JCPA’s Criminal Justice Initiative engages Jewish communities around the country in reforming the criminal justice system and ending mass  incarceration in partnership with communities most directly affected.

The inequities people of color suffer at the hands of the justice system constitute one of the most pressing civil rights crises the United States faces today. Since the 1990’s the U.S. prison population exploded, a phenomenon referred to as mass incarceration. Today, we incarcerate roughly 25% of the world’s prisoners despite representing just 4% of the world’s population.

Rooted in the belief that justice must be tempered by compassion, JCPA advocates to end the injustice of mass incarceration and mass criminalization.

Federal Criminal Justice Reform
JCPA is active in national policy setting on criminal justice reform, advocating on Capitol Hill, and partnering closely with civil rights and interfaith coalitions.

Grassroots Jewish Mobilization
Across the U.S. JCPA is empowering Jewish Community Relations Councils (JCRCs) at the state and local level to work on Criminal Justice Reform in coalition-building with diverse partners.

National Network of Jewish Criminal Justice Experts
JCPA leads a national network of 60+ Jewish experts working in the criminal justice space at the federal, state, and local levels around the country.

The Ending Mass Incarceration (EMI) Network: Faith Communities Working to Transform Justice
JCPA is an active member of the EMI NETWORK and has endorsed EMI’S PREACH, TEACH AND ACT curriculum.

Highlights of JCPA’s Work JCPA Advocates for Reform in Policing and Public Safety

JCPA Held a Delegates Assembly Educational Session on Policing and Public in July 2020: Approximately 200 people from 70 communities around the country attended the meeting meant to ensure a baseline of knowledge among lay and professional community relations leaders.

Session Recordings:
Ending Systemic Racism in Policing

Understanding Policing and Where We Go From Here

Redefining Public Safety: What Communities Need to Succeed

JCPA Submits Testimony to House Judiciary Hearing on Oversight Hearing on Policing Practices and Law Enforcement Accountability: Click here to read testimony.

Learn About the 8 Priority Principles JCPA Endorsed for any Federal Legislative Package on Policing Reform: Click here to read.

JCPA’s Prioritizes Criminal Justice Reform During COVID-19 Pandemic

JCPA Special Delegate Assembly Session on COVID-19 program on Criminal Justice Reform
 – Click here to view.

JCPA Passes Resolution on Resolution on Criminal Justice Reform During A Public Health Crisis Adopted by the Delegates Assembly, 2020 – Click here to read resolution.

Addressing the COVID-19 Emergency in Prisons and Jails – JCPA urges Jews around the nation to advocate with their federal and state officials to urgently address the growing COVID-19 emergency in prisons and jails. With every hour of inaction, the human tragedy mounts. Join us in urging elected officials to protect this at-risk population by clicking here.

JCPA Advocates for Emergency Response to COVID-19 in Prisons and Jails – JCPA cosponsored a virtual town hall on May 7 in partnership with the Ending Mass Incarceration (EMI) national strategy team, Ebenezer Church, and the Auburn Seminary. Click here to watch the program.

JCPA Helps Launches Coalitions in NY and Atlanta

JCPA One-Day Conference on Criminal Justice in Reform: A Jewish call to Action –  launches a NY Coalition on Criminal Justice Reform, September 2019

Click here for Conference recap.

JCPA Co-Sponsors Ending Mass Incarceration Let My People Go: Ending Mass Incarceration conference in Atlanta launching a multifaith response to mass incarceration, July 2019.

Click here for the recap.

JCPA Helps Launches Coalitions in NY and Atlanta

In Your Backyard: A Toolkit for addressing criminal justice at the local level: This Toolkit provides guidance to those interested in jumpstarting their criminal justice advocacy work.

  • Learn about Criminal Justice Reform
  • Map out your local criminal justice landscape
  • Join coalitions and engage in legislative advocacy
  • Strengthen partnerships with communities of color
  • Launch direct service project

Click here to download the Toolkit.

JCPA National Conferences Criminal Justice Reform Programs