About Us


RECLAIM provides reintegration support that centers the mental, emotional, and relational health of individuals and families impacted by the criminal legal system to better prepare them for the return home. We are an organization led by individuals impacted by the prison system, who are committed to expanding access to individual and collective care for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, as well as Queer and Transgender communities that are over-represented in our prison system.  Our mission is rooted in the knowledge that healthy relationships with oneself, loved ones, and with community nourish our lives and are central to collective healing, action, and liberation.


After 17 years of supporting incarcerated individuals in pursuit of education as University Beyond Bars, we are realigning our focus with the emergent needs resulting from the changing landscape inside our prisons. Our goal as RECLAIM is to provide access to safe, equitable, and culturally sustaining mental, emotional, and relational health resources and holistic support. We aim to offer person-centered care and normalize the work of personal growth and healing.


We believe that our liberation is bound up with the liberation of others; as such, we are committed to the self-determination, autonomy, agency, and well-being of every person in our community

We envision a world where care is common, collective, and rooted in the inherent dignity, agency and belonging of each one of us.


Collective Liberation

We are committed to collective liberation as an ethics of action. We believe, following the Aboriginal Murri activist Lilla Watson, that our liberation is bound up with the liberation of others; as such, we are committed to the self-determination, autonomy, agency, and well-being of every person in our community. We understand that we are but one part of a movement for justice that strives to build an anti-racist, anti-oppressive, and joyful future where everyone is free.


We are committed to investing in our people as our most valuable resource. We are committed to organizational processes that are emergent, growth-oriented, and sustainable. We know that in order to be boundless in our vision, curiosity, creativity, and aspiration we must both create a container that honors boundaries and commit to taking the long view. In the face of oppression, we practice a discipline of hope and strive to make decisions from a place of courage. We know that we must be adaptable, prioritize nimbleness within our systems, and be willing to welcome change.


We believe in mutual accountability and are committed to building relationships within our community that are clear-eyed and rooted in the truth of each person’s complexity, dignity, and humanity. We are committed to holding ourselves accountable to the needs of our incarcerated and formerly incarcerated community, in particular BIPOC community members. We are also committed to those who hold marginalized identities most impacted by the criminal legal system because we recognize that true accountability demands an intersectional lens and approach. We are committed to disrupting systems of oppression in and among ourselves, within our community, within our work, and within the institutions in which we operate.


We come to this work with humility and through an ethic of transformative justice. We know that every one of us – and, by extension, every member of our community – has both committed harm and been the recipient of harm, and deserves to be accorded the grace to grow and learn. We believe in meeting one another, our students, and our community members where they are today, and in practicing mutual aid whenever possible. We reject a narrative of disposability and are committed to treating each other with respect, compassion, and care.


We believe that access to education and reintegration support is a foundational feature of the work we do and that these opportunities pave the way for our students to chart their own courses. We are committed to not only meeting the material needs of our students and alumni whenever possible, but also to resourcing them with the knowledge and tools to shape their own stories. We measure success by the extent to which those in our community become agents of change in their own lives.

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