Young adults, particularly young Black males, are overrepresented in the justice system, and face inequalities in access to education and employment services that can improve their outcomes and reduce recidivism. The investigators seek to respond to the growing demand for research on strategies that work to improve education and employment outcomes and reduce recidivism for youth involved in the justice system. They will compile the existing research across disciplines and identify pressing questions that are in need of additional empirical evidence. A second goal is to translate existing research to policy and practice. Funding will allow the CSG Justice Center and Harvard Kennedy School of Government to host an interdisciplinary convening of cross-system stakeholders to discuss existing research on effective approaches to improve youth outcomes and identify the guidance policymakers will need to apply this research to policy development. They will also host a smaller peer-learning exchange for state policymakers and agency leaders to exchange ideas and strategies on how to incorporate the available research into policymaking and address the practical challenges that this will entail. Based on these convenings, the team will develop a state policy and practice framework based on research-based recommendations. This framework will be presented to federal partners and funders with the goal of informing funding strategies to grow the knowledge base of effective strategies and programs to reduce young adults’ justice system involvement.
This grant will support the Council of State Governments Justice Center in its efforts to promote the development and use of research-based strategies to improve outcomes for young adults involved in the justice system