This is the very surface of what Transformative Justice is and could be, please check out the resources section to build a deeper understanding - Daria
Transformative Justice (TJ) seeks to move away from punishment and toward accountability, healing and transformation of the conditions that allowed violence to happen in the first place.
TJ understands that violence is cyclical. It is learned. It is taught. It will perpetuate itself until the cycle is broken and the conditions that enabled the cycle end.
The social, political, and material conditions that enable and produce violence include white supremacy, capitalism, poverty, ableism, mass incarceration, patriarchy, cissexism, war, homophobia, xenophobia, and settler-colonialism.
TJ understands that all people have the capacity to cause harm and with the right conditions, all people have the capacity to stop causing harm, learn/grow/heal and take accountability.
generationFive defines the goals of TJ as:
and recognizes that roles of survivor, victim, person who harmed and community member may overlap over a person's lifetime.
TJ is not punitive and does not seek punishment. TJ also does not shield or protect people who harm from the consequences of their actions. TJ may use pressure or leverage to prevent a person from continuing to harm.
TJ is an abolitionist framework - it seeks to abolish all systems and structures that embody and perpetuate violence and oppression including police, prisons, detention centers, and psychiatric institutions.
TJ is a living and evolving framework. Many of the practices, strategies, and goals of TJ are rooted in the ways of being of Indigenous peoples. Many can be found in the survival strategies of oppressed communities everywhere. Many are born of ongoing, continuous present-day experimentation.
We do not yet have all the TJ responses and models we need - we must continue to experiment and adapt our strategies to the shifting social, political and material conditions around us.
generationFive invites us to ask - How do we build our personal and collective capacity to support accountability in a transformative way?
I hope to begin to answer this question together.
I want to thank Mia Mingus and Micah Hobbes Frazier for introducing me to Transformative Justice as a young person, and the fellow founding members of the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective who deepened and challenged my understanding.
Barnard Center for Research on Women:
Bay Area Transformative Justice Collaborative:
(English and Spanish)
NYC Transformative Justice Hub: