Casey Youth Advisory Council

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Justice Strategy Group is looking to establish an advisory Council of young adults currently or formerly involved in the juvenile justice system to support the JJSG’s juvenile justice reform efforts. The JJSG works with state and local juvenile justice stakeholders and agencies (such as probation departments, district attorneys, judges, etc.) to improve outcomes for youth who become involved in the juvenile justice system by eliminating the inappropriate use of secure confinement including detention, state commitment, group homes, and other forms of out-of-home placement. JJSG’s flagship initiative, the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) is currently in over 250 counties across the U.S. To learn more about the work of the JJSG please click here and to learn more about JDAI please click here.

The Youth Advisory Council will work in partnership with the JJSG to inform and strengthen their site-based reform efforts with state and local juvenile justice systems, while supporting the development of Council members as emerging leaders in juvenile justice. JJSG is excited about this new initiative and is looking forward to building a partnership between the team at Casey and a group of youth advisors to advance juvenile justice reform efforts nationally.

The Council will consist of between ten (10) to twelve (12) members who will represent the diverse populations within the juvenile justice system. With the assistance of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ), the Advisory Council and the Juvenile Justice Strategy Group will form a partnership and establish bylaws based on the Juvenile Justice Strategy Group’s strategic goals, budget, and staff capacity, as well as the ideas and goals of the Council members. Once the bylaws are established, the Council will work with JJSG and CJJ to develop recommendations for the JJSG and to create and implement professional development plans. In addition, the CJJ, in partnership with the JJSG and the Council, will coordinate three to four in-person Council meetings per year and monthly conference calls, as well as participation in JJSG’s annual Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) Inter-site Conference and CJJ’s annual Youth Summit.

Council members shall be appointed for a two-year term and may be considered for reappointment. Those appointed in 2015 will be considered Founding Members of the Council. Council members will meet in-person three (3) times in 2015 (not including conferences) and up to four (4) times each year in the future. In-person meetings will be scheduled for one full day. For months with an in-person meeting, the Council will conduct its business predominately onsite. For months with no in-person meeting, Council members are expected to commit on average 4 hours per month toward the Council’s work and professional development opportunities including at least one conference call.

General Responsibilities of Council Members
Council members will work together to develop recommendations that inform and strengthen the Juvenile Justice Strategy Group’s work. Council members will participate in professional development activities and email discussions, review materials, draft and edit reports/presentations, and conduct field research. In doing so, Council members will develop intimate knowledge of and contribute substantively to the Juvenile Justice Strategy Group’s system reform efforts regarding detention, probation, residential facilities, and dispositional decision-making reform. The Council will also be charged with contributing to the development of a guide on youth engagement for state and local juvenile justice systems.

Benefits for Council Members
Council members will receive stipends up to $875 for work completed during and between the in-person meetings. Council members will receive their stipends at the conclusion of each of the three (3) in-person meetings. Moreover, each Council member will work with the Juvenile Justice Strategy Group and CJJ to create individualized development plans to support individual’s goals as emerging leaders. Individualized plans will provide opportunities for the Council member to achieve professional goals, explore interests, and develop skills. Overall, Council members will gain valuable experience, build leadership skills, develop a sense of community, as well as support and contribute to a national juvenile justice reform movement.

Costs for Council Members
There are no costs for Council members. Based on Council member’s travel schedule for in-person meetings, Council members’ travel, hotel, and meals will be covered.

Qualifications for Council Members
At a minimum, the ideal candidate should have the following experiences, skills, and qualities:

  • 18-25 years old, although younger candidates will be considered on an individual basis;
  • Previous or current juvenile justice involvement (e.g., probation, detention, commitment, residential placement, incarceration, and/or aftercare/parole);
  • Willingness to listen and learn;
  • Passionate about and committed to juvenile justice reform;
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking skills;

In addition, the ideal candidate may have some or all of the following experiences, skills, and qualities:

  • Previous or current experience in juvenile justice reform such as organizing, policy advocacy or development, program development, research, etc.;
  • Strong writing and public speaking skills;
  • Political astuteness;
  • Interpersonal skills;
  • Knowledge of JDAI or the Juvenile Justice Strategy Group’s work.

Selection Process for Council Members
To apply, candidates must submit an application form, personal statement, and letters of recommendation to Jonathan Litt, CJJ’s Policy & Field Relations Associate, at [email protected], fax to 202-887-0738, or mail to 1319 F Street NW, Suite 402, Washington, DC 20004. An application may also be submitted online.

Applications are due by Friday, February 13. Candidates may be selected for an interview during the review process. If a candidate is selected for an interview, the candidate will be contacted directly. Candidates who are interviewed will be notified of final decisions by early-March.

If you have questions regarding the Youth Advisory Council, you may contact Jonathan Litt at [email protected] or 202-467-0864 ext. 110; or Alexandra Frank, JJSG Program Assistant, at [email protected] or 410-547-3676.