- What is Reimagining Juvenile Justice?
- How has RJJ grown and expanded?
- Who can apply for the RJJ 6.0 Training-for-Trainers Institute?
- What criteria will be used to assess an applicant’s readiness for this opportunity?
- Who should a site select as trainers to participate in the RJJ 6.0 Training-for-Trainers Institute?
- What is the RJJ curriculum and how is it delivered?
- How do I apply to participate in the RJJ 6.0 Training-for-Trainers Institute?
- What is the cost to participate in the RJJ institute?
- How can I learn more about RJJ before applications are due?
- Key dates for RJJ 6.0 T4T in 2023
- Who can I contact for additional questions?
1. What is Reimagining Juvenile Justice?
Reimagining Juvenile Justice (RJJ) is a professional development initiative designed and delivered by School & Main Institute (SMI), a nationally recognized nonprofit training organization located in Massachusetts. RJJ advances many of the core elements of positive youth development, which are approaches that identify the positive aspects of a young person’s life and build on those strengths and interests. RJJ is sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
The training program is targeted to professionals working with youth and their families involved in the juvenile justice system and aims to develop the capacity of professionals to support, divert and redirect youth to appropriate and fair justice options, including those requiring a high degree of cross-system collaboration and coordination. RJJ is based on research on adolescent development that demonstrates youth thrive in a positive environment with the support of caring adults. RJJ’s positive youth development framework encourages juvenile justice professionals to focus on young people’s protective factors and strengths, rather than merely focusing on risk factors and problems.
Training in RJJ is founded on a core curriculum of six course modules originally designed by SMI in 2016 with the input and assistance of specialists and professionals in the field of youth work, child welfare and youth justice. The modules are continuously updated with current information from the field.
2. How has RJJ grown and expanded?
Through 2022, the RJJ curriculum has reached nearly 1,000 individuals representing a broad array of agencies and organizations, including probation, juvenile detention, child welfare, youth and family services, courts, local law enforcement, school districts, community-based agencies and others involved in the youth justice system, including youth and families. Here is a snapshot of how the RJJ model has grown and evolved:
- 2016–17: The RJJ curriculum was piloted by SMI in Massachusetts with 21 professionals.
- 2018: RJJ 2.0 was replicated in the Pima County JDAI® site, located in Tucson, Arizona; 28 participants completed the training.
- 2019: RJJ 3.0 launched the first RJJ Training-for-Trainers (T4T) Institute to help further expand the initiative’s national footprint. Following a competitive application process, 15 sites were selected, including eight states — four of which partnered with county entities — and seven local jurisdictions. The first RJJ 3.0 T4T Institute was held in person in May 2019 and provided a unique, hands-on training experience for teams of two from each selected jurisdiction. The institute was designed to equip trainers with the concepts, curriculum and instructional approach necessary to bring RJJ back to their home jurisdiction; these trainers then delivered the RJJ curriculum to over 450 additional youth justice professionals between July 2019 and January 2020, and many continued to facilitate delivery of the RJJ curriculum through both virtual and in-person sessions.
- 2020: RJJ 4.0 launched the second T4T Institute. As a result of the pandemic, SMI adjusted the training design to be facilitated entirely online. Through a competitive process, 16 jurisdictions from around the country were selected; a total of 60 participants enrolled, representing teams of three to five members from each site. Despite the challenges of bringing the training fully remote, this new cadre of trainers went on to deliver the curriculum to over 300 local participants primarily via virtual training sessions. In addition, SMI began translating the course modules into a full eLearning environment.
- 2022: RJJ 5.0 initiated a competitive application process, selecting 11 jurisdictions that fielded teams of three to five participants in a new hybrid approach. The curriculum was delivered to 53 professionals through both facilitated virtual sessions and an in-person RJJ T4T Institute held in October 2022. Trainers began rolling out delivery of RJJ in their communities in early 2023. Additionally, SMI released a free, fully online version of the curriculum.
What does the RJJ 6.0 Training-for-Trainers (T4T) Institute look like in 2023?
As part of efforts to grow the capacity of community and systems partners to deliver RJJ principles and concepts in their home jurisdictions, this year the RJJ T4T Institute seeks to deepen the engagement and leadership of young adults who have had direct experience in the juvenile justice system within the last 12 years and are now between 18 and 30 years old. These young leaders will serve as co-designers, partners and co-trainers of RJJ in their community. (See #4 on Authentic Youth Engagement.)
