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Advancing Real Change, Inc. promotes justice by ensuring that the life histories of people ​charged with crimes are at the forefront of their cases.
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ARC, Inc.'s Efforts Towards Justice
 

Recently, our Executive Director received a call from a former client now serving a life sentence after having his death sentence overturned for a crime he committed when he was in his early 20s. When she told him about the opening of ARC, Inc.’s Jacksonville, Florida office a few months earlier, he wanted to know if that meant she was teaching more people “the right way” of doing the work. He explained that “the right way” was the way he had seen her work on his own case: “like you would have worked on someone in your own family’s case.” For him, it meant no shortcuts taken, no stones unturned, and dedication to the pursuit of justice. Advancing Real Change (ARC), Inc. has a mission to promote justice by ensuring that the life histories of people charged with crimes are at the forefront of their cases. We are committed to developing programs and resources designed to help ensure mitigation is utilized across the country under best practices. 

You may know us for our webinars and direct mitigation work in capital and juvenile cases, but our organization also carries out other initiatives that bring high-quality compassionate advocacy to those who lack access to it. This Giving Tuesday we want to shed light on what we do in these initiatives to provide assistance to those we serve:

  • Bring-Your-Own-Case (BYOC) Training. This is an intensive training opportunity for state capital defense teams to brainstorm trial cases with expert faculty. ARC, Inc. partners with renown attorneys, mitigation specialists, and experts to provide targeted training and connect teams with resources and follow-up technical assistance tailored to their needs. 

  • Client Assistance Fund. We believe that providing basic necessities for those who cannot afford it is a part of client advocacy. For incarcerated clients, this may mean covering the cost of essential items such as toiletries or writing supplies to enable communication with loved ones. We continue to support former clients who are incarcerated lack the support of friends and family to help provide these basic needs. We also assist former clients who have returned to the community during their reentry by providing clothing, toiletries, and other essentials to aid in their transition.

  • Building Bridges Program. Through this program, ARC, Inc. fosters long-term pen-pal correspondence between volunteers and incarcerated clients. This helps build genuine friendships and reinforces the centrality of human dignity, which is at the core of mitigation work. 

  • Resource Clearinghouse. This online, password-protected site houses a growing volume of practical materials such as declarations, webinar materials, suggested reading, and more. Defenders are able to use these tools to guide them in all aspects of the mitigation investigation.

  • Felony Case Work. In addition to providing director casework to clients facing capital punishment or juvenile life sentences, ARC, Inc. also conducts mitigation investigation in other felony cases. Our felony case work is a critical step towards stopping mass incarceration and further demonstrates how mitigation can help to dismantle injustices deeply embedded across the legal system.

ARC, Inc. provides these services and resources with a staff of just 13 people across our Baltimore, Maryland and Jacksonville, Florida offices. Help support our efforts this Giving Tuesday by making a donation toward our end-of-year campaign, which has a goal of $60,000. Each gift enables us to do more to save and change lives. Between now and the end of the year, we will be using our newsletter and social media pages - Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn - to share more about what we hope to achieve in 2022. You can help further support our efforts, by following us online and spreading the word and encourage others to take action toward justice.

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