OUR MISSION

Re:store Justice works in partnership with incarcerated people, survivors of crime, district attorneys, and the community. Our mission is to re-imagine and reform our criminal justice system to be one of true inclusion and justice.

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OUR VISION

We recognize that basic dignity and equal rights for all is the foundation to freedom, justice, and peace in the world. We envision a fair criminal justice system - one guided by the principles of re:storative justice - that empowers directly impacted individuals to share their lived experiences to drive meaningful change from the inside-out. In working together to better understand each other, we believe in healing traumas, finding lasting solutions to crime, and building safer, healthier, and more equitable communities.

[Restorative justice] seeks to empower people to address harms, needs, & obligations that arise from crime by bringing together victims, offenders, & members of their respective communities. The face-to-face open dialogue process is focused on personal accountability & reparation. It requires the seemingly impossible: that victims & offenders share deeply personal & painful life experiences with the least likely person in the world - each other.

— Lara Bazelon, Re:store Justice Board Member —

OUR WORK

STORYTELLING

Presenting the stories and experiences of those incarcerated through programs, such as First Watch - the first prison program in the nation to explore the journey of accountability, rehabilitation, and transformation through film 

RE-ENTRY

Working to establish adequate housing and wrap-around support for people leaving prisons and re-entering society 

FEATURED POSTS

A Killer Who Didn’t Kill: SB 1437 Coverage on Slate

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The California bill, which would allow people currently serving life sentences for felony murder to petition for resentencing, passed in August. It is now awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature.…

Upworthy Presents: Philip Melendez's Journey

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Philip Melendez & his amazing daughter, Esperanza, recently met up with the Upworthy team to share their stories & shine a light on the much-needed conversation around violent crime, trauma, & the urgency for systemic reform. In working to improve public safety, we must include all who have been affected by crime & the justice system in solution-oriented discussions. Elevating the journeys of survivors of crime & incarcerated & formerly…

A HUGE VICTORY FOR CALIFORNIA: SB 1437 heads to the Governor's desk!

A HUGE VICTORY FOR CALIFORNIA: SB 1437 heads to the Governor's desk!

Today we claim victory as Senate Bill 1437 goes to the Governor's desk for signing. On this journey, we carried the stories of the people we know who have been impacted by this unjust law. Every meeting and every call was personal and we held these stories in our hearts. This was the most personal legislation we have ever worked on and we felt a huge responsibility to fight for…

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San Francisco Chronicle: Senate Bill 1437 to overturn California’s murder-accomplice rule gets Assembly approval

SACRAMENTO — Efforts to overturn a law that holds accomplices in murders as culpable as those who do the killing narrowly passed the state Assembly on Wednesday. SB1437 by Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, would limit murder convictions to those who actually commit the crime, changing current law that holds accomplices to the same standard as those who actually committed the crime under what is called the felony murder rule. The bill…

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TODAY is the most critical day for phone calls to Assemblymembers. Please take ONE minute to call your Assemblymember NOW and urge her/him to vote AYE on SB 1437, so that we can bring fair and just sentencting to our justice system. Simply, follow the link below to locate/call your Assemblymember. Directions and a call script have been provided for you here. SHARE THIS LA TIMES COVERAGE. … GET…

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Activists urge change to law that allows accomplices in crimes to be sentenced for felony murder - LA Times x SB 1437 Coverage

Written by Mini Racker and originally published by the LA Times here. Activists gathered at the state Capitol on Tuesday to demand that lawmakers change California’s felony murder law, which allows defendants to be convicted of first-degree murder if a victim dies during the commission of a felony, even if the defendant was an accomplice or did not intend to kill. A measure being considered by lawmakers, Senate Bill…

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Thank you everyone for channeling your good energy, dedication, passion, & support towards #SB1437! We're in the final push - if you believe in fair sentencing, please take one minute to CALL YOUR ASSEMBLYMEMBER & encourage your networks to do the same. CALL YOUR ASSEMBLYMEMBER SPREAD THE WORD VIA SOCIAL MEDIA SUBSCRIBE TO SB 1437 UPDATES RETURN TO THE SB 1437 MAIN PAGE ** If you attended the rally yesterday & have…

