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Youth Art and Self-Empowerment Project

What the org has to say: “YASP is building a youth-led movement to end the practice of trying and incarcerating young people as adults and create a world without youth incarceration.  Through our work in the Philadelphia jails, YASP provides space for incarcerated young people to express themselves creatively and to develop as leaders both within and beyond the prison walls.”

What we found: YASP is a participatory defense hub, which is a method of community organizing that empowers people to fight for themselves in the legal system. As the only participatory defense youth hub in Philadelphia, YASP has worked to end the incarceration of young people and help incarcerated youth become community leaders. Their program The Healing Futures is the city’s first pre-charge restorative justice program, which serves as an alternative to prosecution for young people who would otherwise be facing charges in the criminal justice system. YASP also offers training in youth organizing.

Features & Policies

  • LGBTQ friendly
  • Free of charge
  • Transportation assistance provided
  • Trauma-informed staff members
  • Child abuse clearance on staff members
  • Primarily work with young people involved in the criminal legal justice system
  • Provide support accessing education, employment, therapy and trauma-based services
  • For youth aged 10 to mid-20’s
  • Has paid opportunities (15+, $600/month)
  • Majority of staff are young people who have been incarcerated

Languages spoken by staff

  • English

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