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Our manifesto: responding to the grassroots need for justice in the US and beyond


Our manifesto: responding to the grassroots need for justice in the US and beyond

Across the world people are crying out for justice.

If you look inside our prisons, you’ll think it’s illegal to be poor. Black men and women are systematically targeted for demise. 

Since Justice Defenders’ feature on 60 Minutes first aired in December 2020, we’ve been humbled by requests for legal training from people inside and outside of prisons, from all corners of the world. We’ve received invitations to collaborate with the United Nations, 13 other non-governmental organisations, four universities, and eight private companies. From 15 countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe. And from 22 states in the US.

Covid-19 and the death of George Floyd has hastened a global awakening for justice. The demand for justice is louder, and the need for justice is greater than ever before.

As we respond to the mandate of the people, we remain grounded by our values of solidarity, humility, and bravery. To navigate the immense opportunities to scale our work, we are listening deeply to the grassroots need. 

We’re committed to learning from people with lived experience of conflict with the law. Hearing their stories to understand how our model – equipping prisoners and prison officers with legal knowledge – can defend justice in the US and beyond.

Because when the law is placed in the hands of the people with least power in society, they can be agents of change and reform.

In a fractured world, we are countercultural. We act as a catalyst, uniting justice defenders globally. We are poised for action but we won’t do this alone. Our goal is to serve one million defenceless people by 2030. Now is the time for our rallying cry to be heard. 

Dare to believe in a world where real justice exists for everyone.

Step forward and commit to defending justice with us. 

We are reimagining the future of justice in a spirit of solidarity and radical integration.

We are bringing together thought leaders, lawyers and activists with lived experience of incarceration from across the world. Enabling us to learn how best to pave the way for Justice Defenders’ model to be implemented in new countries.  

If you have lived experience of conflict with the law and would like to contribute your thoughts, please get in touch via