For this project, CWP will support a year-long evaluation of the Justice Ambassadors Youth Council. The Justice Ambassadors Youth Council, a program led by Columbia University’s Center for Justice, is an innovative program in which young New Yorkers, including those who have been impacted by the justice system as well as Columbia University students, work with city agencies and community leaders to co-author policy proposals. The proposals aim to transform the justice system and address community challenges in New York City.
The Justice Ambassadors Youth Council has already inspired numerous policy changes throughout New York City government, including an innovative new community-led intervention to reduce gun violence and street crew involvement in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. With CWP’s support, the Justice Ambassadors Youth Council will rigorously evaluate both its ongoing programming and this new intervention in Brooklyn. The evaluation will identify successes and challenges in order to determine effectiveness and the potential for scaling these programs in New York City and beyond.
Justice Ambassadors Youth Council (JAYC) is an 8-week program in which young New Yorkers engage with city agency and community leaders to develop policy proposals that advance alternative approaches to justice and community well-being through open and honest dialogue about identity, social change, and systems of mass incarceration and criminalization. It offers resources to young individuals closest to the problem of mass incarceration while also providing them with a platform to use their insights, life experience and voice to directly engage with developing transformative policy. More than 100 youth and adults have completed the program since it launched in 2019. Leaders from the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Bronx district attorneys’ offices; the New York City Police Department; the Department of Education; New York City Administration for Children’s Services; the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice; the City Council, and other city entities have taken part.
In Partnership With:
Jarrell DanielsColumbia UniversityProject LeadRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Jarrell E. Daniels is a Bronx, New York native, Truman Scholar and graduating senior at Columbia University’s School of General Studies. In 2019, one year after coming home from prison...
Geraldine DowneyColumbia UniversityProject LeadRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Dr. Downey, Director, Center for Justice; Robert Johnston Niven Professor of Humane Letters in Psychology – Columbia University, has worked on and taught about issues related to incarceration...
Claudia RincónColumbia UniversityProject LeadRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Claudia Rincón is the Associate Director of Operations and Evaluation at the Center for Justice where she is responsible for developing a framework for evaluation for the Center’s programs...
UniQue StarksColumbia University, Bridge Street Development CorporationProject LeadRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Dr. UniQue C. Starks is a New York native who creates action-driven initiatives for the advancement of historically under-resourced communities.
Brooke BurrowsColumbia University; University of Massachusetts AmherstProject TeamRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
A fifth-year doctoral candidate specializing in social change processes including collective action, conflict resolution, and international justice mechanisms, Burrows was awarded a National...