Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth, RJOY, interrupts cycles of violence and incarceration by promoting RJ practices and policies in schools, communities, and the juvenile justice system. Since 2005, RJOY has been a national thought leader, pioneering race-conscious restorative justice (RJ).Though during the first 40 years of its existence the restorative justice movement had no significant racial justice consciousness, today this has dramatically changed, largely due to RJOY’s national leadership. Though we started with a geographical focus on the East Bay Area, community organizations and school districts in California and the nation are increasingly calling on RJOY for training and technical assistance.
RJOY offers speaking, training, workshops and technical assistance to communities, schools, and justice groups in California and throughout the nation.
Our pilot’s unparalleled success in reducing suspensions, interrupting the racialized school-to-prison pipeline, and eliminating violence led the Oakland school district to adopt rJ as official policy in 2010. In 2007 there was only one RJ school in Oakland; at one point there were almost 40.
RJOY is piloting a youth-centered restorative re-entry program that is empowering formerly incarcerated youth to turn their lives around. This is paired with a “reorganizing” or systems change initiative to transform the county juvenile justice system to make it completely restorative, New Zealand style.
We also promote healthier communities and community self-sufficiency in addressing internal conflict. Part of a full throttle initiative to promote youth agency and leadership and focus our efforts and local communities and families, our youth interns are being trained as RJ Youth Circle Facilitators who can address community conflict, acquiring marketable job skills in the process.
Additionally, we are launching a national restorative justice-based Truth and Reconciliation Project to address violence against African Americans in the United States. RJOY’s work has received acclaim in the NYT, at NPR, PBS and other national media.
RJOY is in planning to launch our new Ubuntu Healing Center, we have become the umbrella organization for the national organization “Coming To The Table” see https://comingtothetable.org/ for more information on their mission, and we are launching a new Circle titled “Women and Re-entry.” Watch here as these programs develop or follow-up with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.