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 on a system that fails 75% of the time
of youth in Texas who enter secure state facilities and reoffend within 3 years
of youth in Texas who receive Deferred Prosecution services and reoffend within 3 years
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.
Through our ReImagine Justice Program, 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 Youth 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.
Provides career pathways to liveable wage jobs and holistic supports for justice involved emerging adults and provides training for employers to increase retention rates.
Fights to end the incarceration of children in Texas who are survivors of human trafficking and interpersonal violence, and to obtain clemency for those who have already been convicted of crimes tied to their own victimization.
Youth Sentencing Project
Provides direct strategic litigation on behalf of youth who were tried in the adult criminal legal system and given extremely long prison sentences.
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