Essie Justice Group

Harnessing collective power of women with incarcerated loved ones
The pledged circle in Los Angeles of 3 Southern California cohorts in October 2019 during which graduates committed to breaking isolation and invisibility of women with incarcerated loved ones, starting with themselves.

Grantee Cohort Fall 2018, Fall 2019

Location California

Founded in 2014, Essie Justice Group works to harness the collective power of women with incarcerated loved ones to end mass incarceration’s harm to women and communities. Essie seeks to reduce the number of people in jails and prisons by leveraging the power of women who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system.

Essie focuses on three issue areas—reducing pretrial detention, promoting community-based reentry, and exploring mass incarceration’s harm to women—and uses community organizing to incite policy change.

With support from its Art for Justice Fund grant,  Essie Justice Group is recruiting hundreds of directly impacted women leaders from across California to participate in its Healing to Advocacy training, which will include trauma-informed care for women with incarcerated loved ones, with an emphasis on healing and raising political consciousness. Through its state-wide campaign for 2020, Essie also aims to influence the implementation of SB 10 — legislation abolishing money bail in California — to ensure that opposition efforts by the bail industry are not successful and to maintain pressure on legislators to uphold reforms and hold implementers accountable. Using data analysis, Essie will identify several key states to establish relationships with local organizations to learn about their bail reform progress and milestones and train women in other parts of the country who want to start new Essie Justice Group regional chapters.