How We Got Started
Nation Outside was born out of a meeting in December 2014 between local Michigan advocates with extensive knowledge and experience in criminal justice reform who saw an immediate need to bring those most affected by the criminal justice system to the decision-making table. After a hearty discussion, Dennis Schrantz, Sandra Girard, Monica Jahner, John Seber, Mary King, Elisheva Johnson, Christine Lewis, and Ronald Simpson-Bey, came to found Nation Outside: The Voice of The Formerly Incarcerated.
Due to the level of dedication and advocacy efforts from the founders, Nation Outside has successfully organized and engaged justice-impacted voices, such as those who have experienced incarceration along with their family, friends, and allies, in the development of more effective criminal justice policies. These efforts continue to let policy-makers know that our community needs policies and systems in place that will address root causes of incarceration, and promote both communal healing and community stability.
Nation Outside is a movement that uses community education strategies and civic engagement initiatives to inspire our members and the community to get involved in knowledgeable, sustainable, and socially just forms of advocacy to support currently and formerly incarcerated folks, their loved ones, and their communities in order to inspire and create real reform in the criminal justice system.
Who We Are
Meet our Leaders
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Meet our Transitional Board
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We partner with like-minded organizations and individuals to achieve our vision of a society where our communities are safe and vibrant, all people are treated with dignity and respect, and justice and fairness are available to everyone. We know that together we are stronger and look forward to working on collaborative action.
Confirming our commitment to partnership is our active participation in the Michigan Collaborative to End Mass Incarceration (MI-CEMI). MI-CEMI is a broad-based, statewide, non-partisan collaboration representing over 50 organizations and hundreds of individuals dedicated to ending mass incarceration.
We are pleased to work with United Way of Jackson County through our presence in the Jackson area, in their pursuance of a community rich in opportunities to eliminate poverty and that allows all people to achieve financial stability and success.