Criminal Legal System

Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center: Championing Racial Justice in Criminal Systems

At the heart of the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center, we hold a fundamental belief: the criminal justice system is intrinsically intertwined with racial justice issues. Inspired by the legacy of Thurgood Marshall, a pioneering champion for civil rights, we dedicate ourselves to challenging the injustices within our current system and working towards an equitable vision of public safety.

The Intersection of Racial and Criminal Justice

For too long, the criminal justice system has disproportionately targeted and affected communities of color, reinforcing a cycle of systemic discrimination and inequality. Factors such as racial profiling, discriminatory sentencing, and mass incarceration paint a stark picture of how racial biases infiltrate every level of the criminal justice system.

With the growing social justice movements across the country, there's a renewed vigor to address these issues head-on. 

Our Three-Pronged Approach

1. Readdressing Public Safety

The traditional notions of public safety have long centered around punitive measures and a heavy reliance on the carcel state. We believe that a community knows what's best for its safety. Therefore, we strive to reshape the definition of public safety by:

  • Collaborating with communities to discern their unique needs.
  • Advocating for policies that prioritize rehabilitation, education, and community-led initiatives over incarceration.
  • Educating the public on alternative models of safety that do not depend on excessive policing or jails.

2. Addressing Police Violence

Police violence is a grave concern that deeply affects communities of color. To address this, we:

  • Monitor police departments for patterns of racial bias and abuse.
  • Support victims of police violence and their families, ensuring they have the resources and platform to seek justice.
  • Push for policy changes that ensure accountability, transparency, and a complete overhaul of policing practices.

3. Community Empowerment

We believe that lasting change can only be achieved when communities are empowered to define and direct their destinies. We empower communities by:

  • Facilitating dialogues and workshops that equip individuals with the knowledge and tools to bring about change.
  • Partnering with grassroots movements and organizations to amplify their impact.
  • Fostering leadership within communities to ensure a sustained effort towards achieving racial justice in the criminal system.

Meet our newest team member, Staff Attorney Marques Banks!

Marques Banks is a Law Fellow/Staff Attorney who specializes in addressing  state sanctioned violence within the criminal legal system. He will focus on the criminalization of poverty and readdressing public safety.

In Partnership with Social Justice Movements

At the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center, we stand shoulder to shoulder with social justice movements, united in the mission to give power back to the people. By working collaboratively, we can move towards a society where communities have the self-determination to define what true public safety looks like, free from the shadows of a carcel state.

Join Us in Making a Difference

The journey towards a just criminal system, free of racial biases, is long and challenging. But together, we can rewrite the narrative. Be a part of this transformative movement, and let's create a society where justice truly prevails.