Working to Decrease the Legal System's Footprint and Help Everyone Thrive and Live With Dignity
The Wren Collective strives to reimagine the way our country approaches criminal justice. Our north star is to dramatically decrease the legal system’s footprint in this country. For too long, those with power have weaponized the legal system to take away the rights of vulnerable communities, using fear to justify the mass incarceration of people of color, and now, the marginalization of voters, doctors, and librarians, and the increased oppression of other groups including women, trans people, migrants, the unhoused – the list grows every day. All the while, the powerful have failed to offer solutions to serious community problems like violent crime and trauma. At Wren, we have the audacious goal of replacing ineffective and often disingenuous solutions to crime and safety with solutions that support victims, keep people healthy and safe, and help everyone thrive and live with dignity.
How We Work
To shrink the legal system and replace it with policies that lead to thriving communities, we cannot attack a single issue or use a single tool. Instead, Wren thinks broadly across systems and issues to find the best ways to solve the intractable problems that lead to crime in the first place. First, we identify what we believe are the biggest causes of our most harmful practices on the local level, whether they are the use of antiquated policies, power-hungry officials, or false but widely held narratives about safety. Once we have diagnosed the problem, we utilize communications, research, and policy to change them. We work with journalists, district attorneys, public defenders, grassroots and grasstops groups– whomever is best equipped to change the narrative and implement better solutions to public safety with our support.
Who We Are
Wren is staffed by former public defenders who have spent considerable time witnessing the dramatic failures of our legal system and learning about the ways society could have kept people healthy and communities safe, but failed to do so. We have honed our narrative skills in the trenches of the legal system, and have subsequently developed policy and research tools working at media outlets, on campaigns, and in organizing.