Juvenile Defenders Dismantling Racism (JDDR)
What is Transformative Justice?
At JDDR we strive to align ourselves with principles of transformative justice by supporting efforts of our clients and client communities disproportionately impacted by the carceral state, and a profound intergenerational lack of access to wealth, housing, health care, employment, and education. Transformative justice pushes the boundaries of both restorative and retributive justice by recognizing that real progress cannot occur through systems whose original intent was to marginalize and disenfranchise Black and Brown youth. We are fully committed to employing a holistic transformative justice framework with each one of our clients no matter the alleged offense, and we are working to uphold the principles listed below:
- As an organization, we are committed to identifying both micro and macro systems of oppression and harm that affect our individual clients and cause the gross racial and ethnic disparities experienced by Black and Brown youth in every aspect of their lives.In doing so, we aim to address each client’s needs and aspirations in hopes of making a positive impact on the collective experiences of all youth engaging with the juvenile justice system.
- As advocates, we aspire to identify sustainable day to day practices, including but not limited to our modes of communication and case planning, so that we contribute to a justice system that cultivates healing, support, and growth rather than retribution and re-victimization.
- We strive to understand how the system works at its root. Our goal is to identify where transformation needs to occur in order for our clients to succeed and achieve their goals.
- We are dedicated to building relationships with the communities we serve to encourage transformative justice interventions by providing access to resources, opportunities, and services our clients need to experience healthy development.
- We make it our mission to defend and protect youth who are vulnerable to the detrimental effects of the juvenile system through community based approaches, rather than the institutional based approaches that can turn victims of society into victims of the state.
- In support of YAD’s holistic Positive Youth Development approach, we acknowledge the multifaceted factors impacting our clients’ lives. We work to better understand the environments in which our clients are living and growing to ensure that their lived experiences are validated and considered in the totality of our advocacy and the legal process.
- It is our mission to provide our clients, their families and their communities with the most effective advocacy possible. We understand that we must not only acknowledge the detrimental effects of racism and violent systems of oppression, but we must also ACT to dismantle harmful mechanisms of oppression both inside and outside of our organization. Public defenders are among the many stakeholders in the legal system. We are well positioned to identify manifestations of structural racism and to develop strategies for mitigating the harm for individuals. We advocate for structural changes to benefit the entire community. We embrace that responsibility.
Follow us on Twitter.