Welcome to Justice Arts Coalition

A national network and resource for those creating art in and around the criminal legal system.

Justice Arts Coalition (JAC) unites teaching artists, arts advocates, artists who are or have been incarcerated and their allies, harnessing the transformative power of the arts to reimagine justice.

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JAC is thrilled to be part of the 2022-23 Catalogue for Philanthropy class of critical local nonprofits!
Banner - Artist Spotlight: Sean J White
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Pathways by Guest Contributor Conor Broderick

Pathways – a familiar analogy about the choices and circumstances that shape our lives. We try to follow or create new lines through our known world. Pathways can be mutually exclusive, but they are also intertwined within our shared existence. And in this world, our paths will cross. It doesn’t matter if you have made yourself a million dollar lifestyle with mansions, surrounded by technology, or if you live in a humble home of adobe walls and a thatched roof. The choices we make not only change the way we live our lives but also affect how others carry on as well.

On Freedom by Guest Contributor David Annarelli

As the world continues to descend into assorted and varied madness, the word freedom is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Ukraine, clearly, but also those political dissidents such as Mr. Navalny, as of June 15 disappeared into a Russian maximum security prison, and those American citizens such as WNBA star Brittney Griner, also held in Russia. We can speak of economic freedom, always an underlying problem in the U.S., especially where the poor and impoverished are so often the fodder that feeds the U.S. Prison Industrial Complex.

Artist Spotlight: Dominique Merritt

For as long as he can remember, art has been a part of Dominique’s life. His grandmother, Jacqueline Merritt, was a local oil painter in Michigan with a particular interest in landscapes of shacks and barns. As an elementary student, Dominique drew for hours, and his childhood interest ultimately became part of his career when he became a mechanical designer, using computer-aided drafting software to “develop innovation for all sorts of industries.” “The designs I did were very artistic, as well as functional,” he says, remarking that he saw the artistry in designing from a young age.

Contact Us

Please fill out the form below for media inquiries, for assistance planning and promoting events related to JAC’s work, if you’re seeking support for incarcerated artists, or simply for more information about what we do.

We believe Black lives matter. We believe that racism and white supremacy must be dismantled and rooted out, and that we must build a new and better world. We believe in the power of art and creation to help us imagine that world, and the power of community and solidarity to help get us there. Most importantly, we commit to acting upon these values in everything we do.

We at the Justice Arts Coalition acknowledge that we are based on the traditional lands of the Nacotchtank and Piscataway peoples (Piscataway Indian Nation, the Piscataway-Conoy Confederacy, and the Cedarville Band of Piscataway), both past and present. They have stewarded the land through generations. Land holds cultural, historical, and traditional meaning, and we hope this acknowledgment is not the end of our conversation but rather a starting point to reduce intentional erasure and engage in more conversation about decolonizing land relations. Our commitment to liberation and prison abolition is deeply intertwined with decolonization and indigenization. For settlers: as you navigate this virtual space, we invite you to think critically about how your resistance to carceral punishment intertwines with Indigenous rights in the spaces you occupy.