Youth Justice

Partnership for Safety and Justice advocates for public safety policies that help build safe, healthy communities and enable people convicted of crime, as well as victims of crime, to rebuild their lives. We believe that it is essential for people who are directly impacted by Oregon’s public safety and criminal justice systems to be actively involved in advocating for policies that are more effective, just and sustainable. 
Our Youth Justice Education Project works to raise the voice of young people in the Portland-Metro Area. We are focusing on issues related both to the safety of youth and the damaging effect of placing some children accused of crime in the adult criminal justice system. Given the well-documented disparities in policing and punishment experienced by young people of color, our youth justice work emphasizes supporting young leaders from within those communities. The project seeks to support these young Portlanders as activists and community leaders, through issue-related education, leadership development and advocacy training.  
Everyone deserves to be safe at the home and on the streets, and balanced accountability for criminal acts is one of Partnership for Safety and Justice’s core values. Young people who commit crimes, like other people who knowingly commit violent or other criminal acts, should be held appropriately accountable. But young people also need opportunities to succeed in life – sometimes many opportunities. Laws that unfairly and inappropriately target children as young as 15 years old for long mandatory sentences, such as those affected by Oregon’s Measure 11, are contrary to the science of child development and behavior. Historically, we also know that mandatory sentences and other forms of extreme punishment have been applied unequally against people of color – including black and brown children. This project seeks to open opportunities to increase public safety by supporting investment in communities – rather than increasing the use of prisons and jails – and working with young people to advance a balanced and just approach to criminal justice in Oregon.

PSJ released a comprehensive study, "Misguided Measures: The Impact and Outcomes of Measure 11." "Misguided Measures" is the first study of the impact of Measure 11 on Oregon's youth and provides important information and analyses that will help PSJ, it's members and it's allies to work to reform laws that try youth as adults in Oregon.


Program Spotlight

PSJ is hiring! We are looking for an experienced and innovative Director for our Crime Survivors Program. Our ideal candidate will be inspired by PSJ’s mission and excited to work with our highly skilled staff to take PSJ’s pioneering Crime Survivor work in new directions.
PSJ is excited to release the first installment of our youth justice update, Misguided Measures Revisited: Keeping Youth Out of Jails. This is the first of three briefing papers following up on a 2011 comprehensive report on juvenile justice in Oregon.
PSJ is pleased to announce that we’re launching Help.Hope.Heal., a website designed for the people crime survivors are most likely to reach out to for help: their family and friends.
We are pleased to announce that PSJ has been awarded a $200,000 grant from the Kaiser Permanente Community Fund at the Northwest Health Foundation. The 2-year grant is a critical investment in our effort to reduce the harm of parental incarceration on children and families.
We are so happy to have been included in the Willamette Week Give!Guide for the second year in a row! As 2015 winds down, we hope you will consider making a generous gift through our secure fundraising portal at the Give!Guide. Click "Read More" below to make a contribution.