Top Nonprofits Fighting for Justice in the Criminal System in the U.S.
recommended by 126 Criminal Justice experts 16 Top National Criminal Justice Nonprofits at
#1 The Innocence Project The Innocence Project’s mission is nothing less than to free the staggering numbers of innocent people who remain incarcerated and to bring substantive reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment.
#2 American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) The ACLU is our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.
#3 The Sentencing Project The Sentencing Project is a national organization working for a fair and effective criminal justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing law and practice, and alternatives to incarceration.
#4 Vera Institute of Justice The Vera Institute of Justice combines expertise in research, demonstration projects, and technical assistance to help leaders in government and civil society improve the systems people rely on for justice and safety.
#5 NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is America's premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Through litigation, advocacy and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans. LDF also defends the gains and protections won over the past 70 years of civil rights struggle and works to improve the quality and diversity of judicial and executive appointments.
#6 Southern Center for Human Rights The Southern Center for Human Rights provides legal representation to people facing the death penalty, challenges human rights violations in prisons and jails, seeks through litigation and advocacy to improve legal representation for poor people accused of crimes, and advocates for criminal justice system reforms on behalf of those affected by the system in the Southern United States.
#7 Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama A nonprofit organization providing legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners denied fair and just treatment in the legal system.
#8 Public Safety Performance, Pew Center on the States The Public Safety Performance Project helps states advance fiscally sound, data-driven policies and practices that protect public safety, hold offenders accountable and control corrections costs.
#9 Justice Policy Institute Our mission is to reduce the use of incarceration and the justice system and promote policies that improve the well-being of all people and communities.
#10 Drug Policy Alliance Our mission is to advance those policies and attitudes that best reduce the harms of both drug use and drug prohibition, and to promote the sovereignty of individuals over their minds and bodies.
#11 Campaign for Youth Justice The mission of the Campaign for Youth Justice is to end the practice of prosecuting, sentencing and incarcerating youth (under 18) in the adult criminal justice system. CFYJ also seeks to promote research-based, developmentally-appropriate rehabilitative programs and services for youth as an alternative to the adult criminal justice system.
#12 Death Penalty Information Center The Death Penalty Information Center is a non-profit organization serving the media and the public with analysis and information on issues concerning capital punishment. The Center was founded in 1990 and prepares in-depth reports, issues press releases, conducts briefings for journalists, and serves as a resource to those working on this issue. The Center is widely quoted and consulted by all those concerned with the death penalty.
#13 Justice Center, The Council of State Governments The Council of State Governments Justice Center is a national nonprofit organization that serves policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels from all branches of government. Staff provides practical, nonpartisan advice and consensus-driven strategies—informed by available evidence—to increase public safety and strengthen communities.
#14 Legal Services for Prisoners with Children Our mission is to advocate for the civil rights and empowerment of incarcerated parents, children, family members and people at risk for incarceration through responding to requests for information, trainings, technical assistance, litigation, community activism and the development of more advocates. Our focus is on women prisoners and their families, and we emphasize that issues of race are central to any discussion of incarceration.
#15 W . Haywood Burns Institute To protect and improve the lives of youth of color, poor youth and the well-being of their communities by reducing the adverse impacts of public and private youth-serving systems to ensure fairness and equity throughout the juvenile justice system.
#16 The Constitution Project The Constitution Project (TCP) brings together unlikely allies—experts and practitioners from across the political spectrum—in order to promote and safeguard America’s founding charter. TCP is working to reform the nation’s broken criminal justice system and to strengthen the rule of law through scholarship, consensus policy reforms, advocacy, and public education.
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