Transformative justice

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Transformative Justice (TJ) is a policy framework and approach to responding to violence, harm and abuse. TJ seeks to respond to violence without creating more violence and/or to engage in harm reduction to decrease violence. Transformative justice responses and interventions 1) do not rely on the state; 2) do not reinforce or perpetuate violence such as oppressive norms or vigilantism; and most importantly, 3) actively cultivate things that prevent violence like healing, accountability, resilience, and safety for everyone involved.” – Mia Mingus [1]

History of Transformative Justice

“TJ was created by and for many of these communities (e.g. indigenous communities, black communities, immigrant communities of color, poor and low-income communities, communities of color, people with disabilities, sex workers, queer and trans communities). It is important to remember that many of these people and communities have been practicing TJ in big and small ways for generations–trying to create safety and reduce harm within the dangerous conditions they were and are forced to live in. For example, undocumented immigrant women in domestic violence relationships, disabled people who are being abused by their caretakers and attendants, sex workers who experience sexual assault or abuse, or poor children and youth of color who are surviving child sexual abuse have long been devising ways to reduce harm, stay alive and create safety and healing outside of state systems, whether or not these practices have been explicitly named as “transformative justice.” - Mia Mingus [2]

Examples of Transformative Justice

"The process of building community safety poses some critical questions to our movements: What is the world that we want? How will we define safety? How do we build the skills to address harm and violence? How do we create the trust needed for communities to rely on each other for mutual support?" "'What can you help build? What conversations can you start to increase the safety of your community? What new structures or collaborations will you cease to decrease your reliance on the criminal legal system?"- Ejeris Dixon [3]  

For further insight on transformative justice, we recommend checking out this quick video featuring Adrienne Maree Brown, Mia Mingus, Stas Schmiedt, Ann Russo, Esteban Kelly, Martina Kartman, Priya Rai, and Shira Hassan.

Please also see our wiki page: Notes on Accountability from Beyond Survival: Strategies and Stories from the Transformative Justice Movement.

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