We believe that every person has dignity, but that children in prison are abandoned and forgotten.
We believe that all children deserve a second chance, but that detention destroys any hope for the future.
Juvenile Justice Advocates International was founded based on the belief that juvenile justice systems around the world rely on detention as the primary means of responding to children in conflict with the law. This over-reliance on detention hurts children and does not make our society any safer. The juvenile justice systems across the globe must undergo a fundamental change in order to ensure that the next generation fulfills its potential.
In order to create change, JJAI infuses our values into all of our work and every project. These values are -
Systemic and Sustainable Reforms
Reforms must create change at the system-level in order to ensure that they will endure beyond the pilot stage and that actual policies, practices and institutional cultures change.
JJAI cannot go it alone. The local government officials, non-justice sector agencies, direct service providers and the broader public must be engaged to create real change. We cannot accomplish anything on our own.
No two jurisdictions are the same. Differences in culture, approaches, resource levels and legal frameworks mean that JJAI's model must be adaptable in its methods and means.
Local ownership and leadership is critical. JJAI does not start a project in a new jurisdiction without a local champion. JJAI’s teams are also made up of local experts.
All interventions must first be justified based on data and measured and adjusted based on data. Our impact must be measurable.
Overlooked populations – ethnic and religious minorities, LGBTQ, women and girls, alternative language speakers, disabled, and other groups are disproportionately impacted by the juvenile justice system and often do not show up in the data. Therefore, equality must go hand-in-hand with all of JJAI's strategies to ensure all children can benefit from system reforms.