Youth Justice

Investing in Second Chances and Alternatives to Arrest

Our Goal: 

Increase educational and economic opportunities for court-involved youth and reduce school suspensions and prevent youth involvement in the criminal justice system

Our Strategy: 

We support both advocacy and direct-service organizations that address the far-reaching effects of young people’s encounters with the criminal justice system, transforming these encounters into authentic opportunities for growth and development. We focus on investing in school discipline reforms, alternatives to arrest, and educational and workforce programs for court-involved youth.

  • School Discipline Reform: Advocacy and support for restorative justice programs that address the school-to-prison pipeline and foster a racially just school community.
  • Increasing Economic Opportunity: Support for organizations working to promote educational and employment opportunities for court-involved youth.
  • Neighborhood-Based Arrest Diversion: Support for programs that develop alternatives to arrest while fostering community engagement and accountability with local law enforcement.

Our Investment:

2021-22 Youth Justice Grants: Grants support both advocacy and direct-service organizations that address the far-reaching effects of young people’s encounters with the criminal justice system.

  • Brownsville Community Justice Center: To provide off-ramps for young people who come into contact with the justice system, including educational, occupational, social, and health services designed to expand their leadership and increase community members' sense of public safety. Brownsville

  • Center for NuLeadership: For programs that divert neighborhood youth from arrest proceedings by developing pre-arrest diversion options for law-officers. Bedford Stuyvesant

  • Dignity in Schools Campaign: To support a citywide coalition of students, parents, advocates, educators, and lawyers calling for positive, school-wide approaches to discipline that improve the school environment, reduce conflict, and increase learning. Boroughwide 

  • Drive Change: To provide training and first job experience for formerly incarcerated and court-involved young people through a nonprofit food truck. Bedford Stuyvesant, Bushwick 

  • Flex Dance Program: To support a Flex Dance and creative mentorship program aimed at reducing the likelihood of recidivism and re-entry for young people in secure detention centers. Boroughwide+ 

  • Good Call NYC: To support the launch of a technology-enabled hotline in Brooklyn to provide immediate legal support in case of arrest, and to hire Brooklyn youth who have benefited from the program as organizers. Boroughwide

  • JLUSA: To empower court-involved youth to drive policy reforms, including #buildCOMMUNITIES Campaign to reinvest money divested from the NYC justice system through closure of Rikers back into communities to support proven community-based solutions and services. JLUSA was formerly known as “JustLeadershipUSA.” Boroughwide

  • *Recess Activities - to support a youth-led alternative to incarceration program that uses contemporary art to give voices to young people. Using visual storytelling, youth cohorts dismantle the narrative of the “criminal” in their community, creating long term solutions to catalyze generational wealth within their communities. Bedford Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, Bushwick, Canarsie, Flatbush, Coney Island

  • S.O.U.L. Sisters Leadership Collective: To support youth leadership and development programs for systems-involved girls and young women in Brooklyn. Boroughwide

  • *Urban Youth Collaborative - to support a coalition focused on the advancement of school discipline reform through legislation aimed at reducing racial disparities and significantly limiting the use of suspensions. Boroughwide

  • Young New Yorkers: To provide court-mandated arts diversion programs for youth that engage them in social justice issues through the creation of large-scale public art projects. Boroughwide

  • Youth Justice Network: To support the establishment of a Youth ReEntry Network hub office in Downtown Brooklyn to provide educational, social service, and workforce development supports for young people transitioning out of incarceration. Youth Justice Network was formerly known as “Friends of Island Academy.” Boroughwide

  • Youth Represent: To support direct legal representation and workshops for system-involved youth who face employment discrimination, school suspension, summonses, and other criminal and civil legal issues. Boroughwide


*Indicates First-Year Grantee
+Partially funded by ELMA Music Foundation

Recent News

Liane Stegmaier
Vice President of Communications and Strategy (She/Her/Hers)