Essie Justice Group (EJS) is a left-of-center criminal justice policy group made up primarily of women with incarcerated partners or relatives. EJS describes itself as building a “black feminist future that is liberatory for all.” The group describes the United States as being in an “age of incarceration” primarily fueled by “anti-black racism and sexism.” 
EJS advocates for defunding the police and ending money bail. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, EJS demanded that the federal government release all prisoners, cease making arrests, and permanently close all prisons and jails in the United States.
EJS’s “Healing to Advocacy” program provides a nine-week therapy and social-support program to women with incarcerated partners or relatives. The program encourages participants to join EJS and become activists for social justice reform. Participants are “nominated” through a process in which incarcerated individuals write to the group about the women in their lives and how they have been negatively impacted by incarceration 
Campaign to End Money Bail
Essie Justice Group advocates for ending money bail. The group’s campaign consists of advocating for corporate divestment from businesses that benefit from bail (primarily bail bondsmen) and urging state legislatures to end the practice. EJS also works with Southerners on New Ground, Movement for Black Lives, Color of Change, and Law for Black Lives to raise money to pay bail for black mothers. 
Black Lives Matter
In the summer of 2020, Essie Justice Group published a four-step guide for activism and “solidarity” with Black feminism in the wake of the death of George Floyd. 
First, the guide advocates donating money to a list of organizations in the Black Lives Matter movement: Movement for Black Lives, National Bail Out, People’s Advocacy Justice, Highlander Research and Education Center, Black Visions Collective, Southerners on New Ground, Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, Anti Police-Terror Project, Freedom Inc., and Three Point Strategies. 
Second, the guide advocates for joining one of the following organizations in the Black Lives Matter movement: Movement for Black Lives, the Working Families Party, JusticeLA, Color of Change, Showing up for Racial Justice, White People for Black Lives, and Mijente. 
Third, the guide urges individuals to engage in “hyper-local” racial activism organizing, such as having “hard conversations” with friends or hosting reading sessions. For more confident activists, the guide recommends hosting “defund the police” protests and introducing Black Lives Matter concepts into local PTA groups. 
Fourth, to further educate one’s self on racial activism, the guide provides a reading list which includes Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, Mariame Kaba’s “Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police,” and Angela Davis’s “Are Prisons Obsolete?”
First, EJS demanded the closure of all prisons and detention facilities, as well as the release of all prisoners and detained illegal immigrants, and the cessation of all arrests. While these measures are demanded as a consequence of the threat to prisoners from the COVID-19 pandemic, EJS’s demand also includes permanent closure of “carceral facilities” throughout the United States. 
Second, the group demanded that the government increase welfare services to low-income communities to support the influx of released convicts. These support services include stipends for families who house released criminals, rent stipends, paid family leave, and a month of free medication for released criminals. 
Third, if prisoners are not released, EJS demands the implementation of strict lockdown procedures within prison to combat the spread of COVID-19. Fourth, EJS demands permitting all prisoners to receive visits from loved ones despite COVID-19 restrictions. Fifth, due to the deferral of parole and education services in prison, EJS demands a moratorium on prison sentences throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, EJS demands that government resources be allocated to supporting women with incarcerated loved ones due to the uniquely amplified isolation they are feeling during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Essie Justice Group has received funding from the Future Justice Fund, the J.M. Kaplan Fund, the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust, Ashoka, Grinnell College, the Heising-Simons Foundation, the John M. Lloyd Foundation, the S.H. Cowell Foundation, the Race Gender and Human Rights Giving Circle, the Fund for Nonviolence, the San Francisco Foundation, Google, the Lear Family Foundation, and the Open Philanthropy Project.