Artwork by Odera Igbokwe

Guiding Principles

The Lived Experience Project’s first priority is to support those directly impacted by the system. What we learn from that work is directed towards an effort to inform system stakeholders and concerned citizens about the ways young people and their families are impacted by county and state policies and practices. The principles below guide us in our design of activities and resources. They also guide our support of efforts to influence juvenile justice institutions towards centering the lived experience of current and former system-impacted youth and families.

Foundational Principles

  1. We create space for anyone who has been impacted by the juvenile justice system. These individuals are encouraged to share their stories while others extend the gift of deep listening.

  2. We honor the inherent goodness in all individuals, despite the harm they may be responsible for.

  3. We recognize and draw upon the ever-growing body of scientific knowledge about the behaviors and capacities of children and adolescents.

  4. We seek to reduce harm and trauma that children, youth, and families experience within the juvenile justice system and at its edges.

Research Conduct Principles

  1. We work to ensure all research activities contribute to the integrity and credibility of our data and findings.

  2. We incorporate a range of research and evaluation disciplines in our work to discover and uncover the lived experiences of the juvenile justice system.

  3. We work to ensure that the team conducting research, making sense of stories, and building relationships is trustworthy and reflects the values and experiences of system-impacted people.