Health Instead of Punishment Program Values

Our Health Instead of Punishment Program is rooted both in our organization-wide HIP Values and the following in how we conduct our work and how we aim to show up in community.

1. We act in solidarity

People closest to the problems are closest to the solutions — and must be structurally empowered to advance those solutions. We resist falling into paternalistic public health practices. Instead, we believe we will achieve justice by supporting and centering those who have been most harmed by intersecting systems of oppression, especially anti-Black racism.

2. We assert that all people are worthy of dignity and compassion

People do not have to earn the right to live, thrive, and grow. No one is disposable — regardless of any mistakes they have made in their lives. We are all capable of change.

3. We hold complementary focuses on systems and people

We recognize the need to simultaneously hold the ways in which systemic injustice and interpersonal oppression do real harm to people’s health. Our work mostly focuses on changing the systems and structures that shape people’s lives. We also believe that relationships and connections to people’s humanity are central to the work.

4. We move through this work with humility

We do not have all the answers, and we will inevitably make mistakes. We are committed to learning and to addressing any pain we cause along the way. We will embrace uncomfortable truths and commit more deeply to radical honesty in doing so.