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Social Justice Organizations and Resources: Criminal Law Reform

This Research Guide provides links databases, organizations, and resources under the rubric "Social Justice".


These organizations focus on reform of criminal law and its administration to address systemic discrimination.  

Criminal Law Reform Organizations and Resources

Anti-Defamation League (ADL)

“In 1913, ADL was founded on Jewish values that inform our work, how we operate, and the changes we seek in the world.  It has always meant stopping antisemitism and defending the Jewish people. Today, it also means fighting threats to our very democracy, including cyperhate, bullying, bias in schools and in the criminal justice system, terrorism, hate crimes, coercion of religious minorities, and contempt for anyone who is different.”.


Center for Constitutional Rights: Discriminatory Policing

“CCR has tenaciously challenged discriminatory policing for decades, recognizing that discrimination and police violence do not arise as isolated incidents but are deeply embedded within our criminal justice system.”


Center for Constitutional Rights: Government Surveillance

“We have worked to protect individuals and communities from government surveillance, not only because the Constitution protects individual privacy, but also because unconstitutional government spying and infiltration have regularly been used to disrupt and entrap social movements, activists, and members of vulnerable communities.”


Center for Constitutional Rights: Mass Incarceration

“CCR works hard to empower those who have been imprisoned, supporting movements begun by prisoners and foregrounding their stories and voices in our work.”


Communities United for Police Reform

"Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is working to end discriminatory policing in New York.


Equal Justice Initiative

“Mass incarceration disproportionately impacts the poor and people of color and does not make us safer. EJI is working to end our misguided reliance on over-incarceration.”


Innocence Project

"The Innocence Project, founded in 1992 by Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck at Cardozo School of Law, exonerates the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and reforms the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.”

Justice League NYC - The Gathering for Justice

"JLNYC’s mission is to maintain a movement to end child incarceration while working to eliminate the racial inequities in the criminal justice system that enliven mass incarceration.”


The Legal Aid Society

"Our Civil, Criminal Defense, Juvenile Rights, and Pro Bono practices work tirelessly in and out of the courtroom to defend our clients and dismantle the hidden, systemic barriers that can prevent them from thriving in New York City.


The Legal Defense Fund Cases and Papers

Resource Page for Cases and Papers from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund


The Marshal Project

“The Marshall Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to recreate and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system.”


Muslim Legal Fund of America

"Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) is a charity that funds legal work and programs to defend Muslims against injustice in American courtrooms, prisons, and communities."


NAACP - National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

"The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.”


National Lawyer’s Guild

“Our aim is to bring together all those who recognize the importance of safeguarding and extending the rights of workers, women, LGBTQ people, farmers, people with disabilities and people of color, upon whom the welfare of the entire nation depends”


Southern Poverty Law Center

"The SPLC is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality."


PROP - Police Reform Organizing Project

"Through research and analysis, public education, policy advocacy, and coalition building PROP works to expose and end abusive police tactics that routinely and disproportionately do harm to our city’s low-income communities, people of color and the LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual) community."


Urban Justice

The Urban Justice League is a New York City based umbrella organization with numerous projects addressing social justice.  Their criminal law projects include Freedom Agenda, Human Rights Project, Power of Purpose, and Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (S.T.O.P.)