As a church, we operate under the belief that every person is created in the image and likeness of God and has dignity, value, and worth, regardless of race, gender, class, or other human characteristics.
Our collective safety rests on our ability to support vulnerable and marginalized members of our communities instead of punishment and incarceration.
New York City has led the nation in decarceration efforts, but far too many people remain behind bars, with a disproportionate number of people of color impacted. Trinity’s Racial Justice Initiative will support efforts that fall within three areas of focus, as described below.
Trinity will help advance a new, racially equitable justice system that centers community-based restorative and transformative approaches instead of incarceration.
Few people think the criminal legal system is fair, but we have yet to realize support for full-scale alternatives. Trinity seeks to build the infrastructure to scale both restorative and transformative approaches that are rooted in communities, respond to violence, and deliver justice. Trinity supports the communities most affected by violence, incarceration, and trauma, following the wisdom of residents who are best positioned to identify what is needed for safety and justice.
Invest in the well-being and healthy minds of young people
by supporting community-driven mental health and learning support for young people, including those in schools.
Promote an affirmative vision for justice
by engaging local faith leaders in media work to offer a healing, restorative safety/justice vision.
Secure public investment
to scale promising, non-punitive, approaches to end the cycle of trauma and violence.
Trinity will help end unnecessary pretrial detention and racial disparities.
Successful organizing and advocacy have produced legislative victories that ended cash bail for most misdemeanors, reformed discovery practices, and ended the practice of charging 16-year-olds as adults. Building on this momentum, Trinity seeks to ensure equitable implementation of these laws while sustaining the advocacy and organizing infrastructure to continue reducing incarceration rates in New York. We also will disrupt racially unjust pipelines into the criminal legal system by continuing to support the scaling of school-based restorative justice efforts while exploring ways to uncouple the growing links between immigration and criminal legal systems, and the criminalization of immigrants.
Safely reduce the jail population in New York City
by support efforts to end cash bail and youth incarceration and hold implementing agencies accountable for racially equitable outcomes.
Build and sustain positive school climates
to ensure all students have access to social, emotional, and restorative approaches.
Protect immigrants from criminalization
to ensure that immigrant New Yorkers have meaningful access to due process and are protected from unnecessary detention and deportation.
Trinity will help end homelessness for justice-involved New Yorkers.
Central to the efforts to end mass incarceration and homelessness is the liberation of people leaving jail and prison. However, after serving their time, returning citizens often encounter barriers to finding employment, obtaining education and training, and securing housing. Trinity seeks to leverage our combined expertise in both the racial justice and housing and homelessness systems to support the holistic needs of returning citizens and center their voices in the movement to end mass incarceration. We will have a deep focus on increasing housing options for New Yorkers who have been directly impacted by the criminal legal system.
Expand housing options and mental health services
for justice-involved New Yorkers.
End the continuous punishment of poor people with criminal records
as it relates to housing, employment, and education.
October 23, 2023