of government spending away from mass incarceration and toward investment in families.
Justice for Families

http://www.justice4families.org/file/Welcome.html

Evidence of Impact

N
Justice for Families (J4) is a new national support, advocacy and organizing initiative of families of court involved and incarcerated youth that works to challenge the community disinvestment, zero tolerance school policies, and punitive laws that lead to the disparate lockup of youth of color. J4 is building a national bipartisan movement for justice reinvestment--the reallocation of government spending away from mass incarceration and toward investment in families.
N
Is the primer organization working to engage isolated parents across the country in generating data on their experiences (to be used in policy creation) and in peer support, advocacy and community organizing training. The non-profit is old within the relationships they have and impacts that have helped achieve but are new as a non-profit. Securing funding and additional staff are current challenges.
N
They are working on parent advocacy and bringing families directly impacted into the discussion.
N
JFF is a new organization but is being built from the experiences of the best family driven leaders in juvenile justice reform. These experiences will insure that reform happens, it is the correct reform measures and can be sustained for the long term.

Organizational Strengths

N
This is an organization that is by families for families and they seek real family input. The leadership is definitely a strength as it is all people who are affected by the issues were are working on.
N
Zach Norris and Grace Bauer are compassionate, thoughtful leaders and have resources to bring families together. They have direct knowledge and experience of the issue and can relate.
N
The leadership of JFF brings together families (of system involved children) leaders with decades of experience in organizing grass root efforts to end the over incarceration of youth of color and reduce the number of children who become system involved.

Areas for Improvement

N
This is a new organization.
N
It would be nice if they had the funding to offer financial support to new organizations to help propel the mission.
N
JFF is new and therefore needs help in several areas including funding and organizational development.
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) (4 recommendations) National and state lobbying efforts and litigation efforts on behalf of inmates.
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)

http://www.nacdl.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
National and state lobbying efforts and litigation efforts on behalf of inmates.
O
The NACDL provides strong advocacy for criminal justice reform and support for criminal defense attorneys who often face the overwhelming resources of government in the prosecution of indigent people.
N
Provision of resources regarding criminal defense to attorneys and advocates nationwide.
N
Provide support for state policy makers in the field of criminal justice.

Organizational Strengths

O
NACDL has a national presence, strong leadership and reasonably well financed efforts considering the current economic environment.
O
NACDL employs an excellent professional staff and enjoys the involvement of committed defense lawyers. Their willingness to take principled stands on unpopular issues and to focus limited resources on the most serious questions of the day give the organization influence beyond that which could be expected given comparatively limited resources.
N
It has tremendous leadership, extraordinary outreach, prolific defense law trainings around the country and a wealth of resources on and off line.
N
Great leadership; great vision.

Areas for Improvement

O
NACDL could work better with state affiliates in coordination of efforts.
O
Given that the organization depends to a great extent on the volunteer efforts of its membership, the overwhelmingly majority of whom are modestly paid lawyers with heavy caseloads, projects undertaken by NACDL do not always move as quickly as planned. Additional staff would greatly aid both the membership and the public.
N
They need to ramp up their brand new juvenile justice committee and reach across to adult counsel representing juveniles in adult court.
N
Increased funding for NACDL's Criminal Justice Network.
National Employment Law Project (NELP) (4 recommendations) NELP provides national leadership on the issue of collateral consequences of convictions, but also provides forums that bring together state and local-level leaders.
National Employment Law Project (NELP)

http://www.nelp.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
NELP provides national leadership on the issue of collateral consequences of convictions, but also provides forums that bring together state and local-level leaders.
O
The Second Chance Labor Project at NELP, has been a leader in organizing reentry legal advocates, sharing information and providing expert technical assistance to cities and counties on anti-discrimination policy. NELP has also provided leadership on federal hiring policy changes.
N
Successful efforts as front line advocate in Washington DC, and as backup expert for state groups around the country. Accomplishments in re-entry employment issues related to criminal records (expungement, etc), as well as subsidized employment programs.
N
NELP has impacted employment rights for formerly-incarcerated people through their technical assistance for our Ban the Box campaign nationally. They have led a campaign for changes in the EEOC's guidance as related to employer consideration of conviction history, and to regulate commercial background screening companies. They have also provided model fair hiring practices to employers, as well as assistance in appealing TWIC card denials for employees.

Organizational Strengths

N
NELP's staff approaches the issue of collateral consequences from a very pragmatic point of view, and strives to identify solutions that are both effective and politically feasible.
O
NELP provides leadership nationally and in California where the second chance project is based.
N
Top notch legal expertise and Washington connections (especially with labor). Well-run, with strong administrative leaders and several veteran program leaders.
N
Their legal staff is extremely knowledgeable and creative. They regularly produce research that is useful and accessible, and publicize the issuance of these reports. Their staff provides expert testimony at Congressional and other legislative hearings.

Areas for Improvement

N
NELP isn't truly a national organization yet - their impact is most deeply felt in the cities in which they have offices. But given their limited scope, they feel much larger than they are.
O
Expansion of role as watchdog/advocacy on federal bills proposing restrictions on employment for people with criminal records.
N
Diversify funding.
N
Their messaging could have a stronger emphasis on racial justice.
Tides Center (4 recommendations) Rights Working Group has developed the first grassroots-based campaign against racial profiling. When I began to work on this issue in 2004, I was surprised there was no such campaign, and that national resources were limited. RWG comes from an immigrant perspective, but has included native US populations, esp. African-Americans.
Tides Center
Silver-small

http://www.tides.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Rights Working Group has developed the first grassroots-based campaign against racial profiling. When I began to work on this issue in 2004, I was surprised there was no such campaign, and that national resources were limited. RWG comes from an immigrant perspective, but has included native US populations, esp. African-Americans.
N
Justice Strategies has a notable track record of combining action-oriented research with smart advocacy policies. As a research organization, they are the absolute best at partnering with reform advocates on both large and small projects. Their work is more often than not at the cutting edge of the field and opens up new opportunities for reform -- especially with regard to mandatory minimum sentencing reform efforts and the connection between the criminal justice system and immigration.
O
New organization with strong focus on juvenile issues. Jody Kent is a very strong and competent Director.
N
They collaborate with juvenile justice advocates and disseminate news, trainings, listservs, events and create coalitions.

Organizational Strengths

N
Most, if not all, of the small staff of RWG understand grassroots organizing, and develop workplans with grassroots groups that are accountable but not command or top-down.
N
1. Strategic analysis of the staff -- they are truly top notch people who understand the criminal justice system inside and out -- and when they discover an area they don't understand, they pursue that area relentlessly until they understand it and how it fits into the broader context of mass incarceration. 2. They are terrific collaborators.
O
Strong leadership in an area where there are very few good organizations.
N
They are organized and create the hub for the juvenile justice movement in the USA.

Areas for Improvement

N
RWG needs to continue to move beyond its strength -- its immigration movement base -- to engage more grassroots Latino (esp. Puerto Rican) and African-American involvement.
N
Justice Strategies could improve through by expanding staffing capacity.
O
Brand new organization.
N
More of a west coast presence.
Annie E. Casey Foundation (3 recommendations) Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative is the most comprehensive juvenile justice reform program in the country with proven results for detaining less kids, saving tax payer dollars and improving outcomes for children.
Annie E. Casey Foundation

http://www.aecf.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative is the most comprehensive juvenile justice reform program in the country with proven results for detaining less kids, saving tax payer dollars and improving outcomes for children.
F
Concrete results of reducing unnecessary detention of youth across the country. / / Institute policy and practice changes in local jurisdictions that become institutionalized and long lasting. / / has produced cultural shifts in the juvenile justice field that create an environment for greater level of systemic reforms.
N
Changes to local juvenile justice polices and procedures as a result of their funding.

Organizational Strengths

N
Bart Lubow leads JDAI work with a set of values almost unheard of in juvenile justice reform. He works from a strength based perspective, is incredibly strategic and fully engages all stakeholders.
F
The organization deploys expert consultants and a developed framework to help local jurisdictions research, analysis systemic problems and creates solutions to be implemented. / / Initiative creates a culture of support and peer exchange which is currently missing in the juvenile justice field.
N
Leadership, vision, research to back their work/approach.

