New York State Youth Justice Institute - A Partnership between the Division of Criminal Justice Services and the University at Albany

    New York State Youth Justice Institute - A Partnership between the Division of Criminal Justice Services and the University at Albany

    New York State Youth Justice Institute - A Partnership between the Division of Criminal Justice Services and the University at Albany

Our Work

The Youth Justice Institute builds and strengthens the capacity of localities around New York State to adopt evidence-informed youth justice practices and enhance the outcomes for youth, families, and overall public safety. With a staff comprised of researchers, technical assistance and training providers, and graduate and undergraduate scholars, the Institute primarily focuses on evaluating youth justice initiatives, assisting jurisdictions, conducting original research, and disseminating information.

To request technical assistance or learn more about the Youth Justice Institute's work, view our focus areas and the links below.


Centering Youth Voice
Peer Advisory Council (PAC)

The YJI coordinates the NYS Youth Justice Peer Advisory Council (PAC) whose members serve as key advisors on youth justice policy and practice development in New York State. Applications to the PAC are accepted on a rolling basis.

Current PAC members should access Absorb here.

YJI Scholars Program

The New York State Youth Justice Institute (YJI) Scholar Internship Program is a research-focused internship that trains students in a wide variety of research skills, develops their knowledge about youth justice topics, and connects them to relevant work at the state’s leading agencies. The YJI refers to its interns as Scholars to convey our commitment to their development as youth justice researchers and professionals.

Trainings and Technical Assistance
Technical Assistance Request Form
New York State Policy Equity Academy

In June 2021, the YJI launched the inaugural session of the New York State Policy Equity Academy. Developed in collaboration with the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and the Center for Children’s Law and Policy, the Academy welcomes 5 participating counties – Albany County, Monroe County, Onondaga County, Schenectady County, and Westchester County. The county teams are comprised of diverse stakeholders including probation, youth and families, courts, law enforcement, and social services. Each county will work toward the goal of reducing racial and ethnic disparities in its probation adjustment process. In addition to the course instruction, the counties will receive technical assistance and funding support to implement reforms. For more information on the Academy and the collaboration that created it, please read this recent DCJS press release.

Lunch and Learn Webinar Series






Evidence-Based Programs & Practices: A Clearinghouse
YJI Newsletter

Look at this month's issue here

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YJI Focus Areas
Racial Equity & Youth Justice

This compilation of Racial Justice Resources offers youth and community justice partners a curated and living array of relevant national and YJI-developed racial justice resources and research. The selected tools (guides, toolkits, webinars, podcasts, scholarly articles, etc.) are meant to provide concrete supports that empower, instruct, motivate, and inspire all of us as we further the urgent work of eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in youth justice systems.

Past Initiatives


Centering Youth Voice
Empowering Youth Voices Contest

As part of the YJI’s commitment to inclusion and equity, especially in the context of the pandemic and racial justice support, we organized the Empowering Youth Voices Contest: Messages from Today for Tomorrow. The contest gave youth the opportunity to share their thoughts about the pandemic’s impact on children and young individuals and about the current events happening in the United States. René Peters of Rochester, New York won the contest with her poem “To my dear mother and father,”.

Trainings and Technical Assistance
Centering Equity in Research

In April 2022, the YJI partnered with Dr. Kristine Andrews (Imagine Impact) and Dr. Victor St. John (St. Louis University) to convene a training on Centering Racial Equity in research for researchers from NY State agencies and academia. The training offered participants the opportunity to deepen their abilities to build in a racial equity lens at all stages of their research—from design to data collection and analysis.

COVID-19 and Youth

Through YJI-convened virtual forums and an expert advisory process, U.S. and international youth justice stakeholders have explored the pandemic’s current and foreseeable impacts on youth and young adults, their families, and their communities, as well as ways to create a more just, equitable, and well-being focused next normal. Learn more about how the YJI is contributing to the work around COVID-19 & Youth.

Dr. Monique Morris
 "Social Justice for Our Youth," presented by Dr. Monique Morris.





In February 2021, the YJI, in partnership with the NYS Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children (PJCJC), hosted two virtual sessions on "Social Justice for Our Youth," presented by Dr. Monique Morris. Dr. Morris an award-winning author, social justice scholar, and executive producer and co-writer of the critically acclaimed documentary PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools.  

Healing Centered Engagement Webinar

The NYS Youth Justice Institute & Division of Criminal Justice Services partnered with Flourish Agenda to hold a 90-minute virtual event entitled "The New Paradigm: Healing Centered Engagement". Healing Centered Engagement (HCE) supports systems as they shift from harm, discipline, punishment, and confinement to restoration, hope, and healing. In his presentation, Dr. Shawn Ginwright, President & CEO of Flourish Agenda, discussed tools, techniques, and insights to address racial and social inequality and to create a climate of healing.


Coming out can be hard. Today's LGBTQ+ youth stand on the shoulders of icons who engage in activism and LGBTQ+ representation. During Pride Month, we highlighted those icons and their work. Here you can learn about some of the LGBTQ+ trailblazers who strove (or strive) for a more equitable society. We also encourage you to share these profiles with your colleagues and friends!