As a program, we are committed to ending the carceral State and challenging the presupposition that our communities are made safer when our fellow human beings are locked in cages. We are uniquely aware that the urge to incarcerate first and ask questions later isn’t limited to the state or federal prison system but permeates our criminal (in)justice system. We understand that our communities’ futures are at stake when local, state, and federal governments privatize prisons and detention centers, police forces procure increasingly militarized arsenals, and prosecutors shield police officers who’ve murdered members of the neighborhoods they purport to serve. With this in mind, YP4 believes in developing models of transformative justice grounded in our communities’ abilities to ensure their own safety and wholeness. Understanding this reality, we work with our Fellows and field network to advance campaigns which touch on issues like community safety, police accountability, and prison abolition.
An example of community safety and justice work can be seen in 2013 Fellow George Markarian’s Blueprint IGNITE, which advocated for the reinvestment of University of California funds into student recruitment and retention over the prison industry.
Many thanks to the Urban Strategies Council and the Alameda County Criminal Justice Reform for their help in shaping this issue area. Photo of 2012 Fellow Kaitlyn Rhodes’ symposium on “Journalism & Juvenile Justice: How Our Sentences Affect Theirs” at Northeastern University.