Criminal Legal Reform

What is Criminal Legal Reform?

SCAR believes that the criminal legal system in the United States is deeply flawed and that it perpetuates systemic racism and inequality. Our work is focused on reforming the criminal legal system to promote racial equity, reduce harm, and ensure that everyone is treated fairly and justly.

At its core, criminal legal reform is about rethinking and restructuring the way that we approach crime and punishment in the United States. This means addressing the underlying causes of crime, reducing the reliance on punitive measures, and ensuring that the criminal legal system is fair and equitable for all.

We believe that criminal legal reform must be approached with a racial justice lens. The criminal legal system disproportionately impacts communities of color, and systemic racism is deeply embedded in every aspect of the system. Our work is centered on dismantling this racism and creating a more just and equitable system.


Some of the key elements of our criminal legal reform work include:

Decarceration:  The process of reducing the number of people who are incarcerated in the United States. We believe that many people who are currently incarcerated could be safely and effectively served in alternative forms of community-based programming.

Diversion and Alternatives to Incarceration: We advocate for diversion and alternatives to incarceration that focus on rehabilitation and restorative justice. This includes mental health and drug treatment programs, community-based support, and restorative justice programs that focus on repairing harm and restoring relationships.

Sentencing Reform: We advocate for sentencing reform, including the elimination of mandatory minimums and the reduction of sentences for nonviolent offenses. We believe that this will help to reduce the over-reliance on punitive measures and ensure that people are not disproportionately punished for minor offenses.

Police Reform: We advocate for changes to policing practices and policies, including demilitarization, de-escalation, and community-based policing. We also support efforts to hold police accountable for misconduct and to increase transparency and accountability in policing.

Community-based Solutions: Community-based solutions are essential to criminal legal reform. This includes investing in education, housing, and economic opportunities, as well as building strong community-based organizations that can provide support and resources to those who are most impacted by the criminal legal system. As well as finding solutions that are not only punitive but restorative to our communities.


At SCAR, we are committed to doing criminal legal reform work that is centered on racial equity. We believe that addressing systemic racism is essential to creating a more just and equitable criminal legal system.

If you are interested in joining us in this work, we encourage you to explore our website and learn more about our programs and initiatives. We offer a range of resources, including workshops, events, and educational materials, to help people get involved in the fight for criminal legal reform. We also welcome feedback and suggestions from the community, and are always looking for new ways to improve and expand our work.

Together, we can make a real difference in the fight for criminal legal reform and build a more just and equitable society for all.

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