RJJ 6.0 seeks to select six (6) new jurisdictions/sites that commit to the following:
- Understanding the tenets, core concepts and principles within RJJ and agreeing to foster and apply these principles within their youth justice system.
- Fielding a team of four (4) trainers who will be charged with designing and facilitating the local delivery of RJJ. Preference will be given to sites who are able to include one or two young adults with experience in the youth justice system as co-trainers (see #4 on Authentic Youth Engagement) paired with two or three adult professionals.
- Identifying a leadership group or network, including a designated point of contact, to help promote, guide, support and follow through with the RJJ implementation process. This group should fully support RJJ principles of practice and the team’s journey in facilitating RJJ implementation and should be open and receptive to emerging policy and practice recommendations that arise from the training. Preference will be given to applicants who are committed to authentic partnership with young adults and to creating opportunities for them to develop and activate leadership skills.
- Providing paid release time for all adult professionals and young adult training team members to fully participate in the following activities:
Sending their four-person RJJ facilitation team to the RJJ 6.0 T4T In-Person Institute in Denver, Colorado, which will be held September 12–14, 2023. A required component of RJJ training, this 2.5‑day event is dedicated to developing RJJ team relationships and providing opportunities for participants to practice roles as trainers of RJJ module concepts and principles. At the T4T Institute, teams will network with their peers from across the country and learn from expert national staff and previous RJJ trainers about their personal experience delivering the training and changes that have emerged as a result.
- required RJJ preparation sessions and peer-to-peer learning opportunities;
- facilitated discussions with the national RJJ team;
- the on-site RJJ T4T Institute in Denver, Colorado, in September 2023; and
- the delivery of the RJJ course modules between October 2023 and April 2024.
3. Who can apply for the RJJ 6.0 Training-for-Trainers Institute?
Public systems or government agencies that work with youth in the justice system may serve as the lead applicant. The lead applicant must apply together with a local or state non-profit entity as a co-applicant or partner in this initiative.
- Examples of public systems are juvenile court, probation, law enforcement and education.
- Examples of local or state non-profit partners include community-based organizations or networks of partners providing diversion, alternatives to confinement and/or support for youth involved in the juvenile justice system.
4. What criteria will be used to assess an applicant’s readiness for this opportunity?
Leadership Commitment: Transformative work is long term. Reimagining juvenile justice requires resolute leaders who promote and support systems change and are committed to fostering a positive youth development mindset with a cross-systems approach within their community and/or jurisdiction.
- Applicants must identify a leadership group or network of system and community partners with the authority and influence to address policies and practices within their respective agencies and programs. The group or network must include a leadership role representing at least one juvenile justice system and/or agency (preferably juvenile court, juvenile probation or local law enforcement) and must engage and collaborate with a variety of youth-serving agencies and professionals, including but not limited to probation, youth detention, child welfare, public education, community-based organizations, parents and family, local law enforcement, courts, public defenders and youth and faith-based organizations.
- Partners within the leadership group must commit to promoting RJJ within their agencies, including allocating time for participating staff to attend required training activities and to deliver the training locally.
- Partners within the leadership group must agree to consider policy and practice recommendations identified by participants as a result of RJJ course module discussions. Leadership partners should commit to participating in the final RJJ module session, Transforming Policy and Practice, to hear recommendations that emerge from the participating cohort.
- Applications will designate a central point of contact and site team leader. The site team leader will be responsible for overall local site delivery and project management, encourage full participation in the RJJ initiative and maintain regular communication with their leadership group and SMI.
Authentic Youth Engagement: Consistent with RJJ’s mission to instill positive youth development principles and scale up efforts to truly transform the youth justice system, RJJ 6.0 emphasizes the role and engagement of young adult leaders as designers, partners and co-trainers in bringing the curriculum to life.
RJJ 6.0 seeks young adults committed to sharing their direct experience, voices and perspectives to improve the youth justice system and who may be interested in a career in youth justice or other fields where their direct experience is valued.
Therefore, applicants who identify two (2) young adults as partners with two (2) adult professionals to be a team charged with delivering RJJ locally will be given preference in the selection process. The young adults selected must be between 18 and 30 years old and have had direct experience in the juvenile justice system within the last 12 years; direct experience may include juvenile court adjudication, probation or out-of-home placement in a juvenile detention center or correctional facility, or as a juvenile charged in the adult system. There is no degree requirement for young adult trainers; however, experience in volunteering, leadership, advocacy and/or community organizing or professional experience or education in the youth justice field is ideal.
