The Jersey City Youth Planning Task Force (YPTF) was launched in early 2016 as part of the NJ Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) Youth Planning and Prevention Board initiative. With support from the OAG, and in collaboration with New Jersey City University (NJCU), the YPTF seeks to develop recommendations regarding programs, practices, and policies that support positive youth development and reduce juvenile delinquency, and to foster greater collaboration among stakeholders. The Task Force focuses on youth and young adults ages 12-24, and its three areas of priority include:
- Reduction of violence and risky behaviors
- Promoting post-secondary education/training and employment for young adults
- Addressing trauma and risky environmental factors through a focus on youth social/emotional development
By convening a broad group of stakeholders from the community, the YPTF has and will continue to work toward the above-mentioned goals by mapping community assets, identifying gaps in services, researching best practices, and developing strategies for expansion of and collaboration among existing programs and initiatives.
With research support from the Rutgers-Newark Center on Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice (2016-17), the YPTF was very successful its first year in gaining an understanding of youth delinquency and related issues in Jersey City. Using Census data as well as a school and police statistics, the YPTF was able to identify communities in Jersey City most impacted by violence and poor education achievement. Data gathering and analysis was focused on the following areas:
- High school graduation and dropout rates
- School violence and suspensions
- College readiness, enrollment, and retention
- Youth employment
- Youth arrest and stationhouse adjustments
With this information in hand, the Task Force in now looking at best practices to address the needs evidenced by this data. Working groups are also researching additional data points to better understand youth needs as well as access to supports and services.
To learn more or attend a meeting, please contact Lucinda McLaughlin at email@example.com or Keith Donath at firstname.lastname@example.org