2019 Leadership Fellows Graduation

Civil Survival’s work is led by and for formerly incarcerated individuals.

Who We Are

Founded in 2015, Civil Survival organizes people in the state of Washington who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system to build connections, gain knowledge and increase political participation.

Our work promotes successful family and community reintegration for people who are being released from incarceration by removing the many financial, political, and legal barriers to reentry. Nearly one in four people in Washington State have been involved in the criminal justice system. Civil Survival is working to improve their chances of becoming productive members of their communities by removing some of the many collateral consequences of mass incarceration.

What Makes Us Unique

Our Founding Director spent time in prison as a consequence of trauma, poverty, and substance use disorder. She has since graduated law school and fought her way to the Washington Supreme Court to earn the right to become an attorney. In 2020 she won a seat in the Washington State House of Representatives.

In the beginning, Civil Survival was the only organization working on criminal justice reform in Washington led by formerly incarcerated people. We believe this is important because those closest to the problem are closest to the solution, but furthest from the resources.

The combination of professional and personal experience makes our organization credible to advocate for solutions to improve a system that is not serving society well. Our work and our leadership are bringing real equity to the social justice advocacy community in Washington State.