Our Strategy

As system entrepreneurs, LSJA facilitates change to the entire ecosystem of youth and emerging adult justice by addressing and incorporating all the components actors required to move the needle on youth and emerging adults involved in the juvenile and adult criminal legal system.

LSJA has developed programs designed to address the structural, relational, and transformative changes needed to create and sustain systems change that radically transforms our existing responses to youth and emerging adult behavior. This approach has been adopted based on John Kania, Mark Kramer, and Peter Senge’s The Water of Systems Change.

Following this framework, we define systems change as shifting the conditions that are holding the problem in place.

Six conditions that hold a problem
in place include:

  • policies
  • practices
  • resource flows
  • relationships and conditions
  • power dynamics
  • mental models (deeply held beliefs, perspectives, asnd assumptions).
Oftentimes, organizations focus solely on addressing a community’s outcomes which are indicative of the problem along with some efforts to change policies that support the practices that continue to produce the troublesome outcomes.

Yet, what is not intentionally targeted are the relationships among actors, the distribution of power, the institutional norms and constraints within which they operate, and the attitudes and assumptions that influence decision-making. These critical conditions determine whether a social change will occur.

By focusing our programs to address each level (primary, secondary, and tertiary) of system change, we impact each of the six conditions that continue to maintain the current criminal legal system.