Areas for Improvement

N
JDAI should be in every county in this country.
F
Creating a robust and viable infrastructure for community-based alternatives is an area the initiative needs to develop further. Additional Focus on the reducing disparate treatment of youth of color by the system is another area the initiative could better integrate and support more.
N
More funding for local promising initiatives that could have national impact.
Atlantic Center for Capital Representation (3 recommendations) Assistance and training for trial attorneys and investigators with capital cases.
Atlantic Center for Capital Representation

http://www.atlanticcenter.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
Assistance and training for trial attorneys and investigators with capital cases.
O
New nonprofit that has made an enormous impact in a very short time. Addressing enormous problems in the capital indigent defense system that have been kept very well hidden; first of its kind in the state.
N
ACCR is a new organization providing critical resources and education to capital litigators in one of the most active death sentencing jurisdictions in the country.

Organizational Strengths

O
Leadership and staff.
O
Leadership and staff!
N
The leader of this office is one of the best and most successful capital defense attorneys in the country.

Areas for Improvement

O
Atlantic is new, so it will need more time to establish its track record, but its work so far has been invaluable to the trial attorneys it assists.
O
Expansion and, with same, administrative staff to permit more focus on fundraising, etc.
N
They should increase administrative and support staff so that the attorney and litigation specialists focus entirely on case consultations.
Juvenile Law Center (3 recommendations) Through strategically targeted litigation and policy advocacy, JLC has had tremendous impact on improving the juvenile justice system in Pennsylvania, in other states, and nationwide. Their efforts have brought to light troublesome practices in juvenile courts and have enhanced children's constitutional rights, especially the right to counsel.
Juvenile Law Center

http://www.jlc.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
Through strategically targeted litigation and policy advocacy, JLC has had tremendous impact on improving the juvenile justice system in Pennsylvania, in other states, and nationwide. Their efforts have brought to light troublesome practices in juvenile courts and have enhanced children's constitutional rights, especially the right to counsel.
N
Successful litigation on key juvenile justice issues, and playing a leadership role with others in the field. Recent expose of judicial corruption in juvenile detention placements in Pennsylvania.
F
The Juvenile Law Center has been working on juvenile justice reform for 30 years and is a leader in combating the "school-to-prison pipeline" and transferring juveniles into the adult criminal justice system.

Organizational Strengths

O
JLC's leadership and staff is passionate, dedicated to juvenile justice issues, and always ready to assist others working in the field. They are willing and able to take the lead as well as work collaboratively. Their work product is always outstanding.
N
Longstanding leadership that is well regarded in the field.
F
The Juvenile Law Center's Executive Director is recognized nationally as one of the leading advocates for juvenile justice reforms. The Center also coordinates its work with the Education Law Center and others working on services for youth in Pennsylvania.

Areas for Improvement

N
Greater collaboration with others in the field to set agendas and consider strategy.
National Juvenile Defender Center (3 recommendations) NJDC maintains a huge network of attorneys across the country and holds conferences, list serves, publications and trainings for both lawyers and advocates that are challenging unfair juvenile justice laws and practices. It maintains a password protected brief bank in conjunction with the University of San Francisco Law School, Center for Law & Global Justice, Project to End Juvenile Life Without Parole for attorneys to access and utilize in their cases.
National Juvenile Defender Center

http://www.njdc.info/

Evidence of Impact

N
NJDC maintains a huge network of attorneys across the country and holds conferences, list serves, publications and trainings for both lawyers and advocates that are challenging unfair juvenile justice laws and practices. It maintains a password protected brief bank in conjunction with the University of San Francisco Law School, Center for Law & Global Justice, Project to End Juvenile Life Without Parole for attorneys to access and utilize in their cases.
O
Provide much needed comprehensive representation for juvenile focused on getting them and keeping them out of the criminal justice system.
N
The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) has made significant impact at the state and national level by building the capacity of the juvenile defense bar and improving access to counsel and quality of representation for children in the justice system.

Organizational Strengths

N
It has the respect of the best and brightest of all juvenile advocates.
O
They provide quality representation and couple this with strong policy and advocacy strategies.

Areas for Improvement

N
I'd like to see another summit meeting.
O
They need more funding to represent more youth.
Prison Law Office (3 recommendations) Filed lawsuit that is leading to California prison reform
Prison Law Office

http://www.prisonlaw.com/

Evidence of Impact

O
Filed lawsuit that is leading to California prison reform
O
Success in reform litigation.
N
They are responsible for the only prison reform that has occurred in California in the past two decades.

Organizational Strengths

O
Same staff of attorneys for decades-strong institutional knowledge of their legal landscape.
N
Excellent leadership and legal skills.

Areas for Improvement

O
Development of alternatives to litigation.
Texas Defender Service (3 recommendations) Highly effective in exposing and documenting the inadequacies in the system to compel the need for systemic reform.
Texas Defender Service

http://www.texasdefender.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
Highly effective in exposing and documenting the inadequacies in the system to compel the need for systemic reform.
N
TDS provides excellent representation to people facing the death penalty in one of the highest death penalty states in the country: Texas.
N
Although based in Austin and Houston, TX, and often working under the most strenuous conditions with executions regularly scheduled in the state, the Texas Defender Service has a wide-ranging impact on the death penalty debate across the nation. The most high-profile cases that the world hears about and which move policymakers to take action often originate from Texas Defender Service cases, from the "sleeping lawyer," to cases involving mental retardation, mental illness, innocence and racism. Several Texas Defender Service cases have made their way to the U.S. Supreme Court, increasing national impact of their work.

Organizational Strengths

O
Highly dedicated staff and leadership; excels in public education and outreach.
N
TDS aims to improve the quality of representation afforded to those facing a death sentence and to expose and eradicate the systemic flaws plaguing the Texas death penalty. They work to educate and train lawyers throughout Texas to improve the standard of care for poor people facing the death penalty. They perform studies and share statistics that are helpful in the national conversation about the death penalty.
N
Texas Defender Service strengths include, first and foremost, their stellar litigation, followed by their dogged policy reform and public education work.

Areas for Improvement

O
Relations with other local and national nonprofits could be stronger.
N
Need improved internal organization.
The National Council on Crime & Delinquency (NCCD) (3 recommendations) excellent research and presentation of best practices in the field of juvenile justice
The National Council on Crime & Delinquency (NCCD)
Silver-small

http://www.nccd-crc.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
excellent research and presentation of best practices in the field of juvenile justice
N
Their efforts to reform and improve services of the CYA including dismantling of most of the facilities in the state
N
Huge national impact on policy based on their research centers. Their policy analysis and recommendations have been used to create legislation to reform the criminal justice system.

Organizational Strengths

N
They are respected by others.
N
They provide vital research and policy advocacy for juvenile justice reform as well as tools and TA for juvenile justice staff.
N
Strong media presence, allows them maximum exposure and give them weight with the legislature. / Well developed reputation as experts in the field gives them credibility with other advocates. / Thorough research and policy analysis, provides thoughtful and accurate publications.

Areas for Improvement

N
Enlarging staff.<br><br> <b>From the Nonprofit:</b> Our agency has grown. We have 80 employees in three offices (Oakland, CA; Madison, WI; and Jacksonville, FL) as well as staff in Washington, DC; Phoenix, AZ; Austin, TX; Indianapolis, IN; and Milwaukee, WI. Our president, Alex Busansky, joined NCCD in 2010.
N
Because they do so much in such a variety of different areas of the criminal justice system, sometimes they lose a consistency of message - their mission gets lost in the work. An example of this is their website, which can be a little confusing to navigate due to the wealth of information available on it.<br><br> <b>From the Nonprofit:</b> NCCD will launch a new website in early 2012, with major design and usability improvements. This website showcases the work we do in service of our mission: NCCD promotes just and equitable social systems for individuals, families, and communities through research, public policy, and practice.
The Urban Institute (3 recommendations) Works nationally and with state/local jurisdictions to implement more effective policies based on research. Has access to national leaders and testifies on re-entry, and alternatives to incarceration. Acquires funds to provide technical assistance to local jurisdictions to implement more effective criminal justice processes. Strong knowledge based on re-entry issues.
The Urban Institute
Silver-small

http://www.urban.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Works nationally and with state/local jurisdictions to implement more effective policies based on research. Has access to national leaders and testifies on re-entry, and alternatives to incarceration. Acquires funds to provide technical assistance to local jurisdictions to implement more effective criminal justice processes. Strong knowledge based on re-entry issues.
O
They both engage in very important and timely research but also gather people together at the grass tops level to review the research and consider needed reform measures. They set the stage for the current focus on prisoner reentry and passage of the Second Chance Act.
R
Mainly on the reentry research and technical assistance that UI has performed.

