We’re fighting for communities, not cages.

Who we are.

Communities Not Cages is a grassroots campaign led by impacted people and families across New York State. Together, we are fighting to end mass incarceration and overhaul New York’s racist and unjust sentencing laws. 
who we are

Want your organization to join Communities Not Cages?

OUR steering committee
 Center for Community Alternatives
Release Aging People in Prison
New Hour for Women and Children - LI
New York Civil Liberties Union
Bronx Defenders
Legal Aid Society
New York Communities for Change
Drug Policy Alliance
Citizen Action of New York
Partnership for the Public Good
The Sentencing Project
Voice Buffalo
Hudson Link for Higher Education
OUR partners
#HALTsolitary Campaign
A Little Piece Of Light
ALAA - UAW 2325
Albany Social Justice Center
Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse (ACTS)
Appellate Advocates
Attica Improvement and Memorial Project
Bend the Arc: Jewish Action Long Island
Black Lives Matter (BLM) - Hudson Valley
Bronx Defenders
Brooklyn Defender Services
Brooklyn Law School Criminal Defense & Advocacy Clinic
CUNY Law School Defenders Clinic
Call BlackLine
Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration
Capitol Area Relief & Liberation
Center for Appellate Litigation
Center for Community Alternatives
Center for Employment Opportunities
Center for Justice at Columbia University
Center for Law and Justice
Children's Defense Fund-New York
see full list
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What we’re fighting for.

We’re fighting to pass urgently needed legislation to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences, abolish two- and three-strikes laws, create a right to a second-look at unfairly long sentences, and strengthen good time and merit time laws to promote fairness and rehabilitation for incarcerated people. 

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Why we’re fighting for communities, not cages.

Mass incarceration has devastated Black and Latinx communities.

From the War on Drugs to the 1994 Crime Bill, anti-Black racism has prompted the passage of harsh sentencing laws. Today, over 75% of people in New York’s prisons are Black or brown.

Mass incarceration impacts women, non-binary people, and survivors of violence.

As incarceration rates continue to climb, the impact on women and non-binary people has only gotten worse. The overwhelming majority of those incarcerated are Black or brown, and over 86% of incarcerated women are survivors of violence.

Mass incarceration does not deliver justice, safety, or healing.

Instead, it destroys the fabric of families and communities who lose loved ones, breadwinners, and caretakers to the New York State prisons. The billions of dollars spent annually on caging New Yorkers are then unavailable for education, housing, healthcare or community-based anti-violence or restorative justice programs.

Our goals.

Across New York state, directly impacted people and our supporters are organizing for change.
Decrease the power of prosecutors to coerce plea deals and control sentencing.
Win legislation that reduces New York’s reliance on criminalization and incarceration and brings our loved ones home.
Urge officials to invest instead in community-based services, supports and responses to harm for a safer, healthier and more just New York.
Shift the cultural narratives that justify mass incarceration of Black and brown people.
Build the statewide power of formerly incarcerated people, families, and allies to strengthen the movement for decarceration.
Join the Coalition
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Join the movement to invest in communities, not cages.

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