Breaking the Cycles of Violence and Incarceration

We envision an Orange County free from neighborhood violence, free from the state violence of the criminal justice system, and where people of all ethnicities and national origins receive the equal protection of the law.

Our Approach

Movement Lawyering for Public Safety and Human Rights

We are movement lawyers dedicated to the social, racial, and economic justice movements in Orange County, CA.  We work to connect street-corners, local policy leadership, courtrooms, and legislative halls. Only by connecting these arenas can significant gains in safety and justice be achieved.

Legal services and impact litigation

We provide legal services for individuals and organizations, as well as litigating larger issues that impact many. 

Technical Policy Assistance

We assist movement organizations with policy initiatives, at the local, state, and federal levels. 

Community Amplification and Education

We provide legal self-defense seminars, coalition support, and amplify community efforts like neighborhood peace initiatives to ensure safe and equitable communities. 

Our Values

We value safety AND justice 

Where others see public safety and human rights in tension with each other, we see them as mutually reinforcing. The more law enforcement is fair and equitable, the more effective it is. The safer a community feels, the more likely it will support new approaches to criminal justice. Reducing state violence like incarceration and street corner detentions directly benefits safety and justice in overpoliced communities.

We value movement leadership

Achieving sustainable peace and justice requires the leadership of impacted people and base-building organizing. It is the job of the Peace and Justice Law Center and other community-based organizations to support that work and those leaders.

We value people

Racism and dehumanization permeate our criminal justice system and discussions of crime, violence, policing, and especially gangs. We recognize that racism, sexism, and classism do not hurt all communities equally.  

“We must widen the circle of Kinship. We imagine no one standing outside of the circle, moving ourselves closer to the margins so that the margins themselves will be erased. We stand there with those whose dignity has been denied. We locate ourselves with the poor and powerless and the voiceless. At the edges, we join the easily despised and the readily left out. We stand with the demonized so that the demonizing will stop. We situate ourselves right next to the disposable so that the day will come when we stop throwing people away.” Gregory Boyle, S.J.