Other Group

Community Justice Exchange

Website:

www.communityjusticeexchange.org/

Type:

Prison abolitionist organization

Director:

Pilar Weiss

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Community Justice Exchange is a radical-left organization that works on criminal-justice related issues. Among the goals of the organization is the abolition of prisons and other forms of incarceration. It also seeks the abolition of policing and any form of legal supervision. It is a fiscally sponsored project of the Tides Center. 1

A major focus of the organization is its National Bail Fund Network, a network of over 80 separate community bail and bond funds. These bail funds pay the pretrial bail and/or immigration-related bail of those who have been arrested. The organization and the network are also working to end the practice of cash bail, with an ultimate goal of ending the practice of incarcerating people before their trials. 2

Among the organizations that have donated money to the organization is the National Football League (NFL). The NFL has donated to the organization since 2020 through its “Inspire Change” initiative that supports various left-of-center organizations. NFL grants supported the organization’s bail fund network and special protest bail funds that are setup to free protesters who are arrested during demonstrations for rioting, among other offenses. 3

Background

The Community Justice Exchange is a left-of-center organization that works on criminal-justice related issues. The organization is a prison-abolitionist organization that seeks the closure of every prison in the United States and the freeing of every inmate. 4

In addition to seeking to abolish prisons, it seeks to abolish all forms of modern criminal justice. It seeks to eliminate policing, criminal prosecution, and any form of incarceration and legal supervision. It has claimed that society uses policing and incarceration to address issues such as homelessness, drug addiction, mental illness, and poverty. 5

National Bail Fund Network

The organization is best known as the host of the National Bail Fund Network. A bail fund pays the pretrial bail or bond of someone who is detained either in the criminal justice system or in the immigration system. 6

The National Bail Fund Network consists of over 80 bail funds that regularly pay for the bail of the inmates. The bail funds are part of an organizing tool that are used to push for the end of the cash bail system in particular and the end of pretrial detention in general. 7

Funding

Community Justice Exchange is a fiscally sponsored project of the left-of-center Tides Center. 8

Among the known supporters of the organization is the National Football League. The NFL has been a donor to the organization since 2020 as a part of the league’s “Inspire Change” initiative. 9

The NFL’s funding is primarily used to support the National Bail Fund Network. In addition, the NFL’s grants are used to support protest bail funds which are used to pay the bail of protesters who are arrested for rioting and other offenses related to protests. 10

Leadership

Pilar Weiss is the founder and director of Community Justice Exchange. She established the National Bail Fund Network in 2016. Previously, she was the political director for the Culinary Workers Union in Nevada, deputy director of politics and communications for UNITE HERE, and worked in the U.S. Congress. 11

Including Weiss, the organization had 13 employees as of January 23. Among those employees were nine organizers, a research director, an administrative coordinator, and a strategic advisor. 12

It has an advisory board consisting of Jee Park (Innocence Project), Brenda Choresi Carter (Women Donors Network Reflective Democracy Campaign), Jocelyn Simonson (Brooklyn Law School), and Andrea James (National Council of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls). 13

References

  1. “Community Justice Exchange.” Tides. Accessed January 23, 2023. https://www.tides.org/project/fiscally-sponsored-projects/community-justice-exchange/.
  2. National Bail Fund Network.” Community Justice Exchange. Accessed January 23, 2023. https://www.communityjusticeexchange.org/en/nbfn-directory.
  3. “Inspire Change Resources: Grant Partners.” NFL. NFL. Accessed January 23, 2023. https://www.nfl.com/causes/inspire-change/resources/grant-partners/community-justice-exchange.
  4. [1]“About Us.” Community Justice Exchange. Accessed January 23, 2023. https://www.communityjusticeexchange.org/en/about-us.
  5. “About Us.” Community Justice Exchange. Accessed January 23, 2023. https://www.communityjusticeexchange.org/en/about-us.
  6. “National Bail Fund Network.” Community Justice Exchange. Accessed January 23, 2023. https://www.communityjusticeexchange.org/en/nbfn-directory.
  7. “National Bail Fund Network.” Community Justice Exchange. Accessed January 23, 2023. https://www.communityjusticeexchange.org/en/nbfn-directory.
  8. “Community Justice Exchange.” Tides. Accessed January 23, 2023. https://www.tides.org/project/fiscally-sponsored-projects/community-justice-exchange/.
  9.  Inspire Change Resources: Grant Partners.” NFL. NFL. Accessed January 23, 2023. https://www.nfl.com/causes/inspire-change/resources/grant-partners/community-justice-exchange.
  10. [1]“Inspire Change Resources: Grant Partners.” NFL. NFL. Accessed January 23, 2023. https://www.nfl.com/causes/inspire-change/resources/grant-partners/community-justice-exchange.
  11. “Pilar Weiss.” Institute to End Mass Incarceration. Accessed January 23, 2023. https://endmassincarceration.org/people/pilar-weiss/.
  12. [1]“Who We Are.” Community Justice Exchange. Accessed January 23, 2023. https://www.communityjusticeexchange.org/en/who-we-are.
  13. Who We Are.” Community Justice Exchange. Accessed January 23, 2023. https://www.communityjusticeexchange.org/en/who-we-are.
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