Youth & Transformative Justice

Youth & Transformative Justice: An Expanded Focus

September 7, 2021
By Raymond Jimenez

The scale and severity of Los Angeles County’s punishment system is a unique problem unmatched by any other county in the nation. The overreliance on mass incarceration adversely impacts communities of color and families.

It’s a problem that must be urgently addressed with effective community-based programs that encourage innovative solutions, foster collective action, and support leaders of color who can spearhead efforts to make their own neighborhoods safer and stronger.

That’s why Liberty Hill is doubling down on our enduring commitment to Justice for All by expanding our “Youth Justice” priority area to include “Youth and Transformative Justice,” with a focus on investing in communities, not incarceration.

To challenge mass criminalization of Black, Brown, Native American and Indigenous peoples, Liberty Hill Foundation’s Youth & Transformative Justice program seeks to shift power from punishment systems to people impacted by mass criminalization, dismantle these systems in Los Angeles County, and work toward reimagined approaches to justice that invest in communities rather than prisons and surveillance — all with the goal of promoting practices of healing and community accountability rooted in our common humanity.

As designed, L.A. County’s justice system is fundamentally unjust and inhumane. We must build something new in its place that is restorative, community-led, racially just, and that reinvests in the health and well-being of historically excluded young people, adults, and communities.

We need a transformative vision of justice. Justice that is actually just.

To meet these goals, the Youth & Transformative Justice program will invest in four key areas:

  • Building the power and capacity of grassroots organizations to fight to dismantle these punishment systems;
  • Investing in the leadership of people who have been directly impacted by the legal system and who are seeking transformational change;
  • Fighting to end the incarceration of all – boys and men of color, girls, women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender-nonconforming individuals – by building stronger, safer, and more equitable communities where they are no longer criminalized for the violence and discrimination they face.
  • Advancing reimagined approaches to safety, justice, and accountability that are not rooted in or appended to current punishment systems.

The program will make grants countywide to shrink and ultimately dismantle carceral systems and reimagine new approaches to safety, justice, and accountability.

Learn more about our Youth & Transformative Justice work here.