Grantee Cohort Spring 2019, Spring 2020
“I don’t want [formerly incarcerated] women’s voices to be left out of the conversation… I love that we have men who are coming out, there’s always stories about them, but I want them to empower women as well.”- Tyra Patterson, community engagement strategy specialist at OJPC (WCPO Cincinnati)
The Ohio Justice and Policy Center (OJPC) creates fair, intelligent and redemptive criminal justice systems through its advocacy and community education.
With continued support from Art for Justice, OJPC furthered its advocacy to reduce barriers and increase opportunities for Ohioans with criminal records. As part of this work, OJPC expanded its Second Chance Project, clinics to give people relief from their criminal records, so they can advance professionally, qualify for better housing and engage in their communities. They helped 15 Second Chance clinics and met with 500 people and made significant strides toward expanding Ohio’s criminal record sealing laws, creating automatic sealing for non-convictions and reforming occupational licensing laws that block those who have been incarcerated or system-involved from careers.
With their latest grant, Illinois Humanities will produce a dynamic digital program to uplift voices of folks across the country who are invested in ending mass incarceration. Co-curated and hosted by Baz Dreisinger, C.T. Mexica, Mahogany L. Browne and Tyra Patterson, the session will illuminate how ongoing justice reform work can and must respond to a new era. Amid a global pandemic and the devastation of police violence, criminal legal reforms and abolitionist movements have gained incredible momentum. Regardless of election outcomes, those whose lives and careers are dedicated to the pursuit of justice will face new obstacles and opportunities.