Home Our Members Join Us Information for Prospective Members

Information for Prospective Members

Why Become a Member?

By becoming a member, you demonstrate your commitment to creating a justice system that recognizes the uniqueness of youth and their enormous capacity for change. Working together, we can successfully press for state and federal laws, policies and practices that are fair, equitable and developmentally appropriate for all children, youth and families involved in, or at risk of becoming involved in, the justice system.

Benefits of Membership

By becoming a member, you become a part of the growing movement, gaining access to strategic and substantive assistance such as:

COMMUNITY – Through an active listserv, varied working groups, and an annual forum for members, partners and allies, we provide vehicles for members to share and grow their collective wisdom around strategy, research, and the latest developments in their states.

LEADERSHIP – We provide information and training on substance and strategy. Our Youth Justice Leadership Institute seeks to increase the number of youth justice reform leaders who are people of color, families of system-involved youth, and system-involved youth.

STANDARDS – NJJN circulates policy recommendations and summaries of established standards on which to build reform.

INFORMATION – In addition to this, our e-newsletter and webinars, and publications advance the field of youth justice reform by educating reform advocates, practitioners, and the public.

TOOLS – Through technical assistance, training, teleconferences, talking points and press release templates, we keep reformers equipped with up-to-date information and strategic know-how.

INCLUSION – We involve youth, families and crime victims through our Youth and Family Affinity Group and the Victim Outreach Working Group.

Which Category of Membership Best Suits You?

NJJN is building a movement for transformation rooted in racial equity through state advocacy organizations, our Youth Justice Leadership Institute and our nationwide allies.

State Advocacy Organization Members

NJJN’s membership is primarily comprised of organizations dedicated to reforming the juvenile justice system through statewide advocacy. To be eligible for state advocacy membership, organizations must meet the following requirements.

State Advocacy Members’ scope of work must:

  • Support NJJN’s nine principles of reform.
    • Be working actively to change policy, and/or have a proven track record in policy change. State Advocacy Members can work on these areas in any number of ways including but not limited to the following: legislative, administrative, and programmatic changes. However, State Advocacy Members cannot be solely focused on research and public information dissemination.
    • Demonstrate their systemic work by filling out an annual questionnaire in which they detail their work.

State Advocacy Members’ Organizational Structure:

  • A State Advocacy Member can be established according to any of the following structures, including, but not limited to: a formal coalition of organizations, a free-standing non-profit organization; a project of a non-profit; an informal network of individuals or groups; or a membership organization.
  • A State Advocacy Member may not be an agency that only provides representation or services on an individual, case-by-case basis; nor can it be a trade association.
  • Organizations that primarily do individual, client-related work but also conduct systemic reform (e.g., class-action lawsuits) are eligible for membership.
  • State Advocacy Members should be unfettered advocates for system reform. A member’s sources of funding (whether private or public) shouldn’t hinder the member’s ability to advocate for system reform. The leadership of the member’s agency or coalition should be independent enough to advocate for system reform (i.e., neither appointment of leadership nor employment should compromise any potential advocacy position of organization).
If interested, please fill out the application form here. Contact us at info@njjn.org if you have any questions.

Youth Justice Leadership Institute Alumni

Alumni of the Youth Justice Leadership Institute are individuals who have completed their fellowship through NJJN’s Institute in good standing. After completion, they are invited to become full members in NJJN. In order to become a member, they must:


Allies are individuals or organization who want to be part of the movement to improve outcomes for youth in trouble with the law. Allies play a critical role in our fight for fair youth justice systems across the country. Allies receive NJJN updates, calls to action, discounts for NJJN events, and dedicated seats at NJJN webinars. But most importantly, Allies are joining like-minded individuals and organizations across the country who are eager to transform our youth justice systems.