The history, culture, and structures that created and have sustained mass incarceration in America, originated from the white colonial violence against Native Americans and the treacherous enslavement of Black people, which continues to oppress people of color today.
As a result, we co-created Restoring Promise, an initiative led by MILPA and the Vera Institute of Justice that addresses these root causes and consequences of America’s racist history. We look at the harmful and enduring impact of mass incarceration and following the leadership and expertise of our community members who are still in prison and jails. We do this by working within prisons and jails to change the culture and racist operational philosophies, and conditions found inside jails and prisons, starting with young adults.
Our vision for Restoring Promise is rooted in our name: “Restoring” calls for truth-telling and healing an anti-racist processes led by those most impacted by the prison system. The word “Promise” acknowledges the failed promise to generations of young people and a commitment to supporting incarcerated young adults to achieve their full potential. We envision social change reflected in our initiative’s values: Restorative Justice, Race Equity, Cultural Healing, and Community & Family Partnership.