Youth for Justice
Youth for Justice (1983-2007) was the national, coordinated law-related education (LRE) program supported by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the U.S. Department of Justice. Youth for Justice provides national leadership for sustainable, high quality LRE programs for at-risk youth and their communities. YFJ provides program models, materials, training and technical assistance to educators, students, and parents in schools and in community and juvenile justice settings. The National Training and Dissemination Project (NTDP) for law-related education, YFJ was a national consortium of CRFC, the American Bar Association Division for Public Education, the Center for Civic Education, the Constitutional Rights Foundation, the Phi Alpha Delta Public Service Center, and Street Law, Inc. This national consortium worked in cooperation with a netweork of State LRE Centers.
- develop curricula and instructional materials;
- support a national network of state and local leaders representing every state;
- provide professional staff development for schools;
- conduct programs for students; and
- prepare community volunteers as co-instructors and co-leaders in classrooms and community activities for youth.
Youth for Justice builds partnerships with legal, educational, governmental, and community groups to initiate and strengthen LRE programs. Its network of national, state, and local programs has made LRE a permanent part of school programs throughout our nation.
- Professional Staff Development and Technical Assistance: National Youth for Justice organizations assist state LRE leaders in providing teachers and administrators with staff development and training in implementing programs to serve youth at highest risk. Youth for Justice sponsors conferences to explore new directions for LRE.
- Youth Summits: Youth for Justice assists state leaders in organizing and implementing youth summits that bring together diverse groups of young people to explore state and local issues related to youth, such as violence and violence prevention programs.
- Juvenile Justice: Youth for Justice developed programs and curriculum for young people in detention and group homes to help them understand and function within the law.
- Drug Prevention: Youth for Justice developed curriculum for elementary and secondary schools to teach about drug prevention while enriching the existing courses of study and incorporating methodologies which address needs of at-risk youth.
- National Teach-In: Youth for Justice developed a web-based program for middle and high school students to teach other students about tensions that arise between safety, liberty, justice, and equality using lessons from the national YFJ partners.
- Research and Development: Youth for Justice conducts research on the effectiveness of its programs. Currently, Youth for Justice is implementing studies in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC, to examine LRE's effectiveness as an antiviolence intervention. A partnership with the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools continues to develop and implement a sequential kindergarten through grade 12 curriculum designed for urban students. Additionally, the national organizations are developing new materials emphasizing instruction in conflict management.
- Public Information: Youth for Justice informs educators, national and state leaders, and the public about current practices and programs in LRE and citizenship education. Youth for Justice disseminates information through newsletters, presentations, and a national network of state centers.
- Violence Prevention: Youth for Justice sponsored the National Video Town Meeting on Violence. Using video and telecommunication technology, young people across the nation explored issues of violence in their communities and made recommendations to Attorney General Janet Reno, members of Congress, and educational policy leaders. Youth for Justice also supported state-level responses to violence by and against youth in its partnerships for safe, disciplined, and drug-free schools. Youth for Justice offers: