About Us

RECLAIM Mission

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.

RECLAIM History

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.

RECLAIM Vision

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.

RECLAIM Values

Collective Liberation

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

Sustainability

We are committed to investing in our people as our most valuable resource. We arecommitted 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 wemust both create a container that honors boundaries and commit to taking the long view. Inthe face of oppression, we practice a discipline of hope and strive to make decisions from aplace of courage. We know that we must be adaptable, prioritize nimbleness within oursystems, and be willing to welcome change.

Accountability

We believe in mutual accountability and are committed to building relationships within ourcommunity 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 ourincarcerated and formerly incarcerated community, in particular BIPOC communitymembers. We are also committed to those who hold marginalized identities most impactedby the criminal legal system because we recognize that true accountability demands anintersectional lens and approach. We are committed to disrupting systems of oppression inand among ourselves, within our community, within our work, and within the institutions inwhich we operate.

Care

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

Solidarity

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

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