Awareness of the connection between historic racial injustice and systemic discrimination in the justice system drives changes in laws and police practices. The public demands accountability for an end to racial bias in policing, arrests, sentencing, and access to legal representation.
The United States has the world’s highest incarceration rate, with nearly a third of young black men under some form of criminal justice control. Seeking freedom for the unjustly imprisoned and reform of the system, the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) takes a comprehensive approach, shaped by the persistence of racial inequality and historic discrimination.
EJI operates as a nonprofit law firm, working with clients on appeals of wrongful or unjust convictions and sentences, developing long-term relationships and helping with successful re-integration with society. The organization created The Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, along with two new cultural sites, all of which are designed to help visitors meaningfully confront America’s difficult racial history and to promote a more hopeful commitment to racial equality and just treatment of all people. In addition, EJI conducts research, shares insights with key audiences, and litigates cases with potentially broad impact, including challenges of excessive and racially-biased sentencing.