Organizational Strengths

N
Research based, quality staff, good national reputation.
R
Recognized as competent and unbiased.

Areas for Improvement

N
Acquiring funding to expand influence. Needs a more cohesive marketing strategy.
American Bar Association's Death Penalty Representation Project (2 recommendations) Based upon the expertise and advocacy of the ABA, authoritative recommendations and guidance is provided criminal justice professionals on a broad range of issues, including best practices for prosecution functions, criminal defense, the judiciary, and correctional professionals.
American Bar Association's Death Penalty Representation Project

http://www.americanbar.org/deathpenalty

Evidence of Impact

O
Based upon the expertise and advocacy of the ABA, authoritative recommendations and guidance is provided criminal justice professionals on a broad range of issues, including best practices for prosecution functions, criminal defense, the judiciary, and correctional professionals.
N
The ABA Death Penalty Representation Project has worked to set standards in death penalty cases that are now routinely applied in courts around the country. Their work has given support to under-resourced capital defense teams, and their brand (the ABA) is often considered the gold standard for many judges.

Organizational Strengths

O
The ABA has more than 400,000 members who are active in all aspects of the justice system and a broad range of expertise, particularly in the field of criminal justice. Many of these professionals selflessly devote hundreds of hours to the study of complex issues that affect criminal justice and craft balanced and carefully considered recommendations to improve all components of the justice system. The organizations efforts in this regard are long-standing and continuing.
N
The Project has done outstanding work in meticulously documenting many different aspects of capital practice - fees for court-appointed counsel, workloads, and working conditions for capital defense teams. The ABA Guidelines are a first resource for all attorneys who practice in this area.

Areas for Improvement

O
I am not aware of a nonprofit organization that is more dedicated, persistent, or successful in serving the public interest in an issue of fundamental importance to our democracy. Over the decades of my membership, the only criticism I could offer would be the occasional need for follow-through with projects which have sometimes (though rarely) stall.
N
The only improvement I can think of is the continued updating of the information that has already been compiled. Fees, workload standards, etc, are constantly changing, and the information is most effective when most recent.
Critical Resistance (2 recommendations) Critical Resistance has crystallized national opposition to prison expansion into a NO MORE PRISON CONSTRUCTION campaign that has mobilized communities most affected by incarceration. This campaign is also reflected in the Detention Watch Network campaign for no new immigration detention beds.
Critical Resistance

http://www.criticalresistance.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Critical Resistance has crystallized national opposition to prison expansion into a NO MORE PRISON CONSTRUCTION campaign that has mobilized communities most affected by incarceration. This campaign is also reflected in the Detention Watch Network campaign for no new immigration detention beds.
N
Has brought the term "Prison Industrial Complex" into use globally. Has created a new generation of activists and academics seriously challenging imprisonment. Basically has shifted the framework / ideology of the criminal justice movement in the US and how we should define success--reform that expands imprisonment is not satisfactory; we need to honestly evaluate our work to see if we are shrinking the problem.

Organizational Strengths

N
Critical Resistance has a strong communications presence, which it uses to benefit the entire prison reform community. Its model of chapter development has also been useful to other organizations.
N
Huge volunteer and membership base that has spread ideology / tenants of the organization globally.

Areas for Improvement

N
Critical Resistance needs more stable funding, and a clearer strategic long-term direction.
N
More involvement and engagement of people most directly impacted by imprisonment. While impactful, Critical Resistance remains a bit of an academic or activist movement. It's impact will widen as communities impacted are engaged further.
Fortune Society (2 recommendations) Fortune works directly with people that were formerly incarcerated, and this direct work informs their policy positions, leading to realistic, solution-oriented decisions.
Fortune Society
Silver-small

http://fortunesociety.org/

Evidence of Impact

R
Fortune works directly with people that were formerly incarcerated, and this direct work informs their policy positions, leading to realistic, solution-oriented decisions.
R
Holistic services; my interviews with people who participated in Fortune's employment programs revealed that participants felt that the program helped them prepare for work and find jobs; Fortune has build several homes especially for people coming out of prison; Fortune has served as a voice for the formerly incarcerated in policy discussions.

Organizational Strengths

R
The leadership at this organization is a strength. It promotes people through its ranks, and they have close experience with key issues.
R
Fortune is primarily run by formerly incarcerated individuals with whom participants can connect. Its leader, Joanne Page, is a very innovative thinker, having spearheaded the development of two housing complexes for the formerly incarcerated.

Areas for Improvement

R
I would like to see Fortune work on more national projects. It's my understanding that they are based largely in the New York area.
R
Greater emphasis on evaluation and evidence-based practice. Stronger compliance with city government contracts, and tracking performance.
Gulf Region Advocacy Center (GRACE) (2 recommendations) Winning impossible high-profile death penalty cases; changing the standard for practice in Texas; mentoring of young lawyers and specialists in death penalty cases.
Gulf Region Advocacy Center (GRACE)

http://www.gracelaw.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Winning impossible high-profile death penalty cases; changing the standard for practice in Texas; mentoring of young lawyers and specialists in death penalty cases.
O
GRAC has had incredible impact on trial and post-conviction representation in death penalty cases. Texas executes more people than any other state, and has shockingly low standards for capital defense representation. That GRAC is able to take on trials (and win) is really impressive, given the time, expense and expertise required by capital trials.

Organizational Strengths

N
Danalynn Recer is a remarkable leader; innovative fundraising and organizing tactics beyond the litigation strategies.
O
Danalynn Recer is an amazing director. She is brilliant, committed, and a fierce advocate. Staff is another major strength of this organization- which is due to Danalynn’s training.

Areas for Improvement

N
The shoestring operation aspect of their correspondence; the community organizing needs to be extended beyond their individual cases.
O
The biggest area of improvement would be consistent/stable funding. The organization seems to be in constant crisis. However, that's really a sign of how much work they are doing in the community. This is probably due to lack of resources, but one improvement would be a bigger staff.
Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights (2 recommendations) They have had excellent advocacy impact in many states and, in President Obama's first budget, the first-ever dedicated funding for transitional jobs -- an effective employment strategy for re-entry. NTJN is also a top notch technical assistance source for other organizations and governmental units trying to conduct transitional jobs programming.
Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights
Silver-small

http://www.heartlandalliance.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They have had excellent advocacy impact in many states and, in President Obama's first budget, the first-ever dedicated funding for transitional jobs -- an effective employment strategy for re-entry. NTJN is also a top notch technical assistance source for other organizations and governmental units trying to conduct transitional jobs programming.
F
These comments are about the National Immigrant Justice Center, a program of the Heartland Alliance. NIJC's greatest impact is in the ability to connect case work to establish legal precedent and influence local and federal policy. To do this using a human rights framework is a huge accomplishment for the field as a whole.

Organizational Strengths

N
NTJN is an extremely well-staffed national coalition. The members of the coalition form a steering committee and do much of the work. The steering committee has advocates, practitioners, researchers, and local government officials.
F
NIJC has excellent leadership and strong, impressive staff that is culturally competent, compassionate and ability to communicate to a multitude of stakeholders. Their national reach on detention issues (including access to ICE and DHS) is outstanding.

Areas for Improvement

N
This excellent organization has no real weaknesses. As with most organizations, it could definitely use more and more diverse funding.
F
NIJC could benefit from a larger fundraising team and could certainly use more staff.
Just Detention International (JDI) (2 recommendations) JDI is the nation's leading (and largely only) organization working on behalf of incarcerated victims of sexual violence, and have been a leading force in passage of the PREA.
Just Detention International (JDI)
Silver-small

http://justdetention.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
JDI is the nation's leading (and largely only) organization working on behalf of incarcerated victims of sexual violence, and have been a leading force in passage of the PREA.
R
Led the charge to get Congress to pass the Prison Rape Elimination Act, a remarkable bi-partisan effort, and then with the Prison Rape Elimination Commission to develop meaningful standards. Working closely with US Dept of Justice to get AG to adopt the proposed standards.

