Collaborative Justice Network

The Collaborative Justice Network (CJN) helps the Reshaping Prosecution initiative’s partners sustain community-centered policies and reforms—even after their formal partnerships with Vera conclude. CJN was born from the recognition that justice reforms take time to root and require continued monitoring, evaluation, and resources to succeed as environments shift and new challenges—and opportunities—arise. The network engages with Reshaping Prosecution alumni through group learning opportunities, targeted policy guidance, and quantitative and qualitative data collection to help build the case that solutions grounded in community and that center race equity are the path to safety.

Since 2017, Reshaping Prosecution has helped prosecutors and community-based organizations in over 30 jurisdictions build more equitable and effective public safety solutions through direct technical assistance, cohort-based models where prosecutors partner with a community organization to build or expand a diversion program, and Black Women Lead, a program supporting Black women chief prosecutors who continue to face personalized attacks on and pushback to their reform efforts.

CJN supports these past partners by connecting them and their staff with counterparts around the country, as well as with other networks and resources. Members participate in community learning and national convenings on emerging issues in the field and receive tailored support from Reshaping Prosecution’s research, policy, communications, and advocacy teams.

As the national landscape continues to shift away from an overreliance on policing and incarceration and toward community-centered responses to crime, a mounting and organized backlash to maintain the status quo presents new challenges. CJN is responding to this increased polarization by creating human-centered spaces for stakeholders to share ideas, expertise, and strategies to promote public safety and race equity. Through these virtual and on-site “collaboratories,” CJN leans into the power of relationships in building movements, developing new norms, and reinforcing the resilience necessary for people to stay in the work of shaping change.

What is a collaboratory?

A collaboratory is an interactive opportunity for people of diverse backgrounds and experiences to generate holistic solutions to complex problems. Initially utilized in scientific communities, collaboratories create an experimental and dynamic social environment. Discussions are uniquely designed to foster inclusive collaboration so participants can contribute their experience and expertise and forge the way forward together.

Learn more about Vera's Reshaping Prosecution initiative:

Reshaping Prosecution operates on the core belief that communities will be safer if fewer people enter the criminal legal system. They work with prosecutors to reduce incarceration primarily by declining and diverting cases and building evidence for alternative approaches. Reshaping Prosecution’s work is guided by three principles, with a focus on supporting safer communities.

Past Reshaping Prosecution engagements have also included data-driven and community-informed policy recommendations in Wyandotte County, Kansas and supporting a non-public safety traffic stop declination policy in Ramsey County, Minnesota.

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Amy Dallas Program Manager