Applicants must ensure that the youth members will be supported throughout the process of becoming co-trainers of RJJ work. Sites selected will provide opportunities to bring the professional and young adult trainers together to build rapport and relationship during the RJJ journey and beyond. Applicants should identify how the young adult co-trainers will be compensated for their time and commit to having a structure in place that will offer these young adults roles in leadership and decision making.
Training Investment: RJJ 6.0 seeks applicants committed to investing in the overall RJJ professional development process and requires the following:
- Applicants select professional team members who are knowledgeable about adult learning methodologies, embrace the principles of RJJ, can fully commit to the RJJ training calendar and are able to deliver the curriculum between October 2023 and April 2024. Essential to selection is the ability of the adult team members to support and engage their youth counterparts as equal learners as well as trainers of RJJ.
- Applicants develop a supported onboarding process for professional adult and young adult trainers and ensure they have the time and resources necessary to:
- learn about the RJJ curriculum and core concepts;
- meet and develop rapport and relationships with one another prior to and following the T4T Institute; and
- meet with supervisors and other leadership group members as needed to discuss progress, problem-solve challenges and obtain feedback.
- Applicants ensure that they can equitably compensate team members — especially young adult members who are not currently employed or able to secure paid release time from their current workplace — for time dedicated to required preparation, facilitation training, T4T Institute participation and local delivery of curriculum.
- program supervisors commit the necessary time and compensation for their RJJ teams to:
- participate in a 60-minute “Intro to RJJ” orientation/preparation session in July or August 2023 prior to the T4T Institute (see calendar), where they will be introduced to their site coach;
- attend the in-person RJJ T4T Institute taking place in Denver, Colorado, on September 12–14, 2023;
- attend virtual follow-ups for a deeper dive into module content and local application, and meet with their site coach to plan delivery;
- attend one-hour monthly virtual coaching sessions between October 2023 and April 2024;
- meet regularly with one another to schedule and prepare for local delivery of the RJJ curriculum; and
- deliver the RJJ course modules locally following the T4T Institute in Denver and complete their first cohort of training prior to fall 2024.
- Applicants must propose an outreach and engagement strategy to market and enroll between 25 and 30 participants for their first local or state RJJ training cohort. The national team recommends that participants represent the following: government, public and non-profit agencies; community and faith-based organizations; youth and family programs; courts and local law enforcement; public education; and youth with justice system involvement and their parents and/or family members.
Site Interview with Staff from SMI and the Casey Foundation: Prior to moving forward in the final selection process, co-applicants will be asked to participate in a site interview process with representatives of SMI and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. During this interview, co-applicants will discuss their vision of results for their participation in the RJJ T4T Institute, as well as their relationship to the work and with each other, their training team selections and their commitment to ensuring young adults have roles in leadership and decision making.
5. Who should a site select as trainers to participate in the RJJ 6.0 Training-for-Trainers Institute?
A four-person training team should ideally be composed of two (2) adult (preferably youth-serving) professionals and two young adults. We recommend individuals who:
- represent a mix of cultural, ethnic and racial backgrounds that reflect the community;
- demonstrate a commitment to a strong and authentic working relationship with one another both prior to attending the T4T Institute and in delivering the training locally;
- demonstrate the ability to create dynamic, interactive learning experiences that are geared to the adult learner;
- are able to connect with others, share knowledge on positive youth development with authority, apply principles promoted in the RJJ curriculum and exercise respectful understanding of their trainees’ perspectives; and
- can commit time to the full complement of SMI’s virtual training sessions, the T4T Institute, coaching, review of materials and resources and planning for and delivering the RJJ curriculum locally between October 2023 and April 2024.
As noted, preference will be given to applications that identify a team composed of two adult trainers and two young adult trainers who have had direct experience in the youth justice system. However, other team configurations may be considered based on the site’s demonstrated need and description of how youth will be engaged in local delivery.
6. What is the RJJ curriculum and how is it delivered?
The RJJ curriculum consists of six modules:
- Module 1: 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.
- Module 2: Addressing Race 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.
- Module 3: 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.
- Module 4: 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.
- Module 5: Utilizing 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.
- Module 6: 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.
The RJJ curriculum is now available online and will be used to support RJJ teaching and learning as part of the T4T Institute, as well as in prep and follow-up to local training delivery.
There are multiple delivery options for the RJJ curriculum, including:
- online platforms such as Zoom, where module content can be delivered virtually;
- face-to-face classroom setting with time dedicated to cover the core concepts and principles of each module; and
- blended or hybrid, which is a combination of face-to-face class time and online modules. The class time will be for facilitated discussion and peer-to-peer interaction.
