Our Approach / Programs
Translational Justice

Our programs help clients and their families access the inner power to work and live to their full potential. We use our insights on lasting change to keep people out of prison, advocate for a more humane justice system, and support healthy communities for all of us.

It is often our client alumni themselves who step into the role of advocating for policy change, taking their healing and empowerment to the next level.

We call this translational justice.

Incubator ProgramsInnovation At Work
Innovation is embedded in our work, and includes the ongoing development of new approaches to healing and change. The following are examples of pilot programs that are currently under development.

the Ahimsa collective

Ahimsa is a Sanskrit word that refers to the practice of nonviolence in all things. The Ahimsa Collective is a network of people committed to this concept through the creation of an alternative way to address violence and heal trauma that is driven by people, not systems. Our work involves deep community with all sides of the fence – with people who have committed an act of violence, survivors of violence, families impacted by violent crime, and law enforcement. While offering workshops, trainings, circles, and writing in two California State Prisons, this project combines key restorative justice practices and innovative approaches to peacemaking. Contact: Sonya Shaw (sonya@ahimsacollective.net)

first offender prostitution program

The First Offender Prostitution Program (the “John’s School”) is a court diversion program that seeks to reduce recidivism among first time buyers of prostitution.  Eligible “johns” participate in an eight-hour Saturday school (similar to traffic school) focused on building knowledge regarding the consequences, both personal and societal, of buying sexual services.  Community Works is piloting a new men-helping men approach, in which the RSVP  Team has adapted the manalive curriculum to the First Offender Prostitution Program.  This was the first John’s School in the nation and has been replicated in more than 50 jurisdictions nationwide.

Contact: Alan Wilson (awilson@communityworkswest.org)

Translational Justice =

Direct Service + System Change

For example

In response to the isolation and lack of support children of incarcerated parents experience at school, we trained staff within the San Francisco Unified School District on how to address parental incarceration.