Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Criminal Justice Reform

For over thirty years, Advancing Justice - LA has focused on ensuring that Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities’ voices are heard in shaping public policies affecting them.  

While national and state-wide dialogue seeking to address incarceration and the needs of boys and young men of color has expanded, the voices of the AANHPI communities continue to be conspicuously absent. As a result, the real needs and challenges facing incarcerated and formerly incarcerated AANHPI individuals and their families largely are not addressed.

In 2013, Advancing Justice - LA started a pilot project to address the impact of the criminal justice system on poor and low-income AANHPI youth and young people.  

The purpose is to reach out to and engage Asian American incarcerated young people and their families in a culturally and linguistically effective way to:

  1. Counter the culture of silence and shame in the Asian American community around incarceration; and
  2. Engage these families in advocating for alternatives to incarceration and sentencing reforms that reduce recidivism.  

In developing a holistic AANHPI model, the initiative focuses on four primary facets of the criminal justice system:

  • Prevention - reduce the numbers of people incarcerated through dismantling the school to prison pipeline, specifically by promoting alternative discipline policies that reduce suspensions, increase high school graduation rates, and reduce the likelihood of involvement with the criminal justice system;
  • Legal Due Process - promote alternatives to incarceration by using culturally and linguistically appropriate methods to inform, educate, and support AANHPIs (particularly boys and young men) and their parents in understanding how the criminal legal process works and asserting their legal rights, while also connecting them to legal resources;
  • Incarceration - provide support to and facilitate the leadership development of directly impacted AANHPI prisoners and their families, and engage them in campaigns and advocacy efforts to reform the criminal justice system;
  • Reentry -  reduce recidivism and promote reintegration of formerly incarcerated AANHPIs through supporting workforce development and employment opportunities, including partnering with AANHPI and other small business owners to employ formerly incarcerated individuals.

fact sheet on Proposition 47 is now available in multiple languages. Download the fact sheet in:

If you would like more information about Advancing Justice - LA’s Criminal Justice Reform project, please contact:

Paul Jung
Staff Attorney


Advancing Justice-LA's helplines prioritize assistance to low-income persons in the following areas of law: family, immigration, public benefits, employement, housing, and civil rights. 

English: 888.349.9695
需要協助嗎: 800.520.2356
도움이 필요하십니까: 800.867.3640
Tagalog: 855.300.2552
ต้องการความช่วยเหลือ: 800.914.9583

For any questions about DRAI, please visit:

Related Materials

Proposition 47 Fact Sheet

A fact sheet on Proposition 47 is now available in multiple languages. Download the fact sheet in Chinese, Korean, Khmer, and Vietnamese.

AAPIs Behind Bars: Exposing the School to Prison to Deportation Pipeline

Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.