7. How do I apply to participate in the RJJ 6.0 Training-for-Trainers Institute?
Eligible applicants can apply online using the RJJ 6.0 T4T 2023 Institute Application. Applications will be accepted through 5 p.m. ET on June 2, 2023.
8. What is the cost to participate in the RJJ institute?
There is no cost to participate in any of the virtual training or one-on-one coaching sessions. However, applicants must ensure adequate compensation for young adult trainers on their team who are not employed full time and provide paid, dedicated release time for them to participate in preparatory sessions, plan and deliver local training and participate in monthly follow-up coaching. Proof of coverage will be required.
Costs Specific to Attending the In-Person T4T Institute
SMI, through the Annie E. Casey Foundation, will cover the travel, lodging and reimbursable expenses of two team members from a selected site to attend the in-person Denver T4T Institute. Applicants are responsible for these costs related to the attendance of the other two team members, including one young adult participant. (Expenses are estimated at $1,000–$1,500 per person, depending on travel costs to Denver.) In addition, SMI will cover the cost of a stipend of $525 for one young adult trainer. For teams fielding two young adult team members, applicants are required to compensate the second young adult for their time at the T4T Institute at a rate commensurate with the SMI stipend ($525).
9. How can I learn more about RJJ before applications are due?
Register here for the RJJ 6.0 T4T information session on April 27, 2023, 4–5 p.m. ET. This interactive session will be an opportunity to chat directly with the national RJJ team from SMI and the Casey Foundation along with several experienced trainers from previous RJJ cohorts. Attendees will learn more about the overall RJJ experience, approach to training, lessons learned, policy and practice changes that have taken root and new opportunities that have emerged.
The information session will cover:
- a brief history of the RJJ model and results from recent implementation;
- an overview of the RJJ 6.0 T4T Institute;
- expectations for onboarding and supporting young adults as co-trainers throughout the process;
- expectations for local delivery and implementation of RJJ in 2023–24;
- how to apply and what to expect if selected; and
- frequently asked questions.
A second RJJ information session will be offered on May 9, 2023, 4–5 p.m. ET, with experienced young leaders available to discuss strategies for youth engagement and empowerment in RJJ as co-designers, co-trainers and participants in training. May 9 (4–5 p.m. ET): Talk with experienced young leaders about strategies for youth engagement and empowerment in RJJ as designers, co-trainers and participants in training. Register here for session 2. Both sessions will be recorded.
Interested applicants can also visit the RJJ Training-for-Trainers Institute Information page on JDAIconnect. Not a current member of JDAIconnect? Follow these five easy steps to set up your account. As a member, you will be able to access additional RJJ resources along with an array of news and information on national and local youth justice system initiatives, policies and practices.
- Visit partners.aecf.org. (You will be redirected to the login screen on Casey’s Community Café.)
- Under login options, click “Don’t have an account or need help.”
- Click “Create Account” and fill in your information. Click “Register” to complete the account setup.
- Once in the Community Café, click on the “Add apps” to add JDAIconnect to your homepage.
- Click on the JDAIconnect button to enter the community.
10. Key dates for RJJ 6.0 T4T in 2023
April 19, 2023
Launch of RJJ 6.0 T4T Application Window
April 27, 2023
4–5 p.m. ET
First information session (registration form via Survey Monkey)
Prepared checklist available for sites to self-assess readiness, including co-applicant selection, adult and youth trainer selection, leadership structure, etc.
May 9, 2023
Second information/Q&A session
Panel discussion with experienced young leaders on the potential role of young people with direct experience in the youth justice system as partners and co-trainers in the delivery of RJJ and as valued voices in leadership and decision-making.
June 2, 2023
June 7, 2023
Finalist teams selected and notified of next steps to include the scheduling of a virtual team interview with staff from SMI and the Casey Foundation
June 12–23, 2023
Site interviews and finalist follow-up
Interviews with co-applicants and proposed training team members
June 28, 2023
Final Selection and site notification
Intro to RJJ national coaching team and team preparation for the Denver T4T Institute
September 12–14, 2023
RJJ 6.0 T4T Institute (The Curtis Denver by DoubleTree Hilton, Denver, Colorado)
Sessions start at 1 p.m. MT on Tuesday, September 12 and conclude at 1 p.m. MT on Thursday, September 14
October 2023–December 2024
Local delivery of RJJ training
Access to national peer network and monthly learning community sessions
11. Who can I contact for additional questions?
Direct all questions to: