We are excited to announce that WJP will be the new movement home for Survivors Justice Project (SJP)! SJP fights for the decarceration of domestic violence survivors through robust implementation and expansion of New York’s groundbreaking Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act (DVSJA).
Enacted in 2019 after a 10-year Coalition for Women Prisoners campaign led by survivors on both sides of the walls, the DVSJA aims to prevent survivors from suffering the horrors of extreme sentencing. The Act expands judicial discretion and sentencing alternatives for survivors convicted of crimes related to abuse and allows currently incarcerated survivors to be resentenced and released earlier. The DVSJA is the first law of its kind in the country and one of the only sentencing reforms nationwide to include relief for people convicted of serious violent crimes.
Formed in 2020, SJP serves as the central clearinghouse for the DVSJA. SJP engages in public education, offers training and technical assistance for members of the legal community, and provides support and community for survivors who have applied, want to apply, or are currently applying for DVSJA relief. SJP also provides mentoring and guidance for advocates in other states who are interested in enacting laws modeled on the DVSJA.
In addition, SJP is the only entity collecting and analyzing DVSJA-related data – an essential yet overlooked component of monitoring the law’s implementation. According to SJP’s data as of August 2023, 51 survivors have been resentenced after filing DVSJA applications, saving over 130 years of incarceration, including 12 potential life sentences. Had the survivors been sentenced under the DVSJA originally, it would have avoided almost 370 years of needless prison time.
WJP is thrilled to serve as SJP’s strategic partner, operational home, and incubation platform. You can learn more about SJP’s work here: www.sjpny.org.