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Headshot of Olivia Murray

Olivia Murray

  • Hosted by Georgia Justice Project
  • Sponsored by Microsoft Corporation, Reed Smith LLP
  • Service location Atlanta, Georgia
  • Law school Harvard Law School
  • Issue area Criminal Justice Reform, Racial Justice
  • Fellowship class year 2023
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Olivia’s (she/her/hers) project will help launch the first restorative justice diversionary program in Georgia that addresses felony harms by adults: Restorative Justice Georgia.

Georgia has the highest rate of correctional control in the country. There are 527,000 people in prisons and jails or under probation or parole in Georgia, and 4.6 million individuals have a Georgia criminal record. Young, low-income, Black, and Latinx people are disproportionately impacted by correctional control.

For victims of crime, the criminal legal system does not adequately meet their needs. Research shows that most victims would prefer to hold people accountable through means beyond prison. However, there are currently no mechanisms to prioritize the healing and needs of the person harmed while giving the person responsible for the harm the chance to make amends and take accountability.

Olivia’s experiences as a Black woman have informed her of the trauma that the criminal legal system can inflict through surveillance and incarceration, especially in low-income communities of color. This has motivated Olivia to develop alternative approaches to harm that allow for accountability and healing.

Fellowship Plans

During her Fellowship, Olivia will facilitate the transition of cases from the criminal legal system into the restorative justice process. She will work with criminal legal system actors to ensure the restorative justice process is fulfilled successfully, and to increase access to the program. Olivia will also engage community members to spread knowledge about restorative justice and advocate for policy changes to expand access to restorative justice throughout Georgia.

When people experience harm in their communities, they must often decide whether to involve the criminal legal system despite the weight of the consequences that can come with that. As a Black woman, I am proud to expand access to alternative responses to harm in Georgia communities, many of which are Black and Brown.

Olivia Murray /
2023 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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Sponsor: Discover Financial Services, Greenberg Traurig, LLP

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Sponsor: Apple, Baker McKenzie

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Jack Saletta

Host: Lawndale Christian Legal Center

Sponsor: Aon, Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Sarah Free

Host: Illinois Prison Project

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP

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