Youth Justice

Replace Harmful Punishment of Youth with Community-Based Supports

NCYL engages in policy advocacy, research partnerships, impact litigation and community power building to promote equitable, community-driven, health-centered supports for youth and families.

NCYL works to replace harmful juvenile justice system practices - such as restraint, arrest and incarceration - with high quality, age-appropriate supportive services that meet the needs of youth, their families and communities.

The Role of Racism

Black and Brown youth are disproportionately impacted by the flaws, missteps, and lack of oversight that exist in our current youth justice systems. NCYL aims to examine, expose and break down structural, systemic, institutional and individual racism that pervades the juvenile justice system.

Care, not cages

Each year, millions of children and youth have their futures stolen from them when they are traumatized by restraint, arrest, incarceration or other juvenile justice system involvement. These approaches criminalize normal adolescent behavior, increase trauma and recidivism and neglect to address youth’s actual needs - not to mention cost taxpayers millions of dollars. 

NCYL is committed to replacing these antiquated and harmful practices with research-backed solutions that lead to healthy outcomes for youth and improve public safety. 

Care in community

Youth who are facing challenges are best served in their communities, where they can tap into their existing networks of support while receiving services. NCYL works to resource community based organizations and build community power so that every youth can access the help they need - without the harmful experiences of arrest, incarceration and ongoing probation surveillance.