Jesuit Restorative Justice Initiative (JRJI) is a pastoral ministry of restorative justice that strives to heal broken relationships with those who are incarcerated and their families as well as victims of crime and their families through prayer, education, and advocacy. JRJI mobilizes constituencies to advocate for transformation of the justice system to become more restorative than punitive.
“I very often use your weekly reflection and meditation. The writings from inmates are especially touching, thought-provoking, and resonate with the kids at juvenile hall....” --Nancy, San Mateo County Juvenile Hall Chaplain, California
Our work is in three major areas: juvenile halls, state prisons, and community outreach.
Our primary work is with young offenders housed in juvenile halls and detention centers who are facing life sentences. Here we offer support through meditation classes, book study groups, accompaniment, and advocacy. It is our belief that young people have the capability of transforming their lives and should be given every opportunity to make a positive contribution to society. For this reason, we are working with other organizations and agencies to give our youth a second chance.
“Even though I got a life sentence, I'm not going to give up and lose faith. I finally realized I was only hurting myself and others, They said I'll gangbang forever...but now I'm a warrior of light.” --Eric, a juvenile sentenced to 255 years and 8 months
We also offer Ignatian retreats, spiritual direction, and faith formation to those serving life sentences in prisons around California where we invite the individuals to become members of “Jesus the Risen Prisoner” community.
“The experience of that spiritual retreat left me feeling God in my heart, and it moved me to be a priestly person.... God has given me new life with purpose.” --John, a third striker prisoner serving 25 years to life
This work with the incarcerated leads to a continued involvement with the individuals and their families and support groups. It is also our desire to work with the families of victims so that healing and restoration can take place in our community.
We provide advocacy as well as educational and prayer resources including a weekly Sunday liturgy guide for prison chaplains and those interested in prison ministry.
Our mission at Jesuit Restorative Justice Initiative (JRJI) is part of the California Province of the Society of Jesus and as such we collaborate with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles through its Office of Restorative Justice.