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“Six years in prison taught me that those closest to the problem are closest to the solution.”

Glenn Martin, Founder Just Leadership USA & Close Rikers

The movement to transform our juvenile justice system must be led by those with first-person expertise: youth involved in the system and their loved ones. There are a number of ways for impacted New Jerseyans to become involved:

Share Your Story

If you have been impacted by the juvenile justice system and wish to share your story, please contact Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice Communications Director, at

Youth Leadership Program

The Youth Leadership Program is for young people ages 14 to 25 who have been affected by the youth justice system or who are interested in changing the system. This program will help train young people to become leaders in their communities and to get involved in our statewide campaign to close youth prisons and invest in alternatives to incarceration for New Jersey’s young people.

The Youth Leadership Program will meet weekly from April 5 to May 31, 2017. All participants will receive a stipend of $50 for their participation each session. Participants will also receive stipends to attend state and national meetings and conferences focused on stopping kids from getting arrested or pushed out of school and changing policies to keep young people out of youth prisons.

To apply for the leadership training program, please click here.

Join Youth Justice New Jersey

To join the Youth Justice New Jersey coalition, please contact Retha Onitiri, Juvenile Justice Campaign Manager, at

New Jersey Parents’ Caucus

Join the New Jersey Parents’ Caucus, a coalition of parents, caregivers and youth whose mission is to ensure that every family who has children with special emotional and behavioral needs is given an opportunity to play a strong and active role in the conceptualization, development and delivery of effective and timely services in the mental health, juvenile justice, child welfare and special education systems.



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