Civil Survival

Who We Are
Founded in 2015, Civil Survival organizes people in the state of Washington who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system to build connections, gain knowledge and increase political participation.

Our work promotes successful family and community reintegration for people releasing from incarceration by removing the many financial, political and legal barriers to reentry. Nearly one in four people in Washington State have been involved in the criminal justice system. Civil Survival is working to improve their chances of becoming productive members of their communities by removing some of the many collateral consequences of mass incarceration.


What Makes Us Unique
Civil Survival’s work is led by and for formerly incarcerated individuals. Our Executive Director spent two years in prison as a consequence to her life of trauma, poverty and substance use disorder. She has since graduated law school and fought her way to the Washington Supreme Court to earn the right to become an attorney. There is no other organization working on criminal justice reform in Washington State that has people who have experienced the criminal justice system in leadership. We believe this is important because those closest to the problem are closest to the solution but furthest from the resources. The combination of professional and personal experience makes our organization credible to advocate for solutions to improve a system that is not serving society well. Our work and our leadership is bringing real equity to the social justice advocacy community in Washington State.


Our Work
Civil Survival engages its members by conducting full-day educational Workshops followed by monthly Game Changer Group (GCG) meetings around the State of Washington. Our members are also active participants in the political process, including testifying before judges and lawmakers and helping to pass significant statewide legislation.

  • State(s) of Volunteer Opportunity: Washington
  • Malpractice insurance is provided for volunteers: No
  • Training Provided: No
  • Training Required: No
  • CLE credit for trainings: No
  • CLE credit for pro bono: No
  • Mentoring or supervision offered: No
  • Volunteer lawyers need to meet a caseload or hours requirement: No
  • Volunteers may participate long-distance: No
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