Justice for Families (J4F) is a national alliance of local organizations working to end our nation’s youth incarceration epidemic. J4F is founded and run by families like yours.  Here are a just a few of our stories...


The stories above represent the tip of a juvenile (in)justice iceberg. Last fall, Justice for Families  and our research partner the DataCenter released Families Unlocking Futures: Solutions to the Crisis in Juvenile Justice. This report offers first-of-its kind analysis that details how the juvenile justice system does more to feed the nation’s vast prison system than to deter or redirect young people from system involvement; and demonstrates the incredible damage the system causes to families and communities.

Based on over 1,000 surveys with parents and family members of incarcerated youth and 24 focus groups nationwide, the report presents a body of data that has never been captured or examined before. It aims to correct misperceptions about system-involved youth and their families; demonstrates the need for families’ active participation in redesigning juvenile justice systems; and uncovers crucial flaws in the system that burden, alienate and exclude families from the treatment of system-involved youth.

Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, had this to say about Families Unlocking Futures:

"This extraordinary report is a must-read for people of conscience, people who know that young people who make mistakes and struggle in school deserve our care, compassion and concern -- not humiliation, prison cells, relentless shame, and all their family supports stripped from them.  This comprehensive study examines our youth prison system from the perspective of those who are most impacted -- young people and their families.  Finally, it demonstrates the power of their collective voice.  This report shares their insightful observations as well as jaw-dropping data, revealing a system that is not just broken, but one that must be entirely transformed."