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 uniqueness lies in our foundation. Civil Survival is led by individuals who have personally navigated the criminal legal system. As an organization, Civil Survival is committed to centering the voices of those most impacted by incarceration. At every level of the organization, from leadership to our dedicated team, most have lived through the system’s challenges. This depth of personal experience informs every aspect of our work, allowing us to pioneer innovative approaches to serve our community.

Civil Survival’s team members have varied professional experiences, spanning from legal experts who have worked to mitigate the consequences of the legal system, to individuals who draw from their own experiences within the criminal legal system to drive policy advocacy. This “by-and for” ethos infuses our strategies for legislative reform, legal representation, societal perception, and systemic change.

The unique professional and personal experiences of our team drive our mission forward in creating more equitable pathways for individuals who have been impacted by the criminal legal system.