Our Model Our Services Youth Advocacy Miller Center for Special Mitigation Center for Education Center for Arts and Culture Career Services Center Center for Health and Wellbeing Outreach and Youth Leadership Arches The Makeba Project Friends to Fathers Family Matters Books to Jails
Our Model

At Youth Justice Network, everyone has a someone.

We build relationships of trust, honesty, and respect. From the moment participants meet with a Advocate, we remain in their corner, with no start and end dates.

Our program hubs are peaceful, safe spaces where young people can learn to be themselves, access opportunities, and grow into healthy, independent, thriving community leaders. 

contact us Our SERVICES

Youth Advocacy

Young people meet Youth Advocates in custody, in the courts, or in their communities. Advocates provide long-term mentorship and support with day-to-day needs, so youth can leverage their own resilience and develop skills to heal, grow and thrive. Youth members can count on their Advocates for help with accessing food, stable housing, career and academic advancement, and to support their health and wellbeing.

For more information or to make a referral, contact: Felicia Mosley Smith

fsmith@youthjustice.org

Miller Center for Special Mitigation

The Miller Center for Special Mitigation is where and how our advocacy intersects with the courts. We work with defense counsel at key points along the case process to minimize a young person's time spent in jail, and to reduce the system's reliance on youth incarceration.

For more information or to make a referral, contact: Grace Ko

gko@youthjustice.org

Center for Education

At the Center for Education, our educators create a safe space for students to take ownership of and build confidence in their education journey. Young people prepare to pass the TASC (high school equivalency exam) and take classes to develop math, reading comprehension, and writing skills. Students can also connect with our broader network of Advocates and services to continue on their education pathways.

For more information or to make a referral, contact: Tina Lee

tlee@youthjustice.org

Center for Arts and Culture

Individually and in groups, participants create textiles, murals, photo and video, and perform in music and spoken word events. Through the Center for Arts and Culture, youth members heal, find peace, inspire, and express their creativity.

For more information or to make a referral, contact: Anthony DeJesus

ADEJESUS@YOUTHJUSTICE.ORG

Career Services Center

Through the Career Services Center, youth members learn the skills they need to thrive in the workplace and access opportunities to paid internships and jobs, so they can grow into financially independent young adults. Launched in 2021, the Shifting Gears mobile career center vans travel and park across New York City to offer accessible job supports and career pathways in the neighborhoods where most of our youth members live.

For more information or to make a referral, contact: Michael Brundidge

MBRUNDIDGE@YOUTHJUSTICE.ORG

Center for Health and Wellbeing

At our Center for Health and Wellbeing, young people access consistent mental health support, tailored to their individual needs. We offer holistic mental health services, including individual and group counseling, assistance managing medications and navigating the healthcare system, referrals and evaluations, art therapy, and regular wellness check-ins.

For more information or to make a referral, contact: Lisa Richardson

LRICHARDSON@YOUTHJUSTICE.ORG

Outreach and Youth Leadership

Youth impacted by the justice system are best equipped to become changemakers in the field. Through our Outreach and Youth Leadership program, young people serve as peer mentors and play an important role in guiding programming and services. They have opportunities for civic and community engagement, and emerge as community leaders who will drive change.

For more information or to make a referral, contact: Kareem Aljoe

KALJOE@YOUTHJUSTICE.ORG

Arches

Arches pairs young people serving probation sentences with credible messenger mentors whose personal and professional experiences put them in a unique position to build long-term, caring, supportive relationships with youth. Through on-going mentorship, community-building, and cognitive-behavioral supports, youth members in the program renew their hope, foster positive wellbeing, and work to transform their lives.

For more information or to make a referral, contact: Marc Washington

MWASHINGTON@YOUTHJUSTICE.ORG

The Makeba Project

The Makeba Project connects young mothers returning home from custody with mentoring and advocacy that recognizes their unique needs. Young mothers turn to their Advocates to help them meet everyday needs, so they can navigate and break free of the systems which govern their lives and the lives of their children. Supports focus on healing from trauma, and on replacing abusive or unhealthy connections with supportive relationships and communities.

For more information or to make a referral, contact: Michelle Cardona

MCARDONA@YOUTHJUSTICE.ORG

Friends to Fathers

Friends to Fathers supports fathers who have been involved with the justice and child welfare systems and who don’t have custody of their children. We work with fathers to develop parenting skills, address domestic violence issues, and help them achieve their goals of becoming healthy, dependable, engaged and supportive parents. For more information or to make a referral, contact:

For more information or to make a referral, contact: Robert DeJesus

RDEJESUS@YOUTHJUSTICE.ORG

Family Matters

Family Matters supports parents and guardians of children who have pending delinquency cases in Manhattan Family Court, to connect them to resources for their children, and support them throughout the court process. Parent Coaches help families navigate and understand the delinquency process, stay informed about court dates, and ultimately serve to provide emotional support and access to resources to help keep their children out of the justice system.

For more information or to make a referral, contact: Judith Wallen

JWALLEN@YOUTHJUSTICE.ORG

Books to Jails

Powered by community-based donations and partnerships with local bookstores, Books to Jails brings books to young people in custody. Our youth members specifically request titles, or we tailor our selections to their interests and concerns, bringing access to the joy, comfort, knowledge, and escapism of books to those behind bars.

For more information or to make a referral, contact: Mia Abrahams

MABRAHAMS@YOUTHJUSTICE.ORG

Join Our Fight

Stand in solidarity with our mission to break cycles of inequality and fight systemic racism by giving young people the opportunities they have been denied. Join our community, and together we can make a difference.