Pretrial Justice Institute
200 East Pratt Street, Suite 4100
Baltimore, MD 21202

(667) 281-9141

A Racial Equity Transformation: PJI's Rationale

Read the history and self-reflection that led to our organizational equity journey — now over three years in progress.


This document provides a detailed look at how PJI arrived at the decision to center racial equity in its reform efforts, while transforming the organization itself into one that embodies equitable leadership, structure and values.

This report provides the initial roadmap for PJI’s internal journey to identify how the organization itself could become more equitable, by undergoing a racial equity assessment; identifying cultural norms grounded in white supremacy; and cultivating equity competency, skills and shared values. Since this report was written, PJI has revised a number of its organizational practices, ranging from hiring to flattening hierarchies to creating a culture of feedback and accountability, and continues to pursue the ideals of equity.

Perhaps the most well-known result of this emphasis on racial equity was PJI’s announcement that it would no longer support pretrial assessment instruments as a tool of reform, recognizing that they relied on data produced by systems of racial oppression. PJI also began exploring what a pretrial reform without money or assessments could look like, resulting in its Local Antiracist Pretrial Justice.