Caitlin Dunklee

Caitlin Dunklee
Location: Asheville, North Carolina Cohort Start Year: 2018 Project Topics: Behavioral and Mental Health, Criminal Justice, Leadership Development, Public Policy, Public, Population and Community Health, Social Sector/Non-Profit, Violence and Trauma Populations Served: Adults (21-64 years), At-Risk/Vulnerable Populations, Incarcerated or Formerly Incarcerated Populations, Victims of Crime
Organizing Director
Transformative In-Prison Workgroup

Our society’s response to harm is to put people in cages. Dominant public narratives reinforce the false idea that prisons produce safety. In fact, the criminalization of communities of color breaks apart families, destroys economic stability, and drives health inequities. Mass incarceration itself is a public health crisis. Located at the Transformative In-Prison Workgroup, Caitlin and their colleagues are launching the One Percent Campaign to move 1% of the California prison budget away from punishment and towards restorative and transformative programs. When successful, the One Percent Campaign will promote responses to crime that do not perpetuate harm and scale up community solutions to build accountability without violence, isolation, and cages. Caitlin is committed to bringing the power of public health to existing efforts led by people who are incarcerated and their families, and developing an organizing strategy that centers healing.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: Launch the COVID-19 Response Campaign to Address Inequities Experienced by Incarcerated Individuals in California
My strategic initiative will launch the COVID-19 Response Campaign to advocate for the restoration and expansion of CBO-run, trauma-informed healing and rehabilitative in-prison programming. During this indeterminate lockdown and for future crises that keep California’s 120,000 incarcerated individuals from accessing programs. Housed at the Transformative In-Prison Workgroup, a California statewide coalition of 40 community-based organizations that provide in-prison programs, the Campaign will advocate that California permit alternative and remote methods of in-prison program delivery, including mail correspondence and virtual classrooms, and that incarcerated individuals be allowed to earn time off of their sentences for participation.

Caitlin has organized with communities affected by incarceration for 18 years in Ecuador, New York, Texas, and California. They elevate the leadership of people who have survived imprisonment, integrate healing into organizing strategies, and work alongside communities to end incarceration as we know it.

Click here to watch Caitlin’s Legacy Project video.