Educational success and workforce training can help young people who are at risk of juvenile justice system involvement—or who are already in the system—achieve stability through employment. Youth Futures, an initiative lead by Vera’s Center on Youth Justice (CYJ), aims to provide these young people with the skills and support they need to achieve long-term success.

Youth Futures focuses on youth living in or returning to high-crime, high-poverty communities in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. The multi-year initiative prepares participants for success in the labor market through comprehensive, individualized services linked to workforce development, education, and training programs. 

Project Objectives

  • Help at-risk and justice-involved youth gain educational and technical skills necessary for future employment.

  • Provide tailored mentoring, case management, and support to young people involved in the justice system.

  • Monitor and evaluate program effectiveness to inform future policies and strategies for workforce development.

Key Fact

More than 1/2 of young people in juvenile detention have not completed eighth grade.