Apply Now: Justice Framework for Emerging Adults
The Emerging Adult Justice Project at Columbia University’s Justice Lab has issued a request for interest from jurisdictions to test and help iterate a developmental framework — or set of principles — focused specifically on positive outcomes for people ages 18 to 25 involved in the criminal justice system. The opportunity is for government agencies and community-based organizations to work in partnership with emerging adults (or those who were emerging adults when they themselves were involved in the justice system) to determine how best to apply the principles to policies and practices that help this group of people connect with positive opportunities and people to foster their development.
Why Focus on Emerging Adults
Nationally, people ages 18 to 25 are over-represented throughout the criminal legal system, have the highest recidivism rates and experience the most extreme racial and ethnic disparities, particularly in correctional facilities. Too often, the justice system fails to recognize the developmental needs of this population and treats emerging adults in almost the same manner as older, fully mature adults.
The Foundation is dedicating at least half of its investments over the next decade to improving the well-being and prospects of youth and young adults to thrive by age 25. That means not simply surviving with just enough to get by but having the chance to live full lives and realize their true potential. The Foundation’s Thrive by 25® commitment recognizes that the road to adulthood can be a challenging one for many, but emerging adults in the criminal justice system, young people of color in low-income families, youth in high-poverty communities, young parents and youth making the transition from foster care to adulthood face significant obstacles that can stall their aspirations and prospects or derail them entirely. These young people are therefore the Foundation’s focus — and more importantly, partners — for its Thrive by 25 efforts to invest in programs and advance policies to help them change the trajectory of their lives and prevent lifelong problems.
Benefits for Jurisdictions That Participate
The jurisdictions testing the framework will receive guidance from experts as the jurisdictions apply promising practices. This experimentation will put these jurisdictions at the forefront of a burgeoning field, and their input will be incorporated into the final version of the emerging adult developmental framework.
“Given that this is the first attempt at a project of this kind and scope, it is likely to be most successfully implemented in sites that are prepared to engage deeply and holistically in this type of work,” said Felipe Franco, senior fellow at the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Resources From the Columbia Justice Lab
- See an overview of the developmental framework.
- Download the request for interest application and background material.
- Watch a recording of a webinar that EAJP hosted about the opportunity.
The due date to submit an expression of interest is November 16, 2022.