The Transformative Justice Issue
What does it mean to hurt someone? In our world, the most legitimate means of addressing harm, violence, and injustice are the sole province of police, courts, and prisons. They are responsible for defining, intervening, and determining accountability for it. It’s a self-perpetuating system that doesn’t have space for what our experiences tell us is true: we all have the capacity to harm and be harmed.
Conversely, Transformative Justice (TJ) offers a generous analysis of the systems of injustice that bring us face to face with our capacity to experience and cause harm and invites us to consider these dynamics more closely. TJ is a broad concept that holds many meanings and practices under its umbrella. It’s a philosophy, a practice, a politic and a way of being that doesn’t reject people outright when they are violent or abusive. It holds space for the complexity of abuse and violence to be symptoms of cultural abuse and marginalization. By refusing to define abusers and victims as mutually exclusive, Transformative Justice makes space for the complexities of healing.
In this issue, we’ve gathered the words of just some of the many folks doing the work of transformative justice. These pieces provide insight and information into this powerful and important community healing justice work. We are so excited to be able to offer this to you and we hope it inspires you to engage differently with the concepts and practices of justice within your communities.