Let’s continue exploring answers to the often asked question: “What are examples of restorative justice programs that can divert young folks from incarceration?”
Creative Justice is an arts-based alternative to incarceration for young people in King County, Washington. Through collaboration with mentor artists, participants consider the root causes of incarceration, as they intersect with racism, classism and other oppressions, and focus on the positive role youth voice can have in building a more just and equitable society.
Art makes us think and it feeds our spirit. It is also a conduit towards a more just world. By responding to personal and social issues through the creative process, youth and mentor artists engaged in Creative Justice articulate both the identity and potential of their communities.
The program works to increase understanding of the root causes of incarceration, like systemic racism and other forms of oppression, while simultaneously strengthening the protective factors and pro-social behaviors that allow us all to make positive life choices. In this way, Creative Justice helps equip young people with the tools needed to avoid re-arrest and further incarceration.