Statement in Support of MILPA

The Vera Institute of Justice joins the community of Salinas, California in support of MILPA, a grassroots organization committed to nonviolence, racial justice, and healing. Vera partners with MILPA on Restoring Promise, an initiative to radically transform the living and working conditions inside jails and prisons and address the root causes of mass incarceration.

MILPA—founded and led by people who became politicized during their time in prison—fights for alternatives to arrest and incarceration while championing prison reform efforts. Narratives that criminalize formerly incarcerated people and portray them as “violent” or as “gangsters,” are racist and designed to perpetuate mass incarceration. Too often, the same racist fears and stereotypes that infect our criminal justice system are used to target and discredit organizations like MILPA for their work.

We’re proud of our work with MILPA and we stand by them. We’ll continue fighting together to ensure that all people who live and work in prison are treated with dignity and that our communities thrive.