Organizational Strengths

R
Leadership and quality of staff. Strong knowledge of human rights in an international context. Single-issue focused, making it the go-to entity on this issue.

Areas for Improvement

N
More outreach on the state level; speakers bureau; more media outreach.
R
With more funding and more staff, they could do work at the local level outside of just California.
National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP) (2 recommendations) The organization has been successful in launching a national campaign to rid the country of the death penalty. It's work has resulted in the elimination of the death penalty in many states.
National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP)
Silver-small

http://www.ncadp.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
The organization has been successful in launching a national campaign to rid the country of the death penalty. It's work has resulted in the elimination of the death penalty in many states.
N
Staff and work.

Organizational Strengths

N
Leadership and strategy.
N
Ability to deal with a diverse membership.

Areas for Improvement

N
More funds and staff would enable it to work harder in the remaining states with the death penalty.
N
They need to hire more Latinos and more Latino media.
Open Society Institute (2 recommendations) OSI is one of the largest and most effective funders in this area. They have invested in many smaller nonprofits who are leaders in criminal justice reform.
Open Society Institute

http://www.soros.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
OSI is one of the largest and most effective funders in this area. They have invested in many smaller nonprofits who are leaders in criminal justice reform.
N
Convening of advocates, policy and communications.

Organizational Strengths

N
Strategic grantmaking. Visionary leadership of its founding chairman George Soros.
N
Work on drug law reform; resources due to connection to OSI foundation.

Areas for Improvement

N
OSI is very bureaucratic.
N
More publications or could be a mechanism to disseminate participating organization resources.
Pretrial Justice Institute (2 recommendations) Highly effective small group working on the little known but hugely important issue of pretrial detention.
Pretrial Justice Institute

http://www.pretrial.org/Pages/Default.aspx

Evidence of Impact

F
Highly effective small group working on the little known but hugely important issue of pretrial detention.
F
Led by a superlative leader who knows everything about bail reform. Does supreme work, does advocacy around pre-trial justice, and also renders services to organizations around pre-trial justice around the country.

Organizational Strengths

F
Highly expert leadership, very cost effective and efficient.

Areas for Improvement

F
Better media abilities.
Prison Policy Initiative (2 recommendations) Singlehandedly they have made the issue of counting prisoners where they are imprisoned by the US census a national issue and have effected significant change already.
Prison Policy Initiative
Silver-small

http://www.prisonpolicy.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Singlehandedly they have made the issue of counting prisoners where they are imprisoned by the US census a national issue and have effected significant change already.
R
Research about the relationship between where prisoners are counted in the census and how many representatives certain prison-full counties get on the basis of their dis-enfranchised prison populations has produced changes in New York State policy and hopefully will in other states, too. Regularly gathers and synthesizes national research on the criminal justice system.

Organizational Strengths

N
Good media and internet and organizing strategy, singleminded determination.

Areas for Improvement

N
Organizationally it could be strengthened.
The Coalition for Juvenile Justice (2 recommendations) CJJ works with State Advisory Groups. CJJ provides policy papers and guidance to SAGs that continue to positively impact court involved youth.
The Coalition for Juvenile Justice

http://www.juvjustice.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
CJJ works with State Advisory Groups. CJJ provides policy papers and guidance to SAGs that continue to positively impact court involved youth.
N
The Coalition for Juvenile Justice is the fiscal agent for the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN). As the only organization of its kind in the United States, NJJN supports and enhances the work of state-based juvenile justice advocacy groups.

Organizational Strengths

N
Great leadership and great vision.

Areas for Improvement

N
Funding for a federal government relations staff member.
Youth Law Center (YLC) (2 recommendations) This organization has brought about juvenile justice reform through litigation and expert consultation in jurisdictions in numerous states.
Youth Law Center (YLC)
Silver-small

http://www.ylc.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
This organization has brought about juvenile justice reform through litigation and expert consultation in jurisdictions in numerous states.
N
Their have had legislation impact, and have saved/changed lives of youth.

Organizational Strengths

O
Knowledge base of staff.
N
Staff are smart and committed.

Areas for Improvement

O
Long-term sustainable funding.
A New Way of Life Reentry Project (1 recommendation) Great reentry wrap around services. They have high impact because they are able to provide housing and advocacy to women coming home from prison. As a result women have regained custody of their children; they also support the entire family.
A New Way of Life Reentry Project
Silver-small

http://www.anewwayoflife.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Great reentry wrap around services. They have high impact because they are able to provide housing and advocacy to women coming home from prison. As a result women have regained custody of their children; they also support the entire family.

Organizational Strengths

N
The leadership development taught in the house is transferred into the community. The women participate in the clean slate program on the weekend.
ACLU of Southern California (1 recommendation) Long term work and results.
ACLU of Southern California
Silver-small

http://www.aclu-sc.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Long term work and results.

Organizational Strengths

N
Staff and communications.

Areas for Improvement

N
They have hired new Latinos but need to do more with Latino media.
Advancement Project (1 recommendation) Excellent at using evidence based practices and committed to educating and working in tandem with grassroots entities and organizations to shape policy through litigation, legislative reform and use of media. They also address pre-incarceration issues such as through the school-to prison pipeline and post incarceration.
Advancement Project
Silver-small

http://www.advancementproject.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
Excellent at using evidence based practices and committed to educating and working in tandem with grassroots entities and organizations to shape policy through litigation, legislative reform and use of media. They also address pre-incarceration issues such as through the school-to prison pipeline and post incarceration.

Organizational Strengths

O
understanding of importance of working with grassroots organizations and building a true movement for reform.

Areas for Improvement

O
They need to be more visible and connected to other advocates nationally like prisoner's rights folks. Also could train other advocacy groups on the grassroots model.
American Law Institute (ALI) (1 recommendation) The ALI repealed all model penal code provisions related to the implementation of the death penalty last year. This will have far reaching impact on the legitimacy of the death penalty in the coming years.
American Law Institute (ALI)
Silver-small

http://www.ali.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
The ALI repealed all model penal code provisions related to the implementation of the death penalty last year. This will have far reaching impact on the legitimacy of the death penalty in the coming years.

Organizational Strengths

N
Highly regarded membership organization; very thoughtful deliberations on this issue (and many others).

Areas for Improvement

N
Somewhat opaque in its activities. ALI itself, moreover, has not been involved with publicly advancing the issues implicated by its repeal of the MPC on the death penalty.
Amnesty International USA (1 recommendation) Amnesty International impacts the death penalty repeal movement by developing an effective communications and grassroots campaign around particularly problematic cases and by assisting state repeal campaigns who they give access to their large resources and state members.
Amnesty International USA
Silver-small

http://www.amnestyusa.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Amnesty International impacts the death penalty repeal movement by developing an effective communications and grassroots campaign around particularly problematic cases and by assisting state repeal campaigns who they give access to their large resources and state members.

Organizational Strengths

N
For such a large organization they are able to narrowly focus on work that actually impacts the issue.

Areas for Improvement

N
Sometimes the large organizational structure can make decision making slow.
Bazelon Center (1 recommendation) The Bazelon Center plays a critical role in bringing attention to the role of mental illnesses in the criminal justice system. Through its involvement in court cases, Bazelon also plays a key role in decriminalizing mental illnesses in the United States. Bazelon also provides state and local stakeholders with valuable resources that empower them to work to decriminalize mental illnesses in their own jurisdictions.
Bazelon Center
Silver-small

http://www.bazelon.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
The Bazelon Center plays a critical role in bringing attention to the role of mental illnesses in the criminal justice system. Through its involvement in court cases, Bazelon also plays a key role in decriminalizing mental illnesses in the United States. Bazelon also provides state and local stakeholders with valuable resources that empower them to work to decriminalize mental illnesses in their own jurisdictions.

Organizational Strengths

N
Effective marketing is an important piece of what Bazelon does. Bazelon's combination of expertise and strong marketing are powerful tools to combat the stigma around mental illnesses, which is a significant barrier to decriminalizing mental illnesses.

