Partnerships and Training

At Common Justice, we leverage our experience in New York to support the expansion of alternatives to incarceration for violent felonies nationally. We do this by forming deep partnerships with aligned initiatives across the U.S. and supporting them with the training and community to help ensure their work flourishes. Despite significant retrenchment in efforts to end mass incarceration broadly, never since our founding have, we experienced such robust and serious appetite for expanding these solutions.

Our Approach

At the core of our approach is a focus on relationship-building and trust. We prioritize jurisdictions where there is a genuine invitation and a well-established movement for change, actively seeking concrete solutions to violence. We partner with people and organizations working to divert cases of serious violence in the adult courts away from prison sentences and toward strategies that hold people accountable for harm, break cycles of violence, and secure safety, healing, and justice for survivors.
We collaborate with partners in three main ways:

Core Partners

These are partners interested in implementing a proximate version of our restorative justice diversion model, in sites that align with our strategy and values. We provide long-term, robust, customized support and training to them over the period of their program development and early practice.
Our current core partners are the Freedom Community Center in St. Louis, MO; the People’s Advocacy Institute in Jackson, MS; and the Raphah Institute in Nashville and Memphis, TN.

Common Justice Practitioners Lab

The Common Justice Practitioners Lab is a 12-month cohort-based training and practice space for groups in jurisdictions that are not core partners but are fully values aligned and immensely promising. The Lab is designed to be collaborative and interactive, drawing from the experiences of the Common Justice team and Lab participants grappling with shared challenges to co-create the practices and conditions necessary to divert cases of violence well. We aim to foster a network of solidarity with our cohort members as they build and implement impactful diversion programs for serious violence nationwide. For a closer look at the impactful work and the diverse profiles of our 2024 class, view our brochure.

Ecosystem Partners

We understand our work as part of movement and work to contribute to our shared success more broadly. We foster a broad network, sharing foundational resources and engaging in field- and public-facing dialogues to advance aligned work in varied contexts.

Partnership and Training
Guiding Principles

Our work is guided by a set of fundamental principles:


  1. Capacity and Relationship Building

    We foster collaborative efforts and support local leaders in developing effective alternatives to incarceration.

  2. Survivor Centered Solutions

    We prioritize the needs and voices of survivors, focusing on their healing and safety.

  3. Positioning Interventions for Success

    Our framework offers a robust approach to meet survivors' needs, support the transformation of people who have caused harm, and foster community safety.

  4. Strategic Legal and Political System Navigation

    We navigate relationships with entrenched systems and push them to act differently in specific cases and to take steps that reduce harm and transfer power back to the communities most impacted by violence.

  5. Building Survivor Centered Narratives

    We support partners in crafting and elevating narratives that challenge traditional approaches to violence and incarceration.

To learn more, reach out to Stephan Thomas at [email protected] or RJ Maccani at [email protected].