Center for Youth Justice Transformation

Assessing the need for, and coordinating the delivery of, high quality, research-driven training and technical assistance to improve youth justice policy and practice.

Group of happy young people

I greatly appreciate all the resources...The breakroom scenarios and time to connect with fellow compliance monitors is great. I LOVE the ability to talk [and] ask questions during the session instead of being talked at. I’ve really enjoyed this training.  

- Compliance Monitor

The juvenile justice system is intended to improve outcomes for youth and families. At the community level, the evidence demonstrates that youth thriving requires a multisystem approach, and as training and technical assistance (TTA) providers, we strive to employ that approach. 

With that in mind, the Center for Youth Justice Transformation (CYJT) centers youth and family experts as the drivers of all efforts and prioritizes youth- and family-centered TTA and products by incorporating diverse perspectives. 

CYJT—which kicked off in January 2024—builds on more than a decade of highly responsive, multidimensional, and collaborative TTA to support states, territories, Tribal units, and communities in developing juvenile justice services that integrate time-tested and evidence-based strategies. These services span the justice continuum, ranging from prevention to intervention to reentry.

It also supports innovations focused on centering youth and family partnership and promoting collaborative knowledge generation that advances justice transformation, all in alignment with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP) Title II Formula Grants Program.

CYJT expands on the work of the Center for Coordinated Assistance to States (CCAS), also funded by OJJDP and led by AIR. CYJT intends to honor existing relationships and carry on its predecessor’s values of centering lived and practical experience, developing usable resources, and holding welcoming space for the difficult discussions required to advance justice for all youth. With that in mind, CCAS logos and references may be found in materials, links, and quotations posted on this site. 

Centering Diverse Expertise

Youth justice requires a range of diverse perspectives willing to build safe, supportive communities for young people that keep them out of facilities and with family. CYJT commits to this value through a range of collaborations.

Partnership: By leveraging their networks of impacted youth and family members, Youth MOVE National and National Partnership for Juvenile Services will create resources that highlight strategies, promising practices, and real-world examples of promoting youth and family partnership, contribute to place-based TTA, and lead peer learning events.

Direct Consulting: CYJT will contract with experts who represent the voices of young people across the youth justice continuum—both those with direct experience and those with practitioner expertise. Core consultants include the following:

  • Kyla Woods
  • Meg Williams
  • Judge David Hejmanowski
  • Dr. Larome Myrick
  • Dr. Moises Prospero
  • Steve Anjewierden

Additional experts—particularly those who can engage Tribal communities—will be contracted depending on center needs.

The Network: CYJT engages six other OJJDP TTA providers as Network collaborators and others identified and funded by OJJDP to aid in creating the Network. The following are committed collaborators:

  • National Center for Juvenile Justice
  • Tribal Law and Policy Institute
  • Coalition for Juvenile Justice
  • National Sheriffs’ Association
  • National Association of Counties
  • National Council of State Legislators

A youth and family expert representative will also be included. CYJT will reach out to additional providers to expand cross-center collaboration to provide coordinated support to states, territories, and communities.

CYJT Strategies

The CYJT team employs several agile and innovative strategies to meet the Center’s objectives.

  • Quarterly state calls with compliance monitors, juvenile justice specialists, and state advisory group (SAG) chairs: These calls provide an opportunity for OJJDP to share updates and guidance specific to each designated state agency (DSA) position and SAG. These calls will provide formal training on each position’s role in the implementation of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) and guidance on how to leverage the Title II Formula Grant program to advance justice transformation in a way that is unique to their state or territory.
  • DSA staff cohort programs: Cohorts are designed to (1) provide professional development for new DSA personnel and SAG members; (2) orient new DSA personnel and SAG members to the roles and responsibilities of their positions; (3) facilitate peer-to-peer support by engaging seasoned DSA personnel and SAG members; and (4) establish a cohort of training participants that can provide ongoing support to one another during and after completion of the program as well as to future training participants. 
  • Interactive tip sheets, tools, and resources: In collaboration with partners and subject matter experts, CYJT develops evidence-based, practical, and user-friendly materials that address the current needs of the field.
  • Individualized training and technical assistance to states and territories: CYJT delivers a customized TTA experience by identifying needs, sharing resources, and maximizing system improvement efforts to meet goals.
  • Peer-learning roundtables: Annual multipart learning labs engage content leaders, facilitators, and participants in iterative discussions about shared challenges, unique solutions, and promising practices around a specified topic.
  • National conferences sessions: In the spirit of collaboration, CYJT will provide in-person training on implementation of the JJDPA and Title II funding to DSA, SAG, and other relevant audiences through participation in one juvenile justice conference per year. 
  • COMING SOON – Youth Justice Transformation Institute: This institute—which will serve as a significant update to the existing CCAS Information Hub—will use current online learning technologies, leverage existing resources and curricula, and develop new tools to translate evidence and promising programs into practical tools. As a collective learning hub, the institute aims to break down silos of knowledge and facilitate access to information.

Historical Resources, Created Under the Center for Coordinated Assistance to States

Additional Resources