Justice Reform

Transforming the legal system to ensure equal justice, accountability, and the protection of civil rights


The unequal treatment of people of color and people who are low-income undermines the progress we have made over the past five decades toward equality under the law.

New research shows that nearly one in two adults in America — approximately 113 million people — has an immediate family member who is currently or formerly incarcerated. Our nation must be willing to imagine new paradigms for public safety that do not rely exclusively on criminalization, and we must take bold action to end the structural inequalities and racism that plague the system.

Bringing fairness and dignity to our legal system is one of the most profound civil and human rights issues of our time.

At The Leadership Conference, our team partners with local communities and impacted people to build a fair and equitable legal system. Together, we are addressing injustice at every stage — from policing and pretrial detention to sentencing and incarceration to reentry. We also advocate for decarceration through the limited use of prisons and jails and the creation of meaningful pathways to redemption and rehabilitation.


The Education Fund launched the Policing Campaign to advance 21st century policing through community-led, collaborative reform. By centering community voices and developing common language to address the erosion of trust between police and the people they serve, the campaign rethinks public safety to create lasting change.

Visit the Policing Campaign ›

Pretrial Justice

Nearly half a million people are in jail on any given day awaiting trial, most of them because they cannot afford to pay bail and return home. We work to end secured money bail and decarcerate most accused people pretrial. We also partner with local communities to abolish systems of monetary bail, combat mass incarceration, and invest in redemption and rehabilitation.

Our Work on Pretrial Risk Assessments ›

Sentencing and Prison Reform

Disastrous War on Drugs-era laws created an unjust system that imprisons more people than any other industrialized nation in the world, a disproportionate number of whom are Black, Latino, low-income, and nonviolent. We work to reduce the number of people unnecessarily entering the system, eliminate racial disparities, improve prison conditions, reduce overcrowding, and create opportunities for second chances.


Our nation’s laws and policies deny people with arrest or conviction histories their right to vote, access to education and employment, and eligibility for public benefits and student loans. We work to eliminate barriers impacted people face when re-entering society and provide meaningful pathways to opportunities and communities where we all feel safe.


The Education Fund salutes athletes who kneel in protest of racial injustice and police violence. For decades, we have led efforts to protect civil and human rights for all — and we know their protest is consistent with the highest ideals of the civil rights movement.

We work to address structural inequalities at every stage in the criminal legal system, increase transparency and accountability throughout the system, and break down barriers that prevent people who have had contact with the system from engaging fully in society. Our country has ignored these injustices for far too long.

Athletes who peacefully protest police violence and mass incarceration embody our nation’s long tradition of fighting for a democracy that protects the civil and human rights of all. Show solidarity with the athletes who dare to dream, dare to believe, and dare to kneel.

Visit #KneelAgainstInjustice ›

Sign the Pledge ›