Civil Survival organizes system-impacted people, provides legal representation, and advocates for policy reform to restore opportunity to communities harmed by the criminal legal system.


Civil Survival envisions a world without incarceration, where people are not limited by their past and are valued for their humanity.


  1. Accessibility: Our strength is in our stories, the variety of our life experiences, and our identities. We embrace creative and innovative ways of organizing to ensure inclusivity of impacted people. Our learning and liberation centers this demand: “Nothing About Us Without Us.”
  2. Equity: All people should have what they need to participate fully in community. We confront the barriers to liberation—institutional, interpersonal, and internalized – that justice-involved people face. We acknowledge and address the ways in which our intersectional identities impact our experiences of mass incarceration, the justice system, and the political process. We commit ourselves to understanding and uprooting colonialism, white supremacy, misogyny, ableism, and institutional racism.
  3. Dignity: All are worthy. The work of ending mass incarceration is also the work of restoration, to learn and promote humanization, de-stigmatization, and self-definition, as we build a sense of purpose and accountability.
  4. Empowerment: Our lived experience is our strength, our stories matter. When we share them and are witnessed, we serve as advocates and contribute to more liberating and sustainable models of accountability and justice. We are people with an infinite capacity to grow.
  5. Interdependence: Our success is dependent upon each other. Collective learning, organizing, and liberation are central to our work. We seek self-determination not in isolation or individual advancement but within a sense of belonging and accountability to each other.
  6. Community: We work to build authentic relationships, and community with system players and impacted people. We create spaces and opportunities where impacted people and voices are centered and valued.