Join Other Reentry Providers to Support Criminal Justice Reform in Delaware
Arguably, the most important part of Smart Justice in Delaware is making sure that those coming back to their communities after incarceration have the tools they need to succeed. The barriers that formerly incarcerated Delawareans face are massive and create an environment that makes it hard to be an active, contributing member of their community.
Reentry Service Providers are in a unique position to see the needs and suggest real, impactful changes to the systems that help those re-integrating into their communities. Join the Coalition for Smart Justice to be that voice!
What is the Delaware Coalition for Smart Justice?
- Statewide group of organizations and individuals who take action together to advocate for a criminal justice system that fosters public safety by reducing mass incarceration, recidivism, and racial disparities in the system.
- Primary goals: (1) Cut the prison population in half and (2) challenge the racial disparities in the system
- More than 30 organizations from all 3 counties, including ACLU of Delaware, Coalition to Dismantle the New Jim Crow, Delaware Center for Justice, League of Women Voters, NAACP Delaware, Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice, Wilmington Hope Commission, Westminster Presbyterian Church Peace and Justice Work Group, Unitarian Universalist Delaware Advocacy Network, and many more.
- The Coalition meets monthly (with call-in option), plans and executes legislative and grassroots advocacy, votes before endorsing any actions/bills.
- Next meeting: Please click here to see when our next coalition meeting will be held.
- By focusing on respect for every person, and working together, we can change lives.
- To learn more about the Delaware Coalition for Smart Justice and for a full list of members, click here.
Why Do We Need Reentry Providers Like You?
- Reentry providers see firsthand the problems with our criminal justice system, the need to support returning citizens, the challenges of the probation system, and the difficulty that people with a record have obtaining employment, housing, and education.
- The Coalition needs unique and diverse perspectives from people working directly with returning citizens to inform its advocacy efforts, propose practical solutions, convince legislators of the need for reform, and reach new people—particularly those impacted by the criminal justice system themselves.
What Does it Mean for You to Join or Support the Coalition for Smart Justice?
- Reentry providers can help in many ways. You can do as much or as little as you are able, sometimes just listing your organization’s name can help.
- We may seek your help to:
- Call/email your legislators to promote a bill
- Sign a petition to promote a bill
- Attend a Lobby Day
- Host an educational event open to your donors and/or clients
- Share Coalition communications and events on your distribution lists
- Recruit other Reentry Providers or Clients interested in volunteering
- Raise problems that you see in the system from your practical experience
- If you can’t help in a way listed above, that is no problem! You decide how/when to help out—whatever works for you.
- You are endorsing only the Coalition actions and legislative priorities that the Coalition has voted to support.
What is the Coalition for Smart Justice working towards in 2020?
- The Coalition has 6 legislative priorities, some of which were already accomplished in 2019.
- Reduce sentences for low level drug crimes;
- Expand opportunities for release of individuals who have served a major part of their sentence and are no longer a significant public safety threat;
- Stop issuing arrest warrants for non-payment of fines and fees before a person’s ability to pay can be determined (promoting SB 39 in 2020);
- Remove most consecutive sentencing requirements from the code so that sentences can run concurrently where appropriate (HB 5 passed in 2019);
- Expand second chances by reforming Delaware’s expungement statute (SB 37 passed in 2019);
- Improve transparency and data collection in Delaware’s justice system.
Who has already joined?
- The Way Home
- Wilmington HOPE Commission
Who Should I Contact with Questions?
To join the Coalition or for more information, please email Erica Marshall, Manager, Campaign for Smart Justice at the ACLU of Delaware and Member, Coalition for Smart Justice (email@example.com).