Areas for Improvement

N
Bazelon could do more to reach out to and engage non-national stakeholders. This is something Bazelon has done well in the past, and I believe that funding limitations have undermined the organization's ability to do this in recent years.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) (1 recommendation) An evidence-based mentoring program that this organization operates
Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA)
Silver-small

http://www.bgca.org/Pages/index.aspx

Evidence of Impact

R
An evidence-based mentoring program that this organization operates
Brennan Center for Justice (1 recommendation) Compiles and disseminates great articles about reentry, crime and justice.
Brennan Center for Justice
Silver-small

http://www.brennancenter.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Compiles and disseminates great articles about reentry, crime and justice.

Organizational Strengths

N
Credible, solid organization
CURE International (1 recommendation) The Executive Director works issues hard and is willing to reach out to conservatives to make allies for important policy changes.
CURE International
Silver-small

http://cure.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
The Executive Director works issues hard and is willing to reach out to conservatives to make allies for important policy changes.

Organizational Strengths

N
What CURE doesn't have in resources, they make up with a healthy dose of persistence and a bucketful of faith that more enlightened policies are possible.

Areas for Improvement

N
CURE needs some strategic planning to help keep it focused and to develop a transition plan for when its co-founders are no longer able to be at the helm. In particular, CURE needs to develop a procedure for deciding when to take on new issues so that it doesn't distract financial -- and more critically, staff -- resources from other priorities.
Catholic Mobilizing Network (1 recommendation) The Catholic Mobilizing Network enables groups in the death penalty abolition movement to have a greater impact with Catholic institutions, clergy and congregations. Since the Catholic church is the largest denomination in the US, and has a moral teaching opposing the death penalty, its work is vital.
Catholic Mobilizing Network

http://catholicsmobilizing.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
The Catholic Mobilizing Network enables groups in the death penalty abolition movement to have a greater impact with Catholic institutions, clergy and congregations. Since the Catholic church is the largest denomination in the US, and has a moral teaching opposing the death penalty, its work is vital.

Organizational Strengths

N
Though a small organization, the Catholic Mobilizing Network has staff that are known and respected across the death penalty abolition movement.

Areas for Improvement

N
The Catholic Mobilizing Network need to develop more tools for helping non-Catholics to work with Catholics on the death penalty issue. These tools might include face to face meetings.
Center for Children's Law and Policy (CCLP) (1 recommendation) Their work with organizations implementing the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative and the Models for Change Disproportionate Minority Contact Action Network. They have been extremely effective in helping jurisdictions in various parts of the country implement effective reforms to their juvenile justice systems.
Center for Children's Law and Policy (CCLP)

http://www.cclp.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Their work with organizations implementing the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative and the Models for Change Disproportionate Minority Contact Action Network. They have been extremely effective in helping jurisdictions in various parts of the country implement effective reforms to their juvenile justice systems.

Organizational Strengths

N
Staff are well-informed, effective and highly committed. They bring very practical technical assistance skills to the work that they do, and they are able to engage a range of stakeholders.

Areas for Improvement

N
Publicize their work and success better, with more reports and better media relations.
Center for Community Alternatives (CCA) (1 recommendation) CCA's work has transformed NY and created a national discussion about discrimination by colleges and universities against people with criminal convictions in the admissions process. CCA has played an important role in coordinating legal defense attorneys around implementation of drug law reform in NY, and they continue to excel in their advocacy efforts for those who are often unable to do so on their own.
Center for Community Alternatives (CCA)
Silver-small

http://www.communityalternatives.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
CCA's work has transformed NY and created a national discussion about discrimination by colleges and universities against people with criminal convictions in the admissions process. CCA has played an important role in coordinating legal defense attorneys around implementation of drug law reform in NY, and they continue to excel in their advocacy efforts for those who are often unable to do so on their own.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have an absolutely brilliant legal advocacy office -- the staff are truly remarkable and top-notch. They are also quick to understand -- better than most -- the politics surrounding criminal justice reform efforts. This is often overlooked, always to the detriment of reform goals.

Areas for Improvement

N
CCA could improve through more on-the-ground outreach, beyond the service sector which it serves (and works) so well.
Center for Community Change (CCC) (1 recommendation) CCC has played a big role in the strengthening of groups that do immigration work. They have highlighted and helped bring resources to groups that prioritize community organizing as a tactic for change.
Center for Community Change (CCC)
Silver-small

http://www.communitychange.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
CCC has played a big role in the strengthening of groups that do immigration work. They have highlighted and helped bring resources to groups that prioritize community organizing as a tactic for change.

Organizational Strengths

N
Other strengths include helping make connections to groups who do similar work. They have also helped bring national importance to civic engagement work in communities color.

Areas for Improvement

N
To improve, CCC can be more strategic in partnerships, in particular with ensuring to be complementing work not duplicating existing efforts.
Center for Death Penalty Litigation (1 recommendation) CDPL has had tremendous successes in advocating for prisoners on death row throughout North Carolina, a state with a large death row population and significant issues of racism. Additionally, CDPL spearheaded a study on race and the death penalty in North Carolina, which led to the North Carolina Racial Justice Act, which created a right to judicial review for those cases that race may have been a factor. They then helped every prisoner on death row exercise that newly created right (within a one year period, I believe).
Center for Death Penalty Litigation

http://www.cdpl.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
CDPL has had tremendous successes in advocating for prisoners on death row throughout North Carolina, a state with a large death row population and significant issues of racism. Additionally, CDPL spearheaded a study on race and the death penalty in North Carolina, which led to the North Carolina Racial Justice Act, which created a right to judicial review for those cases that race may have been a factor. They then helped every prisoner on death row exercise that newly created right (within a one year period, I believe).

Organizational Strengths

O
Again, leadership is important. Getting involved in the study shows vision, creativity, and an understanding of the significant racial tensions in the death penalty. Staff is also a strength: that they were able to take this on and carry it out is amazing.
Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) (1 recommendation) They have conducted randomized study of placement and recidivism.
Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO)
Silver-small

http://ceoworks.org/

Evidence of Impact

R
They have conducted randomized study of placement and recidivism.

Organizational Strengths

R
Very strong executive team, involved in both policy and operations.
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ) (1 recommendation) Research they produce is outstanding and very useful to educate others / Impacts on state legislation / Impact on local youth
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ)
Silver-small

http://www.cjcj.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Research they produce is outstanding and very useful to educate others / Impacts on state legislation / Impact on local youth

Organizational Strengths

N
Staff / Leadership
College and Community Fellowship (CCF) (1 recommendation) CCF has worked for years to remove barriers to higher education for students with criminal records.
College and Community Fellowship (CCF)

http://www.collegeandcommunity.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
CCF has worked for years to remove barriers to higher education for students with criminal records.

Organizational Strengths

N
The fact that the organization is led by a former client, means that the services and policy work is shaped by someone who has experienced things similar to the current client population. In addition, the organization has done a great job of create a sense of "community" among the clients, which means that the organization's capacity to help others is increased exponentially by peers assisting each other to overcome barriers.

Areas for Improvement

N
Resources: This program is mostly limited by the difficulty in raising additional resources to help more clients. There are no shortage of people who need the help of this organization, but because many people are limited in their thinking about the capacity of formerly incarcerated people, some have a difficult time grasping the concept and the importance of the work.
Commonweal (1 recommendation) Highly skilled public policy analysis and input to policymakers on juvenile justice issues. Commonweal provides ongoing bulletins and policy reports to juvenile justice professionals, and its staff has been at the forefront of juvenile justice reform over the past two decades.
Commonweal
Silver-small

http://www.commonweal.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
Highly skilled public policy analysis and input to policymakers on juvenile justice issues. Commonweal provides ongoing bulletins and policy reports to juvenile justice professionals, and its staff has been at the forefront of juvenile justice reform over the past two decades.

Organizational Strengths

O
The program has the respect of by juvenile justice advocacy community, legislators and government agency officials; uniquely knowledgeable about the development of juvenile law in California; one of the few organizations with access to the inner sanctums of California legislators.

