Research Report Community-Based Workforce Engagement Supports for Youth and Young Adults Involved in the Criminal Legal System
Findings from an Exploratory Scan
Leah Sakala, Krista White, Constance Hull
Display Date
Download Report
(583.8 KB)

This report summarizes findings from an exploratory study of community-based workforce development programs that involved a nationwide survey and a series of 15 follow-up interviews with staff members from a subset of surveyed programs serving youth and young adults who have been adjudicated for or convicted of serious offenses. The programs we examined use a variety of strategies to serve their participants, including engaging in multisector partnerships, offering a wide range of workforce- and non-workforce-related supports, blending funding from multiple sources, and measuring progress and success. Though many programs are actively serving system-involved young people, they varied as to the extent to which services were tailored for this population. Our findings highlight the importance of providing flexible service models that can be adapted to meet participants’ unique needs, particularly as they pertain to the barriers associated with legal system involvement and the young adult life stage. By developing a responsive program structure, building the organizational infrastructure to support program success, and engaging in strategic partnerships and collaborations, community-based programs can help young people involved in the legal system overcome barriers and identify and meet their employment and career goals.

Technical Appendix

Research Areas Crime, justice, and safety Children and youth Workforce Wealth and financial well-being
Tags Alternatives to incarceration Economic well-being Employment Youth development Job opportunities Financial stability Youth development Workforce development Juvenile justice Job training
Policy Centers Justice Policy Center
Research Methods Qualitative data analysis