The conditions that allow violence to occur must be transformed in order to achieve justice in individual instances of violence. Therefore, Transformative Justice is both a liberating politic and an approach for securing justice.
State and systemic responses to violence, including the criminal legal system and child welfare agencies, not only fail to advance individual and collective justice but also condone and perpetuate cycles of violence. Transformative Justice seeks to provide people who experience violence with immediate safety and long-term healing and reparations while holding people who commit violence accountable within and by their communities.
This accountability includes stopping immediate abuse, making a commitment to not engage in future abuse, and offering reparations for past abuse. Such accountability requires on-going support and transformative healing for people who sexually abuse.
Philly Stands Up. The Color of Violence: the incite! This is an indispensable resource that includes a link to the new Creative Intervention Community Accountability Toolkit among many other important tools. Russo, Ann and Spatz, Melissa.
Everyday Abolition: Interview with Corrine Audio — In this short interview 5 minutes , Corrine describes how being an abolitionist informs her decision not to call police—including in a situation where she and her sister were attacked by their father. Law, Vikki. Morris, Ruth. Stories of Transformative Justice Org — May 7, am.
If you would like to contact me, e-mail jjinjustice1 gmail. The way we imagine work, our relationships, the future, family everything, is locked down. I see science fiction as liberation work that allows our imaginations to live beyond prison. They have been seeking to write their way beyond prison for a long time.
What I think transformative justice looks like
Transformative justice is hard because it requires self-examination, being uncomfortable as things change. In their worlds, everyone was trained in self-defense and de-escalation, and there were systems of atonement, reparations and healing when violence did occur. Science fiction was this place of rich prefigurative survivor politics that backed up my dreams of creating and participating in anti-violence politics where my and other survivors visions were at the center of the work, not a side note.
We are building a reality that we have never seen before. We are asking people to flex their visioning and dreaming skills, something that is not readily supported in our society. So many people do not believe that child sexual abuse can be ended. Transformative justice is about creativity and imagination. It is about not going with the status quo systems response and, instead, inventing new ways of being.
It is about creating what you need with what you have. There are no blueprints or manuals for transformative justice because each incident, individual, and community will have different needs—necessarily so. Much of my transformative justice work has been about resisting this kind of culture and instead encouraging people to trust themselves and their instincts.
Ruth Morris, Stories of Transformative Justice - PhilPapers
What if abolition is something that sprouts out of the wet places in our eyes, the broken places in our skin, the waiting places in our palms, the tremble holding in my mouth when I turn to you? What if abolition is something that grows? All three of you have first-hand experience trying to create alternate systems of justice. If we are not just tearing down prisons and police as institutions, but growing something, what are we growing specifically? Mia, especially with your work around transformative justice with survivors of childhood sexual abuse, what seeds are sprouting to address so much trauma?
It can also be as small, and big, as interrupting some asshole harassing someone at the same bus stop as me. It turns out that ending the prison industrial complex and creating something different with no money and a lot of unpaid femme of color labor is hard. I really appreciate the Everyday Abolition blog because it is a project dedicated to publishing everyday stories of many ways abolition could look like in daily life—those little, big moments of change.
Bringing healing justice and disability justice principles into transformative justice—which could be anything from asking the ancestors for help in creating justice and transforming harm, to rituals for cleansing and protection when things are hard, to making sure people have their herbs and other supports for stress and anxiety—make all our justice richer, more cripped out, and more possible.
We want the kind of community where any survivor could come forward about their experiences without having to fear being shamed and blamed, ostracized, not believed, harassed, or re-traumatized. Living in a rape culture, we are a long way from this. We encourage people to think about who their pod people are how much more sci-fi can we get?
Our pod people are not necessarily our closest people because this is often where the violence is coming from. We challenge ourselves to actively build our own pods, rather than simply hoping other people will. I have learned this in myself—the most egregious things I have done always rooted into some unspoken, unacknowledged pain. So I have started with myself, increasing radical honesty in my own life; this has been a focus of my somatics work—learning to stay present in my body while I tell and or hear truth.
It has shifted my political work; instead of helping people develop five-year plans, I often find myself supporting people to just be more honest in real time, to speak the truth of the connection in the organization, network, relationship, family to get better at tolerating the truth from others.
The results are astounding: humans are capable of anything when we are honest—we have boundaries, work sustainably, do the work most needed by our communities rather than the easiest funded or most media inducing , get out of unhealthy dynamics, feel seen and appropriately valued, participate in authentic intimacy. This is earth, water, fire, and air level stuff. Without these core connections, injustice flourishes.
The Fictions and Futures of Transformative Justice
But: I think our survival depends on being able to hold both views, surviving the present, and supporting the most vulnerable with our eyes on the horizon, looking as far as we can, shaping our reality towards that. The threats now are universal—nuclear war, climate catastrophe—and none of us are served by short sight or normalizing this political moment.
- The Dutch Shoe Mystery (Ellery Queen, Book 3).
- Destabilizing Rape Culture Through Transformative Justice!
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I also think that in our fear we get small, we get competitive, we get righteous. Division abounds. Leaning into transformative justice, complexity, unity, being ungovernable together—all of that will be important.
Related Stories of Transformative Justice
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