Projects

Just City’s vision of a more just and equitable community is realized through the development and implementation of several specific programs, initiatives, and special projects. These include:

Clean Slate Fund. In most cases, clearing up a criminal record in Tennessee requires a $450.00 expungement fee even when qualified applicants have completed all requirements of their sentence. The Clean Slate Fund is used to pay this fee on behalf of people who qualify but can’t afford it. The fund is supported with generous donations from local businesses, foundations, and people like you.

If you think you may qualify for expungement, please fill out our intake form. We’ll be in touch soon.

Memphis and Nashville Community Bail Funds. These special funds — which are also supported by generous private donations — will will assist people who cannot post bail and who pose little flight or safety risk to the community — but who otherwise may be facing days or weeks in jail because of an inability to pay bail. By winning their freedom, families will remain together, people in both communities will keep working, and contact with the criminal justice system will not so easily define a person’s future.

Participatory Defense. Participatory defense is a community organizing model for people facing charges, their families, and their communities; it can help impact the outcome of cases and transform the landscape of power in the court system. Through regular meetings, community members partner with public defenders to ensure the accused is understood as more than just a case file, and bolstering the defense team, in order to prevent and reduce incarceration. Participatory defense was developed by Silicon Valley De-Bug. Visit ACJusticeProject.org for more information.

Legislative Outreach. Just City believes that making sustainable, systemic changes to our criminal justice system will come through progressive policy choices. Our staff and allies work closely with members of the Democratic and Republican caucuses in both houses of the Tennessee General Assembly, as well as members of the Shelby County Commission and Memphis City Council, to advocate for policies that affect the policing, sentencing, incarceration, and reentry of people in our communities.

Please check our event page for information about other upcoming public programs and events — and consider making a donation to support this ongoing work.