JustSentencing

The Lone Star Justice Alliance stands with young people to advocate for systems that treat them as children and give them an opportunity to thrive. We push for change through strategic litigation, appellate advocacy, amicus (friend of the court) briefs, policy reform, professional training and education, and strategic communications.

We challenge the laws and policies that send children to adult courts, and fight for systemic changes that enforce constitutional rights to due process and access to counsel. We fight for racial justice for children and their families.

Our JustSentencing work also ensures that laws, policies, and practices are informed by research, consistent with children’s developmental needs, and reflective of best practices for thriving youth.

Juvenile Sentencing Project

The U.S. Supreme Court, citing research in adolescent brain development and social science, has found that children are less culpable for their crimes and more amenable to rehabilitation than older adults. 

Our Juvenile Sentencing Project promotes the use of this developmental science throughout the juvenile legal system. The heart of the project’s work is on an individual case level, where we directly represent children who have been accused of crimes. We have a three-year focus on fighting the transfer of children from the juvenile to the adult system in pre-adjudication (before a court decision) and post-conviction cases challenging the sentences of those who are already in the adult system.

Survivors’ Project

The Survivors’ Project brings hope to survivors of human trafficking, interpersonal violence and other abuse through clemency application assistance and pro bono legal assistance.

The Texas justice system currently incarcerates children and youth whose crimes were a direct result of, or incident to, human trafficking, intimate partner violence, and other abuse.

Too often, the justice system fails to see these children as survivors of crime in need of a trauma-informed response to their victimization, and instead prosecutes them for their own crimes and even the crimes of their abusers.

We work to obtain legal relief for survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence, whose crimes arose from their own victimization.

Policy

LSJA continually monitors policy and legislation and advocates for changes aligned with our mission.

From the Second Look Coalition to policies to end the incarceration of survivors whose crimes were a direct result of human trafficking and interpersonal violence, we work to support and implement policies and practices that drive true criminal legal system changes with outcomes that transform lives.

LSJA draws upon its experience in litigation, program management, and community engagement to support policies that bring developmentally appropriate responses to crime and create a more just system for achieving public safety.