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  • Cohort 2023

    Black Voters Matter

    Reducing Contact with the Criminal Legal System by Addressing Warrants

    Fulton County, GA

    Each year, millions of people in the United States are summoned to court for traffic violations and other low-level offenses. Failing to appear in court can have serious consequences, including the issuing of an arrest warrant unrelated to the original charge. Research shows that increasing communication and providing support around legal processes and court appearances can reduce warrants like these and minimize system contact overall. In Fulton County, Georgia, Black Voters Matter runs warrant clinics, which are community led and help people who have received failure-to-appear warrants on misdemeanor offenses and traffic violations address them outside the courtroom by resetting court dates, dismissing charges, recalling arrest warrants, and reducing or erasing fines and fees in collaboration with the district attorney’s office.

    With Catalyst Grant funding, Black Voters Matter will create a dashboard that presents warrant clinic data, such as participant characteristics and the number of warrants rescinded or fines reduced, alongside local government data, such as lengths of jail stays for people arrested for failure to appear and overall trends in arrests related to canceled warrants. The organization plans to use this data platform to answer questions about the impacts of the criminal legal system on communities, influence the policies of local agencies, and support the implementation of warrant clinics in more places.


    2023 Grantees

    Beyond the Bars
    Miami Gardens, FL

    Black Voters Matter
    Fulton County, GA

    Center for Policing Equity
    St. Louis, MO

    Chicago Appleseed
    Cook County, IL

    Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking
    Los Angeles, CA

    DC Fiscal Policy Institute
    Washington, DC

    Forward Through Ferguson
    St. Louis City and County, MO

    Freedom Community Center
    St. Louis, MO

    Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Association
    Cuyahoga County, OH

    Homeward Bound
    Dallas County, TX

    Sacramento, CA

    Innovate Memphis
    Memphis, TN

    Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice
    Washtenaw County, MI

    Just Communities Arizona
    Pima County, AZ

    Justice Management Institute
    New Orleans, LA

    Mediation and Restorative Services
    Anoka County, MN

    People of Progression
    Outagamie County, WI

    Phoenix Youth and Family Services
    Ashley County, Bradley County, Chicot County, Desha County, and Drew County, AR

    Project Curate
    Harris County, TX

    Pillars of the Community
    San Diego, CA

    Safer Foundation
    Cook County, IL

    San Francisco Pretrial Diversion Project
    San Francisco, CA

    Starting Over, Inc.
    Riverside County, CA

    Denver, CO

    United Way of South Central Michigan
    Jackson County, MI