Positive Youth Justice Initiative Background

The Positive Youth Justice Initiative is working with communities across California to transform juvenile justice practice and policy into a more just, effective system that is aligned with the developmental needs of young people.


Phase 3: Organizing for a Healthy Justice System

The Positive Youth Justice Initiative entered its third phase in 2017, with $750,000 in grant funding for nonprofit community-based organizations to advance positive juvenile justice. Funded grassroots organizations will advance their work through community organizing to accelerate a statewide movement toward a more youth development-focused juvenile justice system. Awards range from $75,000 to $150,000 over 18 months in 11 counties throughout the state.

Phase 2: Implementation Grants

Four counties received $400,000 implementation grants in January 2014 to test a series of reforms designed to transform juvenile justice into a more just, effective system and improve the lives of the youth they engage.

A second round of implementation funding provided additional investment for the San Joaquin County Probation Department and the Vallejo Unified School District in Solano County.

Learn about the county grantee partners.

Learn about the Implementation Launch on Jan. 28, 2014.


Phase 1: Planning Grants

Six counties received $75,000 grants in 2012 for a 12-month planning phase to create plans for reform focusing on “crossover youth” – youth who had been formally involved in the child welfare system, had experienced documented neglect, abuse and/or trauma, and were currently engaged in the juvenile justice system.

Initiative Design Elements

The initiative uses an approach that invests in youth, treats trauma, provides wraparound service delivery and changes systems to strengthen local infrastructure and sustain the improvements.