Letter from the Director

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Soffiyah Elijah

Soffiyah Elijah

Dear friends:

My first year at the CA zipped by so quickly – so much was accomplished and plans for much more have been made.  Due to the tireless efforts of the CA’s amazing staff we enjoyed national recognition as a high-impact non-profit for our work on many fronts, including Guidestar’s Philanthropedia ranking as 3rd in the country for locally-based criminal justice organizations.

I am particularly proud of the staff and inspired by their enthusiasm and willingness to join me in working to make the transition to new leadership a smooth one.  Together, we explored new concepts, built new alliances, celebrated victories and envisioned new horizons. With much appreciation, I welcome all of our new staff members, a talented group that has integrated smoothly into the CA fabric, and I give a hearty welcome to our seven new board members, a diverse and passionate group that joins their colleagues with commitment and new perspectives. I also thank our dedicated and wise board of directors for their stewardship and confidence. They have inspired many new initiatives while appreciating the firm foundation built over the past 168 years since the CA’s founding.

Traditionally, the CA has been on the cutting edge of innovative criminal justice reform, and now is no different.  From our advocacy to enact the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act and our new Raise the Age Campaign; to working to end the use of solitary confinement and opening dialogues about the elderly in prison and parole reform; to emboldening formerly incarcerated advocates through our successful leadership training programs for women and LGBTQ youth and new staff, the movement we have built over the past twelve months continues to grow.  And we have you, our dedicated and generous allies, to thank for these successes.  We could not do this work without your support.

In two years, the CA will celebrate its 170th anniversary! As we ready for the celebration, we hope you will continue to support us and share our work with others. We are gearing up with excitement and a brand new look –  explore our new website, follow us on Facebook, and stay involved in all we are doing on 125th Street in Harlem.  We will continue to shine a light in the dark corners of the world behind bars.

With your help, our work to ensure that everyone behind bars is treated with dignity and respect will be successful.



Soffiyah Elijah,  Executive Director