Transformative Justice has no one definition. It is a way of practicing alternative justice which acknowledges individual experiences and identities and works to actively resist the state's criminal injustice system.
Transformative Justice recognizes that oppression is at the root of all forms of harm, abuse and assault. As a practice it therefore aims to address and confront those oppressions on all levels and treats this concept as an integral part to accountability and healing. Generation FIVE does a great job of laying out the main goals, principles and questions of Transformative Justice. These are their words:
The goals of Transformative Justice are:
- Safety, healing, and agency for survivors
- Accountability and transformation for people who harm
- Community action, healing, and accountability
- Transformation of the social conditions that perpetuate violence - systems of oppression and exploitation, domination, and state violence
The principles of a Transformative Justice approach to addressing all forms of violence include:
- Shifting power
- Collective Action
- Respect Cultural Difference/ Guard against Cultural Relativism
Transformative Justice invites us to ask:
- How do we build our personal and collective capacity to respond to trauma and support accountability in a transformational way?
- How do we shift power towards collective liberation?
- How do we build effective and sustainable movements that are grounded in resilience and life-affirming power?