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Redesigning Justice: Our Youth Action Agenda


We believe in a world where young people thrive in well-resourced communities. A world where when young people inevitably make mistakes, they are held accountable for their actions in age appropriate ways that do not draw on our nation’s current system of policing and prisons. This requires deep investments in historically disenfranchised communities, specifically Black, Brown, Indigenous, LGBTQIA+, and Disability communities. It also requires a culture shift away from punishment and incarceration to one that values young people and views our collective duty as supporting young people in their development into adulthood.

The current youth legal systems in this country are not designed to humanely serve our nation's young people. Rather, we can track the development of these systems to government control of populations largely seen as “other.” This has led to racial inequities at every decision point in our youth legal systems. In this way, the legal systems are far from just.

As we seek to reconcile with this reality and reimagine a future where Black, Brown, Indigenous, and LGBTQIA+ youth are given the freedom to thrive, we must create space for impacted youth to dream bigger and bolder, and become the architects of justice.

For 2022's Youth Justice Action Month, the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) gathered 14 young leaders from across the nation to redesign what justice is and can be. The resulting recommendations are summaraized in Redesigning Justice: Our Youth Action Agenda, which captures our young justice leaders' blueprint for justice. Now it is up to all of us to pull up our sleeves and work to make this design our reality. Join us in taking action and doing the work.

>>Download Redesigning Justice: Our Youth Action Agenda

About NJJN's Young Justice Leaders:
NJJN’s young justice leaders are fourteen leaders from across the country, aged 17-29, who have direct understanding of our nation’s youth legal systems. This report is a direct reflection of their conversations, ideas and dreams.

Thank you:

  • Dallas Crosby
  • Nykia Gatson
  • Mora Greer
  • Sage Grady
  • Nicky Ishaak
  • Arrianna Jentink-Bristol
  • Douglas Johnson
  • Guhan Krishnan
  • Isabella Lane
  • Derick Mejia Torres
  • Adonijah Metcalf
  • Devere Morris
  • Alani Rouse
  • Alona Scott