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April 18, 2023

YouthBuild USA Publishes Three New Resources for Supporting Court-involved Youth

YouthBuild USA staff and participants in YouthBuild USA’s Court-involved
Youth Community of Practice gather with Rep. Kay Granger (TX – 12)
at a convening hosted at CLC, Inc. YouthBuild Fort Worth.

YouthBuild USA is pleased to announce the publication of three new resources intended to support all YouthBuild programs and other community service providers as they champion court-involved youth in their communities.

Key areas of focus are:

  • Youth-driven community building: a violence-interrupting approach for safer communities;

  • Community-centered solutions for preventing crime; and
  • Diversion vs. incarceration: Opportunities for diverting young people who are involved or likely to become involved in the criminal legal system to community organizations that use restorative justice practices, like YouthBuild, instead of punishment.

Throughout these resources, some sections include considerations and tools to guide YouthBuild programs when identifying and integrating resources, practices, and curricula into their support of court-involved youth.

We are so grateful to the YouthBuild leaders whose voices and insights shaped this work, and to the Annie E. Casey Foundation for supporting it.

About YouthBuild USA’s Court-involved Youth Community of Practice

In March 2022, with the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, YouthBuild USA launched a community of practice (CoP) focused on identifying, assessing, and sharing best practices around addressing the needs of court-involved youth in YouthBuild programs. From YouthBuild’s diverse network of programs, the team recruited seven YouthBuild USA affiliates that have either (1) extensive experience working with court-involved young people (CIY), or (2) interest in expanding their work with court-involved young people. Over the course of a year, these seven affiliates engaged YouthBuild staff and participants or alumni at five virtual convenings and one, final in-person convening.

YouthBuild staff and young people worked together to develop the following purpose statement for the CoP: 

“Our Community of Practice exists to empower self-sufficiency, transform lives, and offer encouragement. We do this by providing motivation and guidance, lending support through community resources, building and strengthening positive relationships, identifying and creating opportunities, being an army of support, and earning trust for the good of court-involved youth and young adults.”

Thanks to our CoP participants: YouthBuild Greater Stark County (Canton, OH); YouthBuild St. Paul Westside (MN); CLC, Inc. YouthBuild Fort Worth (TX); YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School (PA); YouthBuild Rochester (NY); Georgia Building Trades Academy (GABTA) YouthBuild (Atlanta, GA); and Juncos Puerto Rico YouthBuild.

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