Research grounded in science, justice, and participation.

The Youth Justice Research Collaborative (YJRC) uses participatory action research, joining experts with direct experience of youth prosecution and incarceration with academics and advocates. Our research is grounded in science and justice, and centers the lived experiences of those most impacted by Youth Justice systems and policies.

Our research collective is a partnership between Youth Represent, the Children’s Defense Fund-NY, The Graduate Center at the City University of New York, The Public Science Project, the Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, community members, youth, and advocates.

We are studying the implementation of the Raise the Age (RTA) policy in New York City using multiple participatory methods, including court observations, focus groups with impacted youth, and surveys of public defenders and social workers who are working under RTA.


1. To ensure that the Raise the Age legislation has the intended effects and to hold city and state agencies accountable for implementing the law as intended; 

2. To expose problems with the legislation as it is currently written and identify possibilities for advocacy and legislative reform;  

3. To contribute documentation of successes and lessons learned to the national conversation about raising the age of criminal responsibility;

4. To improve the lives of young people and families affected by the criminal justice system in NYC.


Findings from our research will be posted and updated on our Reports & Data page.


Follow us on Twitter @YJRC_NYC.

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 Supported by the CUNY Doctoral Students Council.