The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
Founded in 1989 by Bryan Stevenson, a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer and bestselling author of Just Mercy, EJI is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons. We challenge the death penalty and excessive punishment and we provide re-entry assistance to formerly incarcerated people.
EJI works with communities that have been marginalized by poverty and discouraged by unequal treatment. We are committed to changing the narrative about race in America. EJI produces groundbreaking reports, an award-winning calendar, and short films that explore our nation’s history of racial injustice. And in 2018, we opened the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice as part of our national effort to create new spaces, markers, and memorials that address the legacy of slavery, lynching, and racial segregation, which shapes many issues today.
EJI provides research and recommendations to assist advocates and policymakers in the critically important work of criminal justice reform. We publish reports, discussion guides, and other educational materials, and our staff conduct educational tours and presentations for thousands of students, teachers, faith leaders, professional associations, community groups, and international visitors every year.
Criminal Justice Reform
We challenge the death penalty, extreme sentences for children, excessive punishment, and abusive prison conditions through litigation, advocacy, and education.
We share America’s history of racial injustice, from enslavement, racial terror lynchings, and segregation to mass incarceration.
We provide direct assistance to people living in poverty and advocate for anti-poverty policies nationwide.
We are highly motivated, hardworking professionals committed to serving our clients, engaging with communities, and advocating for justice and equality. Since EJI’s founding 30 years ago, our staff has grown to over 150 people.
EJI is one of the nation’s most effective legal advocacy organizations, earning a perfect score from Charity Navigator.