Criminal justice reform is an issue that’s deeply personal to me. I’m both a survivor of crime and someone with a conviction history. From these experiences, I can tell you that our criminal justice system is doing way more harm than good and that it’s past time we have a different approach to community safety.

Partnership for Safety & Justice is a holistic organization that engages both survivors of violence and people convicted of crime. They recognize that people have the potential to heal and to be full members of our community. They understand the importance of treating someone with my background based on who I am today and not the mistakes I made.

It’s inspiring to see the impact that Partnership for Safety & Justice is having in our communities. They’re making sure that we’re reducing mass incarceration, helping create restorative justice programs, and reaching out to victim advocates and survivors of crime to make sure their voices are heard.

Another personal reason why I support Partnership for Safety & Justice is because they bring an equity lens to their work. They are advocating for reforms that help the communities most harmed and least helped by violence and mass incarceration. Through this approach, it’s clear that once we make Black and brown lives matter, then all lives will matter.

Whether you’re new to Partnership for Safety & Justice or have been with the organization for some time, my message is the same: You’re in the right place if you love your community. You’re in the right place if you love to see people heal. You’re in the right place if you can understand that hard stories don’t stay hard; they become soft. People’s lived experiences are valuable and can shed new light so that we can make our communities safer and stronger.

In solidarity,

Gary Cobb (Board member, donor, and community partner)

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