Areas for Improvement

O
It needs to clone a few more people to do this work; its work is outstanding.
Community Resources for Justice (CRJ) (1 recommendation) Run evidence-based programs in reentry and other community justice areas. Well respected for leadership on policy and practice; division dedicated to research and best-practices.
Community Resources for Justice (CRJ)
Silver-small

http://www.crjustice.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Run evidence-based programs in reentry and other community justice areas. Well respected for leadership on policy and practice; division dedicated to research and best-practices.

Organizational Strengths

N
Leadership; comprehensive (policy, practice, research); program delivery.

Areas for Improvement

N
Faster incorporation of innovative and creative solutions/elements; ability to scale down for demonstration models.
Correctional Association of New York (1 recommendation) Most "flashy" victory in recent years: Correctional Association overturned Rockefeller Drug laws in NYS; / but consistently the CA has effected concrete changes in how the State and City administer justice in prisons, courts, pens, jails, etc.
Correctional Association of New York
Silver-small

http://www.correctionalassociation.org/

Evidence of Impact

F
Most "flashy" victory in recent years: Correctional Association overturned Rockefeller Drug laws in NYS; / but consistently the CA has effected concrete changes in how the State and City administer justice in prisons, courts, pens, jails, etc.

Organizational Strengths

F
Board is particularly strong; staff leadership is excellent / Organization is very strategic.

Areas for Improvement

F
More resources are needed to demonstrate how CA is a national model and nationally significant as a player in criminal justice fields / marketing, publications, website could be improved.
DC Lawyers for Youth (1 recommendation) Their ability and mission to aid youth/at risk youth and localize a national issue.
DC Lawyers for Youth

http://www.dcly.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Their ability and mission to aid youth/at risk youth and localize a national issue.

Organizational Strengths

N
Having leadership that are connecting and professional lawyers. Knowing when they need assistance, and acquiring it to fulfill all their goals (technical assistance, assistance from city leadership on initiatives).

Areas for Improvement

N
DCLY could benefit from having more staff and more resources to conduct further research coupled with advocacy efforts. They seem to have a small operation and could do so much more with their goals to affect residents, government agencies and policy.
Death Penalty Litigation Clinic (1 recommendation) DPLC are the nationwide standard-bearers in the field of mitigation investigation and presentation in capital cases. They authored and produced the Guidelines for the Mitigation function in capital cases, which is the defining document of this work. That effort continues to have dramatic nation-wide impact as the standards of mitigation investigation are litigated in hundreds of capital cases around the country. Their post-conviction representation is also responsible for dramatic reduction in executions in Kansas and Missouri and the saving of lives in numerous cases all over the country.
Death Penalty Litigation Clinic

http://dplclinic.com/

Evidence of Impact

N
DPLC are the nationwide standard-bearers in the field of mitigation investigation and presentation in capital cases. They authored and produced the Guidelines for the Mitigation function in capital cases, which is the defining document of this work. That effort continues to have dramatic nation-wide impact as the standards of mitigation investigation are litigated in hundreds of capital cases around the country. Their post-conviction representation is also responsible for dramatic reduction in executions in Kansas and Missouri and the saving of lives in numerous cases all over the country.

Organizational Strengths

N
DPLC has strong leadership and a small group of very talented young attorneys who do exceptional work in individual cases as well as impacting the broader capital defense community through training and standards.

Areas for Improvement

N
Expand trial level direct representation.
Detention Watch Network (1 recommendation) Detention Watch Network has united many immigration rights organizations into an effective national network. This network shares legal information regarding immigrant rights, as well as mounting campaigns to stop immigration detention, and improve conditions of confinement for people in immigration detention. The establishment of this network has strengthened efforts nationally to stop implementation of the Secure Communities program, as well as to modify ICE policies.
Detention Watch Network

http://www.detentionwatchnetwork.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Detention Watch Network has united many immigration rights organizations into an effective national network. This network shares legal information regarding immigrant rights, as well as mounting campaigns to stop immigration detention, and improve conditions of confinement for people in immigration detention. The establishment of this network has strengthened efforts nationally to stop implementation of the Secure Communities program, as well as to modify ICE policies.

Organizational Strengths

N
DWN has a very strong leadership staff, which is very responsive to their network. They are a bilingual network, and they promote community organizing both among immigrants and U.S. citizens.

Areas for Improvement

N
The function of the network has been coordination and communication rather than campaign leadership. The relationship between national staff and local organizations can be improved.
Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) (1 recommendation) Multiple successes in reforming federal sentencing guidelines, successes in several state legislatures (notably Michigan) and effective and wide education efforts.
Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM)
Silver-small

http://www.famm.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Multiple successes in reforming federal sentencing guidelines, successes in several state legislatures (notably Michigan) and effective and wide education efforts.

Organizational Strengths

N
Longer term history, great resource for other organizations, led and influenced by people with direct experience in the criminal justice system.

Areas for Improvement

N
More presence or connectivity in mid- and western states.
Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) (1 recommendation) Good track record, very strong policy advocacy work, excellent staff.
Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM)
Silver-small

http://www.famm.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
Good track record, very strong policy advocacy work, excellent staff.

Organizational Strengths

O
Very good staff, who have been on issues for decade or longer. Effective leadership.

Areas for Improvement

O
Very focused on policy advocacy, without individual representation.
Free Minds Book Club and Writing Workshop (1 recommendation) They support young adults involved in the criminal justice system in the District of Columbia with a book club and workshops while they are detained, while in federal institutions and once they are released.
Free Minds Book Club and Writing Workshop
Bronze-small

http://www.freemindsbookclub.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
They support young adults involved in the criminal justice system in the District of Columbia with a book club and workshops while they are detained, while in federal institutions and once they are released.

Organizational Strengths

O
They have very dedicated leaders.
Friends of HOPE (1 recommendation) The HOPE probation project is one of the most innovative probation reforms in the United States. It is transforming the way sentencing experts think about drug users and probation. If properly implemented and tested throughout the United States, I believe it could save taxpayers millions while improving outcome for problem drug users who are having regular contact with the criminal justice system.
Friends of HOPE

http://www.hopeprobation.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
The HOPE probation project is one of the most innovative probation reforms in the United States. It is transforming the way sentencing experts think about drug users and probation. If properly implemented and tested throughout the United States, I believe it could save taxpayers millions while improving outcome for problem drug users who are having regular contact with the criminal justice system.

Organizational Strengths

N
Friends of HOPE is a small non-profit as far as I know. It's strength is in the creativity of the HOPE probation model. It may be that Friends of HOPE is not the institution to take the program to a national scale -- however the strategy belongs on a national scale and is beginning to be implemented this way.

Areas for Improvement

N
I think the biggest weakness with HOPE probation is that it has not been tested nation-wide so that there is not data supporting its effectiveness across jurisdictions. With that data, it would become much more accessible to jurisdictions around the US.
Generation FIVE (1 recommendation) This is an organization committed to ending child abuse in 5 generations in a way that preserves families, builds stronger accountable communities, and does NOT rely on policing/prisons (recognizing that most violence, particularly child abuse, goes unreported). This organization is giving us tangible models for how accountability and safety can be created and maintained without state engagement in some of the most difficult situations. This work is one of the most essential areas that needs to be developed if we are serious about reforming sentencing, our courts, and how we help all people thrive.
Generation FIVE

http://www.generationfive.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
This is an organization committed to ending child abuse in 5 generations in a way that preserves families, builds stronger accountable communities, and does NOT rely on policing/prisons (recognizing that most violence, particularly child abuse, goes unreported). This organization is giving us tangible models for how accountability and safety can be created and maintained without state engagement in some of the most difficult situations. This work is one of the most essential areas that needs to be developed if we are serious about reforming sentencing, our courts, and how we help all people thrive.

Organizational Strengths

N
Staff are all survivors of violence.

Areas for Improvement

N
Need better communications capacity to promote viable models for addressing violence.
Goodwill- Easter Seals Minnesota (1 recommendation) Reentry programs for persons reentering from incarceration.
Goodwill- Easter Seals Minnesota
Silver-small

http://www.goodwilleasterseals.org/site/PageServer

Evidence of Impact

N
Reentry programs for persons reentering from incarceration.

Organizational Strengths

N
Goodwill has a national reach/impact and a significant level of resources to be able to enact programming- their concerted focus on mission (persons with barriers to employment) works to the benefit of ex-offenders.

