Reimagining Juvenile Justice Curriculum Now Available Online — for Free

Posted October 18, 2022
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Man of color with beard and white shirt sits at a laptop in an office.

School & Main Institute’s Reimag­in­ing Juve­nile Jus­tice (RJJ) cur­ricu­lum, which is designed for pro­fes­sion­als work­ing in the juve­nile jus­tice field, is now avail­able online — for free.

A Clos­er Look at the RJJ Curriculum

Spon­sored by the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion and designed by School & Main Insti­tute and their part­ners at Whee­lock Col­lege of Edu­ca­tion at Boston Uni­ver­si­ty, RJJ con­sists of six core cours­es and an intro­duc­tion. The cours­es, which are root­ed in research, show that youth thrive with pos­i­tive oppor­tu­ni­ties and con­nec­tions to car­ing adults.

The RJJ train­ing cur­ricu­lum aims to:

  • encour­age pub­lic sys­tems and com­­mu­ni­­ty-based part­ners to col­lab­o­rate more fre­quent­ly and creatively;
  • pro­mote alter­na­tives to jus­tice sys­tem involve­ment and incar­cer­a­tion; and
  • advance approach­es that focus on a young person’s strengths and interests—not their deficits.

RJJ eLearn­ing

The fol­low­ing RJJ cours­es are avail­able now on School & Main’s website:

Pos­i­tive Youth Devel­op­ment Fundamentals

Learn about ado­les­cent brain devel­op­ment, how to sup­port a young person’s well-being and how to put pos­i­tive youth devel­op­ment prin­ci­ples into practice.

Using a Cross-Sys­tems Approach

Review how to iden­ti­fy, access and nav­i­gate a diverse spec­trum of youth-serv­ing sys­tems, oppor­tu­ni­ties and resources. Explore lever­ag­ing mutu­al self-inter­est and shared goals to rec­on­cile diver­gent views and rela­tion­ships across these systems. 

Address­ing Racial and Eth­nic Equi­ty and Inclu­sion Issues in Pol­i­cy and Practice

Learn how to iden­ti­fy poli­cies and prac­tices with­in youth-serv­ing sys­tems that are racial­ly and eth­ni­cal­ly dis­crim­i­na­to­ry. Dis­cov­er strate­gies for focus­ing on a young person’s poten­tial and elim­i­nat­ing poli­cies and prac­tices that have a dis­parate effect on youth of color.

Engag­ing Youth Voice and Empow­er­ing Youth Leadership

Iden­ti­fy and advo­cate for oppor­tu­ni­ties that posi­tion young peo­ple to be active archi­tects in cre­at­ing their own path­way to success.

Fos­ter­ing Pos­i­tive Fam­i­ly Rela­tion­ships in the Juve­nile Jus­tice System

Explore how to estab­lish pos­i­tive, authen­tic and trust­ing rela­tion­ships with the par­ents and fam­i­lies of sys­tem-involved youth. Learn to lever­age fam­i­ly and com­mu­ni­ty ties in ways that rec­og­nize and pro­mote their role in devel­op­ing youth plans.

Trans­form­ing Pol­i­cy and Prac­tice: Pre­sen­ta­tions and Recommendations

Dis­cov­er how to exam­ine poli­cies and prac­tices to ensure that juve­nile jus­tice reforms con­tin­ue — and con­tin­ue to sup­port pos­i­tive youth devel­op­ment and a cross-sys­tems approach. Review guid­ance on devel­op­ing rec­om­men­da­tions for lead­er­ship with­in each jurisdiction.

In addi­tion to these online cours­es, the RJJ cur­ricu­lum is also avail­able as a hybrid pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment oppor­tu­ni­ty facil­i­tat­ed by expe­ri­enced train­ers.

RJJ’s Evo­lu­tion

We are excit­ed that the full RJJ cur­ricu­lum, after being test­ed in the field and informed by young peo­ple affect­ed by the jus­tice sys­tem, is now avail­able to any front­line staff and local sys­tem inter­est­ed in expand­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties and improv­ing out­comes for youth,” says David E. Brown, a senior asso­ciate at the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Today, more than 800 youth-serv­ing pro­fes­sion­als across 16 states have com­plet­ed RJJ train­ing, which School & Main Insti­tute designed in 2016 with the help of experts in the fields of youth work, child wel­fare and juve­nile jus­tice. The orga­ni­za­tion expects to offer an RJJ Train­ing-for-Train­ers Insti­tute in 2023 and will con­tin­ue to update its RJJ cur­ricu­lum, accord­ing to Kathy Fly­nn Wood­land, direc­tor of field ser­vices at School & Main Institute.

Start the RJJ eLearning

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