To realize the Center’s mission, we work with diverse individuals and groups through our many projects. Whether we’re working with youth, community organizations, or formerly incarcerated women; or working in the area of policy, education, or research, we strive to ensure our projects are created and led by those they intend to serve.


Check out a full list of our projects below:

Arts and Justice

We believe that art is crucial to our movement work and in enacting change, and we are committed to including the arts in all of our educational and policy work, and to build on the network of connections we have forged with New York arts organizations through our participation in the Kenan Social Justice and the Arts network. Working with teaching artists and arts educators, we have developed an initiative that integrates our arts educational work at Rikers, which offers an artist-in-residence program for formerly incarcerated people working in the area of social justice and the arts.


  • From the Inside Out

  • The Confined Arts


Learn more about Arts and Justice


Beyond the Bars


The Beyond the Bars Conference is an annual student-driven interdisciplinary conference on mass incarceration held at Columbia University.  Each year the conference brings together students, faculty, activists, advocates, practitioners, those who have experienced and/or been impacted by incarceration, community members and more to connect, galvanize, and deepen the work of building justice and equity and ending mass incarceration.


  • The Conference

  • The Fellowship


Learn more about Beyond the Bars


Collaborative Change for Justice


Under the Collaborative Change for Justice initiative, programs facilitate structured, meaningful, and novel engagement between different stakeholders, with special focus on students and city officials, to spark dialogue, better understand community challenges, and explore possible solutions together. With Columbia University’s extensive network of support, Collaborative Change of Justice programs can engage the university’s many disciplines and further collaborate with community partners to reduce the national reliance on mass incarceration and to support new approaches to justice and safety through education, research, and policy change.


  • Justice Ambassadors

  • Inside Criminal Justice


Learn more about Collaborative Change for Justice


Justice Beyond the Punishment Paradigm


Justice Beyond the Punishment Paradigm (JBPP) is an initiative at the Center that seeks to end punishment and incarceration as the dominant response to violent offenses. We aim to promote prevention, safety, accountability, healing and repair, focusing on survivors and those who commit violence (often one in the same), and their communities. Persistent punishment does little to prevent violence, denies the capacity for transformation, and furthers policies of racist criminalization and exclusion. Communities most impacted experience substantial disinvestment as resources are used to criminalize and incarcerate, not prevent and intervene. We are in a remarkable moment of change and justice reform but addressing violence remains at the margins.


  • Everyday Restorative Justice

  • Parole and Long Sentences

  • Trainings


Learn more about Justice Beyond the Punishment Paradigm




The Justice-in-Education (JIE) Initiative is dedicated to bringing credit-bearing college courses, workshops, and creative projects to campus, local prisons, and at the Rikers Island jail complex. Our programs open channels of communication and collaboration between Columbia faculty and students, communities affected by incarceration, and the public at large for a more just and socially conscious system of higher education.


  • JIE Scholars

  • Prison Education Project


Learn more about Justice-in-Education


Roma People’s Project


The Center for Justice serves as the incubator of the Roma Peoples Project (RPP), which address how Roma have represented themselves and how they have been represented by others. The RPP aligns with the Center’s mission of empowering vulnerable people who suffer from criminalized identities, discrimination, stigma, and lack of inclusion within mainstream society. It aims to identify, centralize, examine, and curate images and information about the Roma people in order to bring them to the forefront of academic and public consciousness.


Learn more about the Roma People's Project


Women Transcending


Women Transcending (WT) focuses on the impact of the mass incarceration system on women and girls and the roles that women are playing in changing those systems. WT is committed to making a unique and necessary contribution through three interrelated projects focusing on women and incarceration and the growth of women’s leadership in the movement to end mass incarceration.


  • Collective Leadership Institute

  • Oral History Project

  • Public Programming


Learn more about Women Transcending