Few know the juvenile justice system better than youths who have been involved in it, and their voices should be a part of reform efforts, says the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Justice Strategy Group (JJSG). The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange says the group is seeking the views of young people who have been involved with the juvenile justice system through prosecution, parole, incarceration and probation. With help from the Coalition for Juvenile Justice, Casey is creating the Youth Advisory Council, which will provide feedback on juvenile justice reform system efforts nationally.
Alexandra Frank of Casey, who leads the group's youth-engagement work, said it hopes to build a national model. “We wanted to really embed a group of advisers to enhance our work who are most impacted by the juvenile justice system, and they have an incredible amount to contribute to this work,” she said. “Creating a mechanism to hear from them on a regular and consistent basis, we believe, will enhance our work.”