Our communities are often under siege by police departments that over police neighborhoods, engage in pretextual traffic stops, and utilize violent escalation tactics instead of working to build peaceful and safe communities. Our services to combat this include the following:
We provide legal services to individuals who have faced excessive use of force or biased policing.
We are joining community-led efforts to advocate for alternatives to policing in situations involving homelessness or mental health crises.
Reduce Violence through a Fair Criminal Legal System
As it stands, Orange County’s criminal legal system is rife with practices that over-penalize and over-criminalize communities of color. Our communities are inhibited from building truly safe spaces as our youth are continually pulled into the system. PJLC is working to dismantle the criminal legal system’s inequities:
We challenge the use of gang enhancement, gang injunctions, and gang databases at the policy level and represent individuals counterproductively targeted for gang suppression.
We are working hard to ensure the proper implementation of the CA Racial Justice Act (AB 2542 and AB 256) so defendants and those currently incarcerated receive the relief they deserve.
Prevent Recidivism and Entanglement with the Legal System
Once involved in the criminal legal system, legal factors that drag a person back into that system can be overwhelming, such as immigration status, criminal records, court debt, and probation offenses. Cyclical violence cannot be stopped without the following:
We provide legal services to support gang desistance.
We further provide legal services to formerly incarcerated individuals to support their healthy and complete reentry.
Support the Social Justice Movement
As movement lawyers, we fervently believe that change is best effectuated through a robust grassroots movement and organizing. Unfortunately, those in positions of power and authority know this too, and often try to silence the movement through selective prosecution of laws and policies. Open, transparent government is a key to combatting these and other inequitable practices:
We file CA Public Records Acts requests for groups seeking information to support their social justice work.
We provide representation and consultation for social justice groups facing selective prosecution or enforcement of laws and policies.