Welcome! If you are working with young adults who are involved in the criminal justice system, this toolbox offers:
- guiding documents
- customizable forms
- and other resources to help you learn a youth development approach!
A youth development approach is the hallmark of the NYC Justice Corps, which serves 18-24 year olds. Strategies to reduce recidivism, promote workforce readiness, and restore young adults’ relationships with their communities are implemented within a youth development framework. We are synthesizing tested methods such as risk-needs assessment and subsidized work experience with a youth development approach. Strategies for conflict management are also implemented in the context of youth development.
Why does the NYC Justice Corps use this approach? Too often, justice-involved young adults have missed out on the positive developmental opportunities that all young people need in order to thrive. We believe that taking a developmental approach—that is, understanding and responding to youth needs, understanding and nurturing youth strengths—offers the most effective way to help young people find their paths to education, employment, and fully engaged citizenship.
Videos and other resources in this toolbox are drawn from the NYC Justice Corps Learning Community held in January 2014. Special thanks to the staff of the NYC Justice Corps for sharing their experience and insights, to the training facilitators from the Youth Development Institute who are so dedicated to teaching the youth development approach, and to our funders at the NYC Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity.