The Transformative Justice Initiative (TJI) aims to educate diverse stakeholders in the U.M. community on the topic of transformative justice. It also seeks to create spaces where graduate and professional students, scholars, and community-based advocates can discuss application of transformative justice to their current work.

Transformative justice (TJ) refers to a variety of community-based strategies for responding to violence – from intimate partner abuse to hate crimes, community violence, or police brutality.  What distinguishes transformative justice from other strategies is that TJ practitioners seek responses to violence that do not involve leveraging violence from the state such as policing & incarceration. Instead, TJ emphasizes community-based responses that address survivor healing, accountability for those who do harm, and long-term movement building to reduce systemic and structural causes of violence. TJ does not refer to a specific strategy or solution, rather, it refers to guiding principles that activists & service providers can draw on to develop solutions that are suited to their specific context. TJ is closely related to Restorative Justice, which prioritizes healing and rehabilitation over/instead of punitive responses that perpetuate cycles of violence. TJ is also related to what some advocates refer to as ‘bystander intervention,’ that is, recognition that individual and community action can play a positive role in preventing and responding to violence.

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