From the beginning of the clinic, we had 3 goals: (1) provide direct service to individuals with criminal records; (2) change private and public policies that adversely affect them (policy advocacy); and (3) empower them to challenge widespread biases and barriers on their own (community organizing). While we've had a number of "victories" for the first two, we did not do so well with the third, despite our belief that the organizing and empowerment of this community is by far the most important of the three goals. So, since the beginning of 2013, we've been engaged in a long internal discussion about how we can improve.
If you've been coming to the clinic, you may notice that we've begun to "pivot" the clinic's operation to do more community organizing. Changes will continue over the coming months. Hopefully, the next five years will see the clinic more actively supporting a growing movement against the regime of mass incarceration.