Areas for Improvement

N
I am more familiar with operations in my local state, where I think Goodwill could stand to broaden its impact and invest more resources in rural areas of MN.
Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC) (1 recommendation) HRDC publishes Prison Legal News, a hard copy 50 page magazine that is subscribed to by roughly 5,000 prisoners. Because each issue is read by at least ten other prisoners, their readership base is unrivaled by any periodical in this arena. PLN is also a clearinghouse of information regarding conditions of confinement lawsuits, empowering pro se litigants, as most 8th Amendment claims are filed by prisoners themselves. In most prisons there is no legal clinic for any assistance, and many are eliminating law library access. PLN is alone in what it provides, including having a staff lawyer for conditions cases, 1st Amendment violations, and campaigns against oppressive telephone rates.
Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC)

http://humanrightsdefensecenter.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
HRDC publishes Prison Legal News, a hard copy 50 page magazine that is subscribed to by roughly 5,000 prisoners. Because each issue is read by at least ten other prisoners, their readership base is unrivaled by any periodical in this arena. PLN is also a clearinghouse of information regarding conditions of confinement lawsuits, empowering pro se litigants, as most 8th Amendment claims are filed by prisoners themselves. In most prisons there is no legal clinic for any assistance, and many are eliminating law library access. PLN is alone in what it provides, including having a staff lawyer for conditions cases, 1st Amendment violations, and campaigns against oppressive telephone rates.

Organizational Strengths

N
The leadership of PLN includes two former "jailhouse lawyers," who have translated their skills gained in prison into national assistance for others. Having that experience also allows them to effectively prioritize, as some issues are structurally unimportant although they may inspire many complaints. They have very low overhead in Brattleboro, and are based directly over the post office.

Areas for Improvement

N
They should move to a place where they could build stronger day-to-day partnerships, such as being housed in the same building as a grassroots organization in a city. Their staff could receive more interns, training, and ease of travel for networking events. Their website would benefit from a more media-friendly design.
John Howard Association of Illinois (1 recommendation) The group almost single-handedly takes care of prison conditions issues. It is a strong advocate on conditions, and it is often a court-appointed expert.
John Howard Association of Illinois

http://www.thejha.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
The group almost single-handedly takes care of prison conditions issues. It is a strong advocate on conditions, and it is often a court-appointed expert.

Organizational Strengths

N
Special expertise.
Justice Now (JNow) (1 recommendation) With engagement of people in prison, they have won significant anti-prison legislative battles in California, a state that shies away from decarceration measures. This organization has helped launch a movement of organizations working to create alternative accountability models surrounding violence that do not rely on policing, through hosting round-tables and discussions around cross-movement allies beginning over a decade ago. This organization has developed a wholly unique method of participatory research, allowing people in prison to document human rights abuses inside prison while developing the language and tools of human rights toward developing leadership in disenfranchised communities.
Justice Now (JNow)

http://www.jnow.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
With engagement of people in prison, they have won significant anti-prison legislative battles in California, a state that shies away from decarceration measures. This organization has helped launch a movement of organizations working to create alternative accountability models surrounding violence that do not rely on policing, through hosting round-tables and discussions around cross-movement allies beginning over a decade ago. This organization has developed a wholly unique method of participatory research, allowing people in prison to document human rights abuses inside prison while developing the language and tools of human rights toward developing leadership in disenfranchised communities.

Organizational Strengths

N
Rare organization inclusive of people IN prison on governing board and engagement of people in prison in successful policy campaigns, peer education efforts, and participatory research. Rare model for balancing systemic change work and aiding people in prison in the here and now--the organization dispels the myth that one cannot do radical anti-prison work while also engaging people in the here and now.

Areas for Improvement

N
Needs to document its organizing, research and leadership models for wide use.
MacArthur Foundation (1 recommendation) Their ability to fund other organizations that are doing direct work in juvenile justice, reentry, etc.
MacArthur Foundation
Silver-small

http://www.macfound.org/site/c.lkLXJ8MQKrH/b.3599935/k.1648/John_D__Catherine_T_MacArthur_Foundation.htm

Evidence of Impact

N
Their ability to fund other organizations that are doing direct work in juvenile justice, reentry, etc.

Organizational Strengths

N
Strengths: they have officers that are very knowledgeable about the issues/orgs that they fund and can offer true insight to their grant recipients. They have a vision to expand their giving to orgs that are off the beaten path - including criminal justice reform

Areas for Improvement

N
Expanding their giving to criminal justice reform/juvenile justice efforts as they do with other orgs. Affecting even more states/areas/orgs with their projects
Michigan State University College of Law (1 recommendation) Legal research into racial bias in the imposition of the death penalty in NC. i.e. Racial Justice Act.
Michigan State University College of Law

http://www.law.msu.edu/index.html

Evidence of Impact

F
Legal research into racial bias in the imposition of the death penalty in NC. i.e. Racial Justice Act.

Organizational Strengths

F
Effectively designed a rigorous process to use statistical evidences to explain racial bias in death penalty cases. / Effective at involving local organizations and attorneys in gathering data and supporting the research model. / Clear understanding of legal precedent and constitutional law in this area.
Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights (MVFHR) (1 recommendation) MVFHR has developed a strong murder family voice in opposition to the death penalty, making both a moral argument from the perspective of a credible moral witness, as well as a practical argument pointing out that the capital punishment system in America does a poor job at meeting the needs of murder victim family members.
Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights (MVFHR)
Bronze-small

http://www.murdervictimsfamilies.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
MVFHR has developed a strong murder family voice in opposition to the death penalty, making both a moral argument from the perspective of a credible moral witness, as well as a practical argument pointing out that the capital punishment system in America does a poor job at meeting the needs of murder victim family members.

Organizational Strengths

N
1. MVFHR has engaged the European Community in MVFHR's US-based work against the death penalty; 2. The organization promotes restorative justice by bringing together families of the executed with families of murder victims in common cause against the death penalty.

Areas for Improvement

N
The impact of MVFR is limited by its inability to hire more staff to oversee and carry out the organization's ambitious mission.
National Commission on Correctional Health Care (1 recommendation) They publish standards for health care in prisons and jails that are accepted by most jurisdictions as the goal to reach. They inspect facilities to determine compliance with the standards.
National Commission on Correctional Health Care

http://www.ncchc.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They publish standards for health care in prisons and jails that are accepted by most jurisdictions as the goal to reach. They inspect facilities to determine compliance with the standards.

Organizational Strengths

N
They include many correctional healthcare experts in the development of the standards and conduct several national conferences that bring healthcare officials from around the country to its meetings.

Areas for Improvement

N
The organization has certified jurisdictions as in substantial compliance with their standards even though the jurisdiction subsequently was found to have constitutional violations. Their review process should be even more rigorous and involve more input from the inmate population.
National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) (1 recommendation) They are doing excellent work linking and providing resources to advocates working across the country on juvenile justice reform issues. This has enabled the advocates to share knowledge, pool resources and be more effective in their work on the state and local level. NJJN has also marshaled its members into a stronger national movement.
National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN)

http://www.njjn.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They are doing excellent work linking and providing resources to advocates working across the country on juvenile justice reform issues. This has enabled the advocates to share knowledge, pool resources and be more effective in their work on the state and local level. NJJN has also marshaled its members into a stronger national movement.

Organizational Strengths

N
NJJN has a highly effective, efficient and committed staff, and is innovating new ways to build and serve the national movement for juvenile justice reform. For example, NJJN has launched two new initiatives that are poised to create some lasting impact: the Youth Justice Leadership Institute and the Fiscal Policy Institute.

Areas for Improvement

N
NJJN needs to figure out how to get more diverse funding sources in order to ensure its sustainability.
Network on Women in Prison (1 recommendation) Building a movement of people who have been in prison to challenge post-conviction discrimination.
Network on Women in Prison

Evidence of Impact

N
Building a movement of people who have been in prison to challenge post-conviction discrimination.

