Youth can be transformative leaders, addressing inequity in their communities and the factors that lead to youth involvement in the criminal legal system.
We offer a range of peer-led options that keep youth out of the justice system while helping them to take responsibility for their actions. The program receives referrals from the departments of probation and police, district attorneys, family and criminal courts, and schools. Diversion options include:
Circles, which are facilitated by Youth Impact members, handle cases diverted from the traditional court system. In a circle, everyone has a chance share their experiences. The referred youth talks about the incident, builds accountability, and then works with Youth Impact members to decide on steps to repair the harm and address underlying issues.
Youth Impact members are trained to be mentors and credible messengers, equipping them to facilitate community-building circles and workshops about decision-making, developing positive goals, and building support systems.
Youth Organizing, Research, Policy, and Advocacy
Youth organizing initiatives activate members around issues important to youth. Interns develop community organizing and advocacy skills through hands-on development of campaigns and projects. Policy and advocacy opportunities create platforms for youth leaders to ensure their voices are included in conversations that they are often left out of. Members engage in research, policy development, and system change at all levels—from neighborhood to national.
Youth work with community stakeholders to create solutions to neighborhoods problems. Solutions emphasize healing as a way to address systemic harm and support safe neighborhoods. Responses developed include placemaking initiatives (where stakeholders conceive and implement changes to public spaces), community circles, pop-up wellness and self-care spaces, and cultural events.