Staten Island Youth Justice Center


The Center for Court Innovation’s Staten Island Youth Justice Center, a unique organization dedicated to testing new approaches to criminal and juvenile justice problems, addresses youth crime by working intensively with young people who have engaged in delinquent and low level criminal behavior, providing them with the tools they need to avoid further offending. Youth Justice Centers form an important component of the Center’s juvenile and criminal justice strategy by providing justice system stakeholders with important and effective options to address the difficult challenges posed by low-level offending and at-risk behaviors. 

The Staten Island Youth Justice Center offers the borough’s underserved young people – particularly those with justice involvement – comprehensive programming designed to provide them with leadership development, expanded opportunities, new skills, access to supportive services, and positive engagement with the broader Staten Island community.  Youth Justice Center initiatives include a teen-led youth court, behavioral discussion groups, integrated recreational and educational after-school activities, individual and group mentoring, mental health case management services, service learning projects, and a job readiness program specifically designed for youth impacted by community violence.




How It Works


Service Learning Projects: The Youth Justice Center staff collaborate with multiple partners in the community to develop appropriate service learning projects for young people which emphasize community building and restorative principles.  Youth have volunteered at beautification projects on nearby police precinct grounds, helped restore a local museum after damage from Hurricane Sandy, served food and prepared groceries at food pantries, compiled care packages for active military service members, and more.


Behavioral Discussion Groups: Weekly open enrollment discussion groups offer young people opportunities to discuss themes such as decision making, individual goal setting, conflict resolution, substance use, and more.  Youth can be mandated to groups by referral sources or are required to attend as a part of their participation in other on-site programming.


Mental Health/Clinical Services: The Youth Justice Center’s clinical team provides on-site case management services to all court-mandated youth and any youth interested in receiving additional services on a voluntary basis. Case managers also make referrals to outside providers for drug treatment, mental health services, and other appropriate resources. Occasionally, the Youth Justice Center hosts an outside provider on-site for clinical groups, individual assessments, and/or individual counseling sessions when youth and families are unable to travel off-site.


Positive Youth Development after-school programming: The Youth Justice Center offers a menu of positive youth development after-school programming for young people who are directly referred to specific initiatives and to walk-in youth ages 12 to 24 years old.  Spanning educational themes such as a journaling group and a debate club, to recreational themes such as yoga and a community arts group, the programming is designed to entice youth participation while promoting positive youth development principles.


Specialized Interventions: In addition to the above, the Youth Justice Center offers referring partners several tailored interventions. The Youth Justice Center offers monitoring of curfews and other court mandates for Family Court partners. For Probation, it offers youth intensive mentoring services and access to internships. Through the teen-led youth court, the Youth Justice Center offers a variety of partners – Probation, the Law Department, Family and Criminal Courts – a diversion option to address low-level offending outside of formal case processing.




The project is funded by the City of New York, the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, the U.S. Department of Justice, and City Council Member Debi RoseA variety of government and private funders also provide ongoing support. 

Featured Research


Staten Island Youth Justice Center Annual Report 2014

Staten Island Youth Justice Center Annual Report 2014

Highlights of the Staten Island Youth Justice Center's accomplishments in 2014.


Family Voices in Juvenile Justice

Family Voices in Juvenile Justice

The juvenile justice system can be stressful and confusing for young people and their families. This 13-minute video supports families by answering some common questions: Who are the key people I may meet? Am I expected to appear in court with my child? What's going to happen to my child? What can I do as a family member to help?

Read More


The Adolescent Diversion Program

The Adolescent Diversion Program

By Michael Rempel, Suvi Hynynen Lambson, Carolyn R. Cadoret and Allyson Walker Franklin

This report examines the first six months of the pilot Adolescent Diversion Program for court involved 16 and 17 year-olds at nine sites in New York State.

Read a summary of the study

Listen to an interview with the researchers

Read More

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