A new program through the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (NJISJ) is empowering young adults to transform juvenile justice across the state.
In May, students completed the NJISJ Youth Leadership Program, a new initiative designed to help train young adults to become leaders in their communities by helping to transform the youth justice system. The weekly program, which lasted just under two months, was particularly transformative for students who’d experienced the justice system, either indirectly through family and friends, or directly through arrest or incarceration.
Students learned to better advocate for themselves, including knowing their rights in the justice system. 23-year-old Lord said, “I loved it. When you’re there, you’re learning so much and also giving your input on things.”
To continue their learning and impact, students have the option of helping to advocate for the closing of the New Jersey Training School, the Juvenile Justice Commission’s largest facility for male juveniles – or engaging in another juvenile justice campaign.