This blog was originally posted by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion has award­ed three $100,000 grants to help cre­ate paid posi­tions for emerg­ing pro­fes­sion­als with juve­nile jus­tice experience.

Three youth jus­tice orga­ni­za­tions will receive one grant each. They are:

  1. the Cen­ter for Juve­nile Jus­tice Reform at George­town Uni­ver­si­ty in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.;
  2. Impact Jus­tice in Oak­land, Cal­i­for­nia; and
  3. Ken­tucky Youth Advo­cates in Louisville, Kentucky.

As part of the solic­i­ta­tion and selec­tion process, Casey part­nered with alum­ni from its Juve­nile Jus­tice Youth Advi­so­ry Coun­cil as well as rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Youth­prise and Restora­tive Response Bal­ti­more. The group’s efforts net­ted 75 strong proposals.

These grants enable young pro­fes­sion­als affect­ed by the juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem to gain mean­ing­ful expe­ri­ence with some of the pre­mier orga­ni­za­tions with­in the field — all while being com­pen­sat­ed at a com­pet­i­tive lev­el,” says Imhotep Sim­ba, a pro­gram asso­ciate with the Foundation’s Juve­nile Jus­tice Strat­e­gy Group.

Bur­gun­di Alli­son, the Foundation’s asso­ciate direc­tor for diver­sion and pre­ven­tion, also notes the grants encour­age orga­ni­za­tions to cre­ate and sus­tain paid career oppor­tu­ni­ties for youth with direct jus­tice-sys­tem experience.

At the con­clu­sion of the grant peri­od, the young pro­fes­sion­als may remain with their respec­tive orga­ni­za­tions inde­pen­dent of Casey fund­ing or seek career oppor­tu­ni­ties elsewhere.


2023 Juvenile Justice Grantees


Ken­tucky Youth Advo­cates is wel­com­ing Edward LaGant­ta, who will gath­er infor­ma­tion and ideas from young peo­ple with juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem expe­ri­ence. This advo­ca­cy role will see LaGant­ta focus on reduc­ing incar­cer­a­tion as well as racial and eth­nic dis­par­i­ties to evolve juve­nile jus­tice policy.

Ken­tucky Youth Advo­cates is part of the Foundation’s KIDS COUNT® net­work of state-lev­el orga­ni­za­tions that pro­vide a com­mu­ni­ty-by-com­mu­ni­ty pic­ture of the well-being of chil­dren and families.


The Cen­ter for Juve­nile Jus­tice Reform is using the grant to hire pro­gram coor­di­na­tor Amiyah Davis, an alum­na of Casey’s Juve­nile Jus­tice Youth Advi­so­ry Coun­cil. As pro­gram coor­di­na­tor, Davis will admin­is­ter cer­tifi­cate pro­grams for juve­nile jus­tice prac­ti­tion­ers and part­ners; pro­mote the voic­es of youth and fam­i­lies; and cul­ti­vate part­ner­ships with young peo­ple and the orga­ni­za­tions that serve them.


Impact Jus­tice is adding research ana­lyst Devon­tae Springer to its Research and Action Cen­ter team.

I want to help youth deep­en their under­stand­ing of them­selves, their com­mu­ni­ties and the poli­cies and prac­tices that gov­ern them,” says Springer, who notes that his new role will allow him to grow pro­fes­sion­al­ly and per­son­al­ly while apply­ing his skills to make an impact in the world.

As a mem­ber of the organization’s Research and Action Cen­ter, Springer will work to pro­mote safe and thriv­ing com­mu­ni­ties by:

  • cre­at­ing fair, safe and effec­tive alter­na­tives that help to reduce the num­ber of peo­ple in the for­mal legal system;
  • ele­vat­ing the stan­dard of care for peo­ple in cus­tody; and
  • expand­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple with jus­tice sys­tem involvement.

Springer is no stranger to Impact Jus­tice, which devel­oped the first Ameri­Corps pro­gram exclu­sive­ly for indi­vid­u­als who were for­mer­ly incar­cer­at­ed. As a men­tor for the pro­gram, Springer lever­aged his expe­ri­ences to sup­port young peo­ple who were return­ing to their com­mu­ni­ties from juve­nile facilities.

Photos courtesy of the Annie E. Casey Foundation