Organizational Strengths

N
Leadership, alliance building.
Pacific Juvenile Defender Center (PJDC) (1 recommendation) Providing a community for juvenile defense counsel and advocates around California through trial support, list serves, connection to experts. Providing leadership in moving important public policy issues forward for juvenile justice. Offering a forum for development of standards of practice for juvenile defense counsel. Ultimately helping the most vulnerable children in our communities. PJDC has a proven track record in connecting previously isolate advocates to its services and in helping children around California.
Pacific Juvenile Defender Center (PJDC)

http://www.pjdc.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
Providing a community for juvenile defense counsel and advocates around California through trial support, list serves, connection to experts. Providing leadership in moving important public policy issues forward for juvenile justice. Offering a forum for development of standards of practice for juvenile defense counsel. Ultimately helping the most vulnerable children in our communities. PJDC has a proven track record in connecting previously isolate advocates to its services and in helping children around California.

Organizational Strengths

O
Leadership, collaborative capacity, substantive knowledge, actual impact in helping lawyers to help children to achieve better outcomes.

Areas for Improvement

O
Lack of access to consistent funding. As noted in this invitation, it is hard to fund non-profits working in the criminal justice field.
Prison Fellowship (1 recommendation) They have had an enormous impact on conservatives and creating space for both Republicans and Democrats to support reform measures. They also have played a leading role in important national reform measures including creation of the Prison Rape Elimination Commission and the Second Chance. Most all of them are dyed in the wool Reagan conservatives, but on criminal justice reform issues they are very good and very solid.
Prison Fellowship
Silver-small

http://www.prisonfellowship.org/prison-fellowship-home

Evidence of Impact

O
They have had an enormous impact on conservatives and creating space for both Republicans and Democrats to support reform measures. They also have played a leading role in important national reform measures including creation of the Prison Rape Elimination Commission and the Second Chance. Most all of them are dyed in the wool Reagan conservatives, but on criminal justice reform issues they are very good and very solid.
Private Corrections Institute (1 recommendation) Leading activists against the for-profit prison industry.
Private Corrections Institute

http://www.privateci.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Leading activists against the for-profit prison industry.

Organizational Strengths

N
All members are extremely well versed on private prison issues; provide support on the grassroots level to local communities facing private prison sittings.

Areas for Improvement

N
More staff, staff to develop professional public education materials.
Public/Private Ventures (1 recommendation) Their staff does a good job of thoroughly evaluating reentry programs.
Public/Private Ventures
Silver-small

http://www.ppv.org/ppv/index.asp

Evidence of Impact

R
Their staff does a good job of thoroughly evaluating reentry programs.

Organizational Strengths

R
Their operations and finances-- they are a large national organization with a stable financial system and strong connections to local non-profits and municipalities.

Areas for Improvement

R
They could do a better job of providing technical assistance, but their research is high quality.
Rocky Mountain Innocence Center (1 recommendation) They've had a number of high profile exonerations with limited resources. Some of these have been non-DNA cases, which take a great deal of time and energy. They are working to prevent and correct wrongful convictions in a very large geographic area. They have a small staff but are winning a number of high profile cases.
Rocky Mountain Innocence Center

http://innocencecenter.wordpress.com/

Evidence of Impact

O
They've had a number of high profile exonerations with limited resources. Some of these have been non-DNA cases, which take a great deal of time and energy. They are working to prevent and correct wrongful convictions in a very large geographic area. They have a small staff but are winning a number of high profile cases.

Organizational Strengths

O
They have a very collegial environment which I think contributes to their effectiveness. They have also been able to have success over a large territorial jurisdiction. Their leadership is charismatic and I understand they have a healthy work environment.

Areas for Improvement

O
They could have better fund raising and a larger staff. It wouldn't hurt to improve their fundraising.
Southern Poverty Law Center (1 recommendation) The Southern Poverty Law Center has a proven track record of pursuing justice for its clients (immigrants, low-wage workers, victims of police misconduct, victims of hate crimes) through litigation and through exposing broader issues, such as the school to prison pipeline, juvenile justice, etc.
Southern Poverty Law Center
Silver-small

http://www.splcenter.org

Evidence of Impact

N
The Southern Poverty Law Center has a proven track record of pursuing justice for its clients (immigrants, low-wage workers, victims of police misconduct, victims of hate crimes) through litigation and through exposing broader issues, such as the school to prison pipeline, juvenile justice, etc.

Organizational Strengths

N
The SPLC has strong, consistent leadership and well-managed operations. It also succeeds in engaging law enforcement and educators in its community outreach programs and in involving key stakeholders in providing community-based solutions to critical justice issues.

Areas for Improvement

N
Perhaps the SPLC could do more to engage grassroots supporters in advocacy efforts.
Texas Appleseed (1 recommendation) Investigation of immigration facilities.
Texas Appleseed
Silver-small

http://www.texasappleseed.net/

Evidence of Impact

O
Investigation of immigration facilities.

Organizational Strengths

O
Direct investigation of possible claims; collaboration with prominent law firms.
Texas Public Policy Foundation (1 recommendation) This group has nearly single handily made criminal justice and sentencing reform an issue that conservatives/Republicans should support. Their "Right on Crime" work has led to sentencing reform in many states.
Texas Public Policy Foundation

http://www.texaspolicy.com/

Evidence of Impact

N
This group has nearly single handily made criminal justice and sentencing reform an issue that conservatives/Republicans should support. Their "Right on Crime" work has led to sentencing reform in many states.
The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) (1 recommendation) ACS has both national and local chapter programming that is first-class. At the national level, it's publications are provocative and scholarly.
The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS)
Silver-small

http://www.acslaw.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
ACS has both national and local chapter programming that is first-class. At the national level, it's publications are provocative and scholarly.

Organizational Strengths

N
Excellent leadership that encourages participation.

Areas for Improvement

N
The annual program in DC is excellent. I would like to see some additional national programming, perhaps utilizing webcasts.
The Applied Research Center (1 recommendation) ARC has a continuing and visible impact on keeping the racial justice frame in our minds as we do our work on criminal justice. It is a constant source of stories and other information that are current.
The Applied Research Center
Silver-small

http://www.arc.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
ARC has a continuing and visible impact on keeping the racial justice frame in our minds as we do our work on criminal justice. It is a constant source of stories and other information that are current.

Organizational Strengths

N
ARC has a very seasoned staff, people who have been working for racial justice for a long time, but also stays connected to the concerns of youth, new immigrants, etc.

Areas for Improvement

N
ARC's Facing Race is an excellent annual meeting, and obviously a major effort for the organization, but the content in it might be better disseminated by regional meetings or more national meetings. Only a few people can take the time and spend the money to attend these meetings, and these are not necessarily the ones who need them the most.
The Osborne Association (1 recommendation) The organization has done an excellent job in service delivery to formerly incarcerated people.
The Osborne Association
Silver-small

http://www.osborneny.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
The organization has done an excellent job in service delivery to formerly incarcerated people.

Organizational Strengths

N
Operations, marketing and breadth of services.
The Rebecca Project for Human Rights (1 recommendation) Ability to advocate for federal policies and funding that directly impact incarcerated women and girls. Affectively collaborate with other service providers across the country. They started the first ever gender responsive coalition.
The Rebecca Project for Human Rights

http://www.rebeccaproject.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Ability to advocate for federal policies and funding that directly impact incarcerated women and girls. Affectively collaborate with other service providers across the country. They started the first ever gender responsive coalition.

Organizational Strengths

N
Great media campaign against the exploitation of young women and girls in the commercial sex industry.
The SAGE Project (1 recommendation) Gender responsive services for women and girls.
The SAGE Project
Silver-small

http://www.sagesf.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Gender responsive services for women and girls.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have a very qualified staff of women and support the leadership of formally incarcerated women.

Areas for Improvement

N
They opened a safe house but could not sustain it and since their Executive Director Passed away it’s not clear who is in charge.
Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center (1 recommendation) They are on the front lines of capital representation in one of the states with the highest execution rates. They provide direct representation for capital defendants but are also good at sharing information with the criminal defense community at large.
Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center

http://www.vcrrc.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
They are on the front lines of capital representation in one of the states with the highest execution rates. They provide direct representation for capital defendants but are also good at sharing information with the criminal defense community at large.

Organizational Strengths

O
They've been at the forefront of the fight to expand habeas rights for capital defendants. They also do a great job of maximizing the effect of their limited resources.

Areas for Improvement

O
I think that they could probably benefit from more diverse funding sources. They could also probably benefit from a more effective media strategy.

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