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The Center for Restorative Justice Works (CRJW) opposes the death penalty in California and in the United States.We commit ourselves to work for its abolition as a matter of conscience, morality and respect for the dignity of life. We believe in the sanctity and dignity of every human life. We believe that neither we, nor the state in our name, have the right to take human life.

For more than a decade, CRJW has been instrumental in uniting families torn apart by crime and the policies of the criminal justice system. Our premiere program, Get on the Bus, brings children to visit their parents in prison to normalize, as much as possible, the child-parent interaction during parental incarceration. Cross-over programs invite communities to cross a border into the world of prisons to foster a transformed understanding between the outside community and those inside. Through these avenues, CRJW works for systemic change that will move the current system toward a model of justice that promotes healing and restores relationships. Through our programs at CRJW, we have seen the inequalities in the criminal justice system for minorities and the poor, particularly through harsh sentences and the incarceration of the innocent. The death penalty perpetuates this injustice.

In making this statement:

  • We grieve for and reach out to victims of violent crime and their families.
  • We affirm that within our system of justice there is need for restitution to victims and their loved ones and rehabilitation of the offender.
  • We believe that the State sanctioned taking of human life is not justified and is not a deterrent to the commission of criminal murder.
  • We support ending the Death Penalty immediately.