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

The Give!Guide offers incentives and some pretty fabulous “Big Give” prizes to folks to contribute as little as $10. Well, PSJ would like to offer a couple of spectacular raffle prizes of our own to sweeten the incentive pot.
If you are a savvy social media user and you're interested in working for justice, this may be the intership for you. Work with PSJ staff to increase PSJ's social media presence and internet activism by PSJ's members.
Over 300 people attended our Justice for Youth event last Saturday to call for an end to the prosecution and incarceration of youth as adults. Our purpose was to raise awareness of the social and personal harm caused by policies that allow young people to be punished as adults.
Our “Member Voices” initiative seeks to collect stories and experiences from people impacted by the public safety system to inform our work and shed light on needed changes. Telling your story is simple and confidential. Learn more….
We have a new executive director! We are very pleased to announce that Andy Ko, an attorney with a law degree from New York University but roots in the Pacific Northwest, has taken the helm as PSJ's executive director as of July 14th!