Press Release: FUNDING THE FIGHT AGAINST MASS INCARCERATION

CJI Quest for Democracy Fund to Grant additional $400K

Media contact: Aleah Bacquie Vaughn
Email: aleahb@cjifund.org
Phone: 646-599-6354

BROOKLYN, NY – Circle for Justice Innovations (CJI) is pleased to announce that in partnership with the Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted Prisoners and Families Movement (FICPFM) it will award $440,000 through the Quest for Democracy Fund (Q4D) to support non-profit organizations led by formerly incarcerated people. Funding priorities include:

  • Restoration of Rights for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people
  • Felon Re-enfranchisement/Voting Rights Restoration, and Civic Engagement
  • Law Enforcement Accountability (police, prosecutors, and judges)
  • Bail Reform and Systems Supervision

“We are so inspired and honored to be able to support grassroots organizations all over the country that work to transform the criminal legal system. This growing movement draws on the innovation, passion, devotion, and resilience of millions who have experienced the living hell that is the U.S. prison system. Together, we are challenging this criminal and criminalizing legal system to support viable, restorative justice alternatives to incarceration. Instead, we need to enhance opportunities for forgiveness, restoration, accountability and safety, which we all deserve.” – Aleah Bacquie Vaughn, CJI’s Executive Director.

“I am extremely proud to be a small part of supporting additional freedom fighters. When we gathered in Florida right before the election we stated that we would be setting up a Quest for Democracy Fund and share the resources with formerly incarcerated people and their families. We pushed out almost $500,000. We did this because we wanted others to help continue the fight for the full restoration of our civil and human rights. I also wanted to thank the funders that believed in our vision and our integrity.” – Dorsey Nunn, founding leader of All of Us or None, Executive Director of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, FICPFM Steering Committee Member, and Quest for Democracy Grant-making Circle member.

Three members of the Q4D Circle are leaders of organizations that were CJI grantees in their early years. “CJI is honored to have played a role in helping to provide resources to the movement and these exceptional leaders,” said Aleah Bacquie Vaughn.

The Q4D grantees will be given an opportunity for intensive, technical assistance and training by FICPFM organizing veterans. This training will equip the Q4D grantees to be more effective and impactful in their work changing policies and laws that deny the human rights of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people.

About Circle for Justice Innovations (CJI) – a project fiscally sponsored by NEO Philanthropy

Circle for Justice Innovations (CJI) is a national innovative grant-making collaborative made up of community organizers, activists, donors, and donor-activists. The CJI Circle identifies, funds, and nurtures grassroots organizations led by those most impacted working to transform the criminal justice system in the United States. CJI has invested over $2 million in grants since 2009. It serves as a leader in the funding of movement work within marginalized communities which includes: people of color, young people, immigrants, gender and sexual minorities, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people, Native Americans, low-income communities and other communities impacted by the criminal justice and immigration systems. For more information, visit www.cjifund.org

About The Formerly Incarcerated & Convicted People and Families Movement (FICPFM)

The Formerly Incarcerated & Convicted People and Families Movement (FICPFM) is a network of over 50 civil and human rights organizations led by people who have conviction histories and their family members. Committed to transforming society by transforming the criminal justice system, they advocate legislatively, judicially and through direct community organizing. Working collaboratively and using multiple approaches, they have been deeply successful in securing alternatives to criminalization, restoring the rights of those previously criminalized by the system, and shifting the dominant narrative on who people with conviction histories and their loved ones are. The vision is, ultimately, a society in which prisons do not exist. For more information, visit www.ficpfmmovement.org

Circle for Justice Innovations (CJI)

CJI’s mission is to end Mass Criminalization and Incarceration in the United States by building and strengthening the infrastructure of the grassroots criminal justice movement. We fund where the movement is developing, shifting and growing. We believe this movement should be led by those most impacted by the injustices of the current system, working in alliances across race, class, faith, gender, gender identity, sexuality, immigration status and age.
CJI Fund is a program of NEO Philanthropy Inc.