CM Rose, Justice Community Plus participants, and the Youth Justice Center staff!
Staten Island Youth Justice Center
The Center for Court Innovation’s Staten Island Youth Justice Center isa unique organization dedicated to testing new approaches to criminal and juvenile justice problems. Through an array of alternative to detention, alternative to placement, and alternative to incarceration programming, the Staten Island Youth Justice Center seeks to provide clients with the tools they need to avoid further reoffending. 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, service learning projects, and a job-readiness program specifically designed for youth impacted by community violence.
How It Works
Pre-trial Supervised Release: In his 2013 State of the Judiciary address, New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman highlighted the need for bail reform in New York. The chief judge sought to develop a supervised release program that would reduce reliance on pre-trial detention for defendants, minimizing the negative impact of detention on individual lives while enhancing the justice system’s fairness. The Staten Island Youth Justice Center seeks to fulfill this mandate, ensuring eligible misdemeanor and non-violent defendants’ return to court through rigorous monitoring and links to voluntary services. Upon referral to the program, each participant undergoes a screening process and is connected with a program case manager. The program not only provides supervision and case management for eligible defendants, but also provides referrals to voluntary community-based or on-site programming such as job training, drug treatment, and mental health counseling.
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.
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 Rose. A variety of government and private funders also provide ongoing support.