We advocate for a justice system that treats kids as kids.

We advocate for a justice system that treats kids as kids.


Lone Star Justice Alliance (LSJA) is a nonprofit legal organization that improves the lives of youth and emerging adults in the justice system.



We envision a justice system that uses developmentally-appropriate responses to behavior and treats youth and emerging adults with equity and dignity to promote resilience, conserve costs, and increase public safety.



Recent research in adolescent development, brain science, and social science has provided evidence for treating youth and emerging adults uniquely within the criminal and juvenile legal system. By using evidence-based responses to behavior, we will better serve youth and emerging adults than the failing, punitive criminal and juvenile legal systems, especially when coupled with due process, fairness, and equity.

Transforming Lives | Transforming Justice 

The Problem

In Texas and across the U.S., youth and emerging adults (17 to 24), especially those of color, are disproportionately at high risk of becoming involved in the criminal legal system. The system routinely fails these young people by sentencing them to years – or even life – in prison for behavioral infractions they commit.

They often end up in places meant for adults – places that retraumatize them, fail to address their underlying needs, and contribute to recidivism. This deprives them of access to habilitation, to live full lives, and to be productive members of society. Without these opportunities, the likelihood that they will reoffend is high. This is not justice, in the true sense of the word. The human, social, and financial costs of this failed system are devastating.

To deliver real justice, promote recovery rather than recidivism, and end intergenerational imprisonment, we must change the system so that it is responsive to the unique needs of youth and emerging adults. Lone Star Justice Alliance exists to facilitate this change.


Texas spends $5 billion each year on a system that fails 75% of the time

young adults (17 to 24) are arrested in Texas each year


of young adults in Texas who enter the prison system reoffend within 3 years


Black and Latino residents are 30% of the U.S. but 56% of those incarcerated


We are providing career pathways to liveable wage jobs and holistic supports for justice involved emerging adults and provides training for employers to increase retention rates.

ReImagineJustice Institute

Through our ReImagine Justice Institute, we cultivate connections with and equip community-based organizations, defense counsel, directly-impacted individuals, and stakeholders, to shift narratives and drive change at the local level.


With our Juvenile Sentencing Project and Survivors’ Project, we lead and support strategic litigation to challenge specific system failures. And, we use the lessons we learn from our research, innovations, and legal strategies to amend Texas’ penal and family codes, policies and practices that drive true criminal legal system changes with outcomes that transform lives.


Through our Transformative Justice work, we facilitate change by developing innovative programs that focus on creating community-based alternatives to the failing criminal legal system. These innovative programs are designed to address unmet needs, increase social determinants of health, and improve public safety.



Connect with us on our social media. For the latest updates, be sure to follow and like us on all of our platforms. You’ll see postings about our latest events, and news.

Lone Star Justice Alliance
Lone Star Justice Alliance is in Austin, Texas.3 hours ago
Austin, Texas

http://ow.ly/LGRc50KWhet Check out this great report from our partners at the National League of Cities (@leagueofcities) ,featuring LSJA's incredible Transformative Justice Programs. LSJA works closely with the entire Young Adult Community of Practice and looks forward to conveying with...

Lone Star Justice Alliance
Lone Star Justice Alliance is in Austin, Texas.9 hours ago
Austin, Texas

http://ow.ly/NfQU50KVLIg Check out this new report that highlights the experiences of survivors of human trafficking and provides recommendations for increasing their trust in the justice system. Unsurprisingly, the report recommends the very solutions LSJA is also fighting for: Ending the criminalization of...

Lone Star Justice Alliance
Lone Star Justice Alliance2 days ago

Join our CEO Elizabeth Henneke tomorrow for a briefing on the hottest justice issues facing the Legislature next session!

Lone Star Justice Alliance
Lone Star Justice Alliance is in Dallas, Texas.5 days ago
Dallas, Texas

Bag secured!! Thank you to #northtexasgivingday was a massive success for LSJA!! Thank you for helping us continue to Transform Justice & Transform Lives.

#LSJA #ReimagineJustice #LoneStarJusticeAlliance

Lone Star Justice Alliance
Lone Star Justice Alliance is at Pegasus Park.5 days ago
Pegasus Park

Yesterday afternoon, @thedallasfoundation in partnership with Lyda Hill Philanthropies held a #NorthTexasGivingDay celebration at their @pegasusparkdallas offices and gave away over $250,000 to nonprofit organizations in the building! @official_lsja was the recipient of...

Lone Star Justice Alliance
Lone Star Justice Alliance
Lone Star Justice Alliance5 days ago

http://ow.ly/XjxU50KRABU New research from CCJ (Council on Criminal Justice) shows that while troubling racial disparities persist within the U.S. criminal justice system, the gap between Black and White state imprisonment rates narrowed significantly over the first two decades of the 21st century....

Lone Star Justice Alliance
Lone Star Justice Alliance
Lone Star Justice Alliance is feeling grateful in Texas.5 days ago

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! You showed up and showed out for #northtexasgivingday to the tune of $19,747 ($15,000 of which will be MATCHED)! We can’t say it enough, THANK YOU for helping LSJA continue to Transform Justice and Transform Lives....

Proud to announce we were selected for the 2022 Catalyst Grant Program from @UrbanInstitute & @Microsoft Justice Reform Initiative. Learn more about this effort to leverage data & technology to advance racial equity https://t.co/kwzWHCe2Gq Official_LSJA photo

Awards & Honors

Recent Awards & Honors Received by LSJA & Our Talented Staff

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Project Partners