The Alianza is collecting stories of Latinx youth because they need to be told. Invisibility is one of the core issues for system-involved Latinx youth (Donde esta la Justicia & Our Invisible Children). The Alianza seeks to center and highlight the Latinx system impacted youth experiences, by collecting stories from around the country recounting experiences of Chicanx, Indigenous, Afro-Latinx, Hispanic, and LBGTQ Latinx youth, while uplifting what the repercussions of erasure have been for them. Some of these stories are included in our new report – Latinx Data Gap in the Youth Justice System, documenting the lack of racial/ethnic data collected and reported within the youth justice system. The Alianza will be adding new stories to this page as they are prepared. Visit often.
As part of the work that led to the success of the Alianza’s Story Collection Project, members of the Alianza sought to gather stories from the very diverse Latinx youth population that had contact with the youth justice systems throughout the country. In order to assist the Alianza, community-based organizations that help currently or formerly system impacted Latinx youth were contacted to ask if a) they were willing to help recruit youth and their families to share their stories of experiences and challenges with the system, and b) if they would allow Alianza members to use their space to gather these stories.
Two Alianza members, that included a formerly system impacted leader, traveled to six sites in three states: Los Angeles, Salinas and San Jose, CA; Chicago, Illinois; and New York City and Uniondale in New York state, in an effort to collect an array of stories based on Latinx diversity (e.g., age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender expression, language preference). Prospective participants were told that the purpose of gathering these stories were to help the Alianza gather and demonstrate how Latinx youth were treated during their contact with youth justice systems. Before proceeding, participants were asked for their ascent (if under the age of 18, parental consent was also obtained), and their consent to participate in a semi-structured interview. In addition, participants (and their parents) were asked for consent to share their stories in the future, using pseudonyms to protect their identity. Participants were also told that they could refuse to answer any question. To facilitate the accuracy of information, participants (or their guardian) were also asked to consent to having the session audio or video recorded. Participants were also informed that they could ask that the audio recording to be stopped if they felt uncomfortable. All interviews were conducted in the language of preference of the participant(s).
Click on the Names below to access their stories.