Youth Leadership

How to Get Involved as a Youth Member

Join your State Advisory Group
If you are interested in joining your State Advisory Group, please refer to the CJJ Member Directory and contact your state or territory’s Juvenile Justice Specialist.

Read our News and Resources
Read the CJJ Youth Manual, a short, clear, and easy-to-navigate guide offering all of the background and information a young person interested in getting involved with his or her SAG will need. You can also sign up to receive the monthly Juvenile Justice Monitor. Check out past issues here.

Attend a Conference
Join us at upcoming national and regional conferences and please consider joining us for a great opportunity to network with fellow youth members as well as adult SAG members, state and federal staff, advocates, and others.

Follow us on Social Media
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Learn more about the Emerging Leaders Committee 

The Emerging Leaders Committee is a partnership between CJJ and emerging leaders in the field of juvenile justice, many of whom bring lived expertise to their work. This group consists of young people ages 16 to 27 years old from across the country. ELC Members serve on their State Advisory Group, have previous or current juvenile justice involvement, and/or are interested in juvenile justice reform. Each member serves for one calendar year. CJJ supports the Emerging Leaders Committee to ensure that youth perspectives are represented in all aspects and functions of CJJ’s work, as well as CJJ’s communications with state and federal policymakers. Emerging Leaders Committee members help to shape the overall program and policy agenda for CJJ and perform several other important duties, including:

  • Organizing the Youth Summit, a virtual and in-person gathering that allows young people to come together to explore how they can collaborate and lead in juvenile justice reform;  
  • Coordinating, reviewing, and selecting the recipient of the annual CJJ Spirit of Youth Award;
  • Developing and implementing educational training programs for youth and adult SAG members;
  • Convening committee meetings and networking events for youth members at CJJ conferences;
  • Participating in Hill Day visits (with congressional representatives); and
  • Orienting new youth members to the work of the SAGs and CJJ, through the publication of resources and ongoing information sharing.