Model & Strategy
There are roughly 2M people in state and federal prisons in the U.S., and experts estimate that hundreds of thousands of people could be released and reunited with their families today without any significant impact on public safety. Whether their sentences were too harsh, stemmed from outdated policies, or they have turned their lives around while on the inside, many incarcerated individuals’ continued confinement is unjust. Additionally, prosecutors — one of the most powerful actors in the criminal justice system — have not traditionally engaged in reform. Typically, prosecutors do not re-evaluate past sentences handed down by their office, even in instances where a person’s sentence was excessive or unjust.
For The People’s (FTP) solution to these problems began by creating, passing, and implementing the nation’s first Prosecutor-Initiated Resentencing (PIR) law, allowing prosecutors to ask the court to revise sentences their offices originally sought. Using a nonpartisan approach, FTP enlists elected prosecutors to reevaluate past sentences, encouraging them to expand their role to include undoing harm caused by extreme sentences. FTP supports counties in launching resentencing initiatives through building models that restore humanity, uplift potential, and reframe notions of safety. In partnership with community leaders, FTP supports incarcerated people and community-based organizations in leveraging PIR as an advocacy tool through co-developing accessible trainings and resources and demystifying the legal process. By highlighting success stories and the power of family reunification, PIR challenges the public discourse and meets the tough-on-crime rhetoric head-on. FTP’s communications strategy uses video storytelling and experiential learning initiatives to change the perspectives of lawmakers, system stakeholders, law enforcement, and the public at large.
Hillary, founder and executive director, leads the implementation of Prosecutor-Initiated Resentencing (PIR). In 2018, Hillary drafted and secured the passage of AB 2942 — the first PIR law in the country. Hillary is a former prosecutor, after which she led the statewide implementation of Prop. 47 and acted as clean-slate clinic director at Californians for Safety and Justice. In 2021, she secured $18M for second chances through California’s Resentencing Pilot. Hillary is a Galaxy Gives Fellow, has been awarded Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas, and has been published by the Washington Post, Bloomberg, USA Today, the American Bar Association, and more.
Nearly 800 people were released through PIR across the US, avoiding an estimated $540M in national prison spending.
Secured $18M State Investment for nine counties in California to launch a Resentencing Initiative Pilot project (prosecutor, defense, and reentry group) and completed the first year of the pilot
Launched Participatory Defense Partnership with community organizers in eight counties across four states
PIR law was enacted in six new states in four years: California, Illinois, Oregon, Washington, Louisiana, and Minnesota, with more than seven states working on PIR laws.
Published National Guide: Advancing Prosecutor-Initiated Resentencing
Launched the Women’s Initiative in collaboration with the Young Women’s Freedom Center to advocate for releasing more women through PIR