REFORM Alliance aims to transform probation and parole by changing laws, systems and culture to create real pathways to work and wellbeing.
A justice system that holds people accountable and redirects back to work and wellbeing leads to stronger families and safer communities. Instead of keeping people trapped in a revolving door from probation/parole to prison — which costs taxpayers billions of dollars — we’re working to move people from the justice system into stability.
REFORM’s story starts with the unjust re-imprisonment of recording artist Meek Mill. The shocking two-to-four year sentence he received for popping a wheelie spurred the international #FreeMeek movement, which led to release on bail and eventually his freedom.
Although Meek had the resources and public platform to fight his case, his case is only one of millions. The vast majority of people trapped in the system don’t get their stories told, or have the resources to fight back. On January 23, 2019, a world-class group of philanthropists and activists came together to launch the REFORM Alliance to change this.
In April 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread, REFORM acted quickly to call out the humanitarian crisis facing vulnerable people in crowded, correctional facilities at risk for outbreaks. REFORM also partnered with philanthropists, activists, and organizations to deliver masks and personal protective equipment to people living and working behind bars. As of August 2020, REFORM has distributed 6 million masks to jails and prisons across the country.
In October 2020, REFORM achieved a major legislative victory with the passage of AB 1950 in California, the most transformative probation bill in the country. To push for this legislation—which would cap probation and parole terms at 1-2 years for most offenses—REFORM led an advocacy campaign to generate more than 3,500 emails from Californians to their legislators and to Governor Gavin Newsom. Thanks to AB 1950 hundreds of thousands of Californians on probation will have a shot to succeed and exit the criminal justice system for good.
REFORM has already been instrumental in getting similar bills introduced in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Mississippi and is on the ground in key states to change laws and policies at the state level. At the same time, REFORM is amplifying the voices of people and families affected by probation and parole to change hearts and minds and build cultural momentum for reform nationwide.