Reimagining the Youth Justice Workforce

Front-line staff in youth justice, entrusted with the well-being of high-needs youth, contend with overwhelming demands, resulting in burnout and high turnover. Insufficient compensation, coupled with inadequate training and support, exacerbates the issue. The COVID-19 pandemic caused this crisis to reach unprecedented heights.

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy (CJJR), in partnership with the University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute (UCCI) and the Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSG), with support from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), is hosting technical and training programs that will engage with this crisis.

The Innovation Network

The Reimagining Youth Justice Workforce Innovation Network will support youth justice system officials and partners to develop, study, and share strategies aimed at addressing the field’s current staffing challenges, including strategies designed to fundamentally transform systemic structures, policies, practices, and approaches.​​​​​ With the support of OJJDP’s Juvenile Justice System Reform Initiative, participants’ tuition for the Innovation Network is provided at no cost to the selected jurisdictions.

You can learn more about the Innovation Network here on CJJR’s Innovation Network landing page.

The Leadership Vanguard

Working parallel with the Innovation Network to address this staffing crisis is the 2024 Transformative Leadership Vanguard: Cultivating Leadership in Front-Line Youth Justice Staff for Systemic Change, a 10-month collective training summit designed for front line staff with ongoing training and technical assistance. The Transformative Leadership Vanguard responds to a system-wide need for transformation by developing organizational champions at the front-line level of juvenile justice.​​​​​​​

You can learn more about this opportunity on the UCCI site.


About the image: A forest is more than a collection of individual trees. Each tree is connected by a “mycorrhizal network,” a system which connects individual plants together to transfer water, nitrogen, carbon and other minerals. Each tree—the forest itself—learns and innovates from the others to grow strong.