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Mission

The Decarceration Project is a litigation and policy initiative of The Legal Aid Society that is dedicated to ending the mass incarceration of low-income New Yorkers, and eradicating the criminal justice system’s disproportionate impact on communities of color. The Project helps New Yorkers navigate the inequities of the money bail system and provides assistance to sentenced people who have had their sentences calculated incorrectly. It also is home to the Women’s Pretrial Release Initiative, a collaboration between Legal Aid, Fedcap and the Open Society Foundation focused on getting cis- and trans-women off of Rikers Island. The Project is the first of its kind in the country, and a national voice for changing how public defenders fight pretrial detention and end mass incarceration. In 2018, the Project was recognized as an Exemplary Project in Indigent Defense by the American Bar Association.

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