California Alliance - Youth & Community Justice

Mission and Platform


To drastically reduce incarceration and improve outcomes for system-involved youth in California


To share opportunities, resources and strategies to transform the juvenile judicial and incarceration systems.

  • To develop and promote a state Platform for system and policy change that unites the vision, wisdom and collective strength of people working in local counties, regions and/or state wide.
  • To support the individual work of Alliance member organizations that is in alignment with and furthers the Platform/Agenda of the Alliance.
  • To sponsor a few specific initiatives and/or campaigns aimed at achieving the Alliance's Platform goals.
  • To amplify the voice of system-involved youth and their families.
  • To support youth led and developed policy proposals.


We value concrete action to improve outcomes for youth and families.

We seek to ensure that the work the Alliance takes on and the policies advocated for are informed and developed by the youth and families directly affected by the public systems, including youth arrest, court, detention, incarceration and deportation.

We value leadership among youth and communities of colour and recognize that significant and powerful change is always led by people most impacted by the system.

We value fair geographic representation in the Alliance, and seek to ensure that all organizational and individual voices are heard regardless of language, job titles, educational degree, neighbourhood, race, gender, sexual orientation and/or the amount of resources brought to the table.


  • Drastically reduce youth detention, incarceration, out of home placement and involvement in the system; and eliminate the treatment of youth as adults in the system.
  • Create and steer state and county policies and funding streams in order to establish Positive Youth Development (PYD) based juvenile justice systems. By PYD, we mean a strengths and assets based approach that engages youth and families in a meaningful way and provides community based services, supports, and opportunities for youth who are in or coming out of the system that have demonstrated evidence of effectiveness, and are culturally competent and culturally fluent.
  • Develop policies and practices that significantly reduce the racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system.
  • Improve outcomes for youth and families by:
    • Reducing the number of youth in the state who are arrested, court-involved, detained, incarcerated or otherwise confined by court order (house arrest, treatment or placements) and deported.
    • Providing opportunities for youth to have a healthy relationship with a positive adult.
    • Improving educational outcomes for system-involved youth.
    • Increasing employment readiness and opportunities and eliminating employment discrimination and barriers for system-involved youth.
    • Addressing the criminalization and over-representation of youth of color, foster care youth, homeless youth, immigrant youth and LGBTQ youth in the system.
    • Increasing youth, family and community power and civic engagement in the definition, design and implementation of youth justice.
    • Increasing community based, owned and operated alternatives to arrest, court, detention, incarceration and deportation.