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SB 1437 is heading to the Assembly floor, & for good reason: Californian’s are ready to reform the senseless felony murder rule & advance our justice system on a path towards fairness, accountability, & improved public safety. Call your Assemblymember now to help pass this bill into law >>> restorecal.org/sb1437-callyourlegislators!!! Read the LA Times coverage written by our Policy Director, Kate Chatfield, & Boardmember, Lara…

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We have exciting news to share, R:J community! Senate Bill 1437 , a bill to amend California's felony murder rule, passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee today! This life & tax dollar-saving legislation is headed to the Assembly Floor, where the final vote is scheduled to take place by August 31st. Dozens of office visits and calls have been made, hundreds of support letters have been sent, thousands of…

Re:store Survivors

Re:store Survivors

In a collaborative effort to repair harm & address traumas caused by violence, we've created the Re:store Survivors group to serve as a space for people who have lost loved ones to violence to receive information & support from a community of survivors. Our goal is to provide resources & support to help each person in their own healing journey. We believe that survivors are more than what happened…

California Accomplices to a Felony Shouldn’t Be Sentenced Like the One Who Committed the Murder

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The road to reforming CA’s felony murder rule was paved as a direct result of personal experiences with clients, incarcerated individuals & family members with loved ones serving life sentences under this antiquated practice. And its progress thus far has been driven by logic & public support.…

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He’s in jail for a murder he didn’t witness. A California bill might set him free.

Communities of California, across the political spectrum, have finally come together to reform the state’s barbaric felony murder rule! The argument for Senate Bill 1437, co-authored by Senator Nancy Skinner & Senator Joel Anderson, is undeniable & unignorable: the felony murder rule, which has been unfairly applied across the board, disproportionately devastates women & young people of color. One too many individuals have been sentenced to murder without having…

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Anticipation

James King CDCR # V-69030 2–W–10 "They're coming in the morning." No need to ask who. In prison, "they" are the guards, and since we'd been on lockdown for five days at the time, it was also obvious what they were coming to do. Search. I learned very early in my incarceration that I lack the necessary imagination to successfully hide contraband. Early efforts at…

Kate Chatfield, Re:store Justice Policy Director, Exposes Police Misconduct & a Wrongful Murder Conviction

Kate Chatfield, Re:store Justice Policy Director, Exposes Police Misconduct & a Wrongful Murder Conviction

After successfully exposing police misconduct & freeing Jamal Trulove from a wrongful murder conviction, our Policy Director, Kate Chatfield, speaks out from the trenches: "People need to know about this and be made aware so that it doesn’t happen anymore. It reveals to the larger world how law enforcement officers can abuse their power and do so especially against people of color. The hope is that legislators will…

CARES For Youth Call Recap: SB 1437 & Prison Programming Updates

CARES For Youth Call Recap: SB 1437 & Prison Programming Updates

If you missed the CARES Call Tuesday with Rebecca and Sara from Re:store Justice, you can listen to the full recording here to get updated on #SB1437 & transformative justice programming in CA prisons! Thank you to Cares for Youth & everyone who was able to join for bringing great energy & questions to the table. Continue spreading the word so that we can make bring fairness & justice…

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The "Criminal" Justice System

"Criminal" connotes activity. In other words, it says that far after a crime was committed and years and years into their incarceration, people are still active in crime. This further strengthens public fear, a fear that subtly creeps into the safety of people's subconscience.…

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NY Times: SB 1437 Recognized as a Potential Model of Reform for Other States

Complementary to our victory yesterday in the Assembly Public Safety Committee, The New York Times and Marshall Project published an article this morning to address the barbarism of felony murder rule, while highlighting the progress for sentencing reform under Senate Bill 1437. We are so grateful to Jacque and Mack Wilson for sharing their story and testimony in this piece. Thank you to everyone who has supported thus far to…

In the News: Splinter's Story on FirstWatch

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Splinter, a news website owned by Univision, recently did a story on the FirstWatch program at San Quentin.…