Youth Reentry Technical Assistance Center

YRTAC supports capacity building efforts among 50+ Second Chance Act Reentry grantees.

Youth working in a park together

Thousands of youth return to communities from detention, state secure care facilities, and adult prisons each year in our country. The reentry outcomes can be as varied as the the youth themselves. Youth justice practitioners believe when reentry planning occurs early during the youth’s confinement and continues upon returning to the community there are better outcomes for the youth. 

YRTAC coaches find ways to connect grantees together, creating a peer network for us to learn, grow, and become sustainable together.  

– YRTAC Grantee

The Youth Reentry Training and Technical Assistance Center (YRTAC), administered by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), supports capacity building efforts among 50+ Second Chance Act Reentry grantees. The grantees are from over 30 states and are in various stages of their grant cycle. Grantees initially enter the work by completing their planning and implementation guide (P&I) with assistance from their AIR-assigned coach. 

Once the P&I Guide is approved by OJJDP, the grantee enters the implementation phase in the life cycle of their grant meeting at least monthly with their coach. Finally the grantee enters the evaluation and sustainability segment of the grant. The coaches remain with the grantees for the life of their grant to bring longstanding capacity to the community, state, organizations to increase the likelihood of positive outcomes for youth reentering the community following involvement in the youth justice system.

Our technical assistance (TA) focuses heavily on best practices in successful reentry of youth and young adults as they reenter the community. We provide individualized TA and co-develop a TA plan with each grantee. The plan is designed as a tool to help guide our TA in supporting the grantee meeting the goals of their grant in a timely manner. Our approach takes research in the field of youth justice reentry and we translate the research into practice. 

YRTAC engages our grantees in peer to peer learning activities as well as expose to experts through our partners and subject matter experts. Given our approach to TA, YRTAC delivers events that focus on trauma-informed care, pre-release programming and skill development, post-release aftercare programming, community engagement, positive youth development, recidivism reduction strategies, family engagement, and public safety.

AIR values the unique and valuable perspective of individuals with lived experiences in the youth justice system. A major component of the YRTAC is the selection and employment of two youth reentry fellows. The fellows are full time AIR staff members and are integrated in all aspects of the center’s TA effort. The fellows will also be engaged in thoughtful work with OJJDP.