We Drive Change
Equal Justice Under Law's work has paved the way for wealth-based equality reform within the legal system. We were the first to file statewide lawsuits challenging money bail, we are at the forefront of the fight against wealth-based drivers' license suspensions, and we were the first to challenge discriminatory home banishment. We have shut down debtors prisons in 4 states, closed down a private probation company, and are the first organization to get the federal government to drop mandatory minimum charges.
As the first successful organization to challenge money bail in multiple states, we are leaders on the issue. Our efforts have eliminated money bail in 7 cities across 5 states, including Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Mississippi. If successful, our cases in California could lead to the immediate release of more than 55% of California's prisoners.
We Help Achieve Real-World Solutions
Often our justice system exacerbates the burdens faced by impoverished individuals, creating inescapable disadvantages for society’s most vulnerable people. We endeavor to end these cycles of poverty and counterproductive policies.
We helped California Rep. Ted W. Lieu introduce bill H.R. 4611 the "No Money Bail Act" that seeks to eliminate the use of money bail, because no one should be held in jail solely because of their inability to pay.
On the heels of our Fowler v. Johnson case, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a law to forgive “driver responsibility fees” debt and to allow motorists to reinstate their licenses without additional fees.
This law could provide relief for hundreds of thousands of residents who owed a combined $637 million in outstanding fees — much of which the state never expected to collect.
Our work has achieved policy reform across 9 states and fueled reform efforts in California, Pennsylvania and Michigan. These efforts to end inequality have benefitted tens of thousands of people living in or on the brink of poverty.
We Spread the Word
We believe raising awareness allows communities to heal. As we engage with a diverse community of advocates to drive debate on civil rights issues across the country, our work has received extensive media coverage. We’ve also had the opportunity to speak around the country at South by Southwest (SXSW), Harvard Law School, Davis Vanguard, National Consortium on Racial Fairness, Americans for Safe Access, ACS for Law and Policy, and with The Marshall Project. Our work has been covered in over 400 publications nationwide.