NJPC New Jersey Youth Justice Initiative (NJYJI) is a grassroots family and youth-driven justice program, which seeks to improve outcomes for justice-involved youth and ensure leadership opportunities for youth and family members on all levels of decision making.
NJYJI represents a new frontier in the family movement, as it establishes a formalized support network for families raising justice-involved youth. With the support of our Parents Coalition of Justice-Involved Youth and the NJ Youth Caucus, NJPC provides peer advocacy to parents, family members and youth throughout the state, free legal services clinic, and professional parent advocacy training and education. In 2014, NJPC received a state spotlight and was highlighted by the National Juvenile Justice Evaluation Center (NJJEC), identifying NJPCs extensive program data collection that spans more than 30,000 training hours delivered to family members, professionals and providers. The data collection showed parental improvements in the utilization of mental health and special education services, declines in the involvement of youth in the juvenile justice system, and demonstrated reductions of family involvement in the child welfare system.
Through various venues, NJPC has advocated for safe alternatives to incarceration for troubled youth and improved conditions for youth who must be confined. We continue to work to expand an understanding of policies and practices that can put youth on a path to productive adulthood — a result that is good for both children and our state.
NJPC is a steering committee member of the Youth Justice New Jersey Coalition, which is working to reduce the number of incarcerated youth; promote rehabilitative community-based alternatives to incarceration; ensure incarcerated youth are free from abusive practices and that they receive quality services and education; end school policies and practices that push youth out of classrooms and into the criminal justice system; and eliminate disparate treatment of youth of color in the juvenile justice system. To learn more about the coalition, contact Pamela DeLeon at firstname.lastname@example.org