Youth Peer Advocate, Vibrant Emotional Health Initiative
The Center for Court Innovation is committed to reducing crime and incarceration, addressing violence, supporting survivors, and building communities while strengthening public trust in justice. The Center seeks justice for marginalized groups, bringing an equity lens – particularly a racial and gender equity lens – to its work. For 25 years, the Center has worked to foster justice and equity to create safe, healthy, and thriving communities and, ultimately, to transform the justice system.
The Center is an 800-employee, $100 million nonprofit that accomplishes its vision through three pillars of work: creating and scaling operating programs to test new ideas and solve problems, performing original research to determine what works (and what doesn’t), and providing expert assistance and policy guidance to justice reformers around the world.
The Center’s operating programs, including the award-winning Red Hook Community Justice Center and Midtown Community Court, test new ideas, solve difficult problems, and attempt to achieve systemic change within the justice system. Our projects include community-based violence prevention programs, alternatives to incarceration, reentry initiatives, and court-based initiatives that reduce the use of unnecessary incarceration and promote positive individual and family change. Through this programming, we have produced tangible results like safer streets, reduced incarceration, and improved neighborhood perceptions of justice.
Researchers at the Center conduct independent evaluations, documenting how government systems work, how neighborhoods function, and how reform efforts change things. We believe in the “action research” model; accordingly, our researchers provide regular feedback on the results of the Center’s own operating programs. The Center has published studies on topics including youth in the sex trade, reentry, gun violence, and drug treatment as an alternative to incarceration. Our researchers have been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals.
Policy & Expert Assistance
The Center provides hands-on, planning and implementation assistance to a wide range of jurisdictions in areas of reform such as problem-solving courts (e.g., community courts, treatment courts, domestic violence courts), tribal justice, reducing incarceration and the use of fines/fees and reducing crime and violence. Our current expert assistance takes many forms, including help with analyzing data, strategic planning and consultation, policy guidance, and hosting site visits to its operating programs in the New York City area.
The Staten Island Justice Center (SIJC) offers an array of programming for both youth and adults in Staten Island, focusing on engaging those with current or past justice involvement. SIJC operates two mentorship programs—the Advocacy, Intervene and Mentor (AIM) Program and Next STEPS—which utilize an individualized and trauma-informed approach to assist young people in re engaging in education, work and community. AIM is a six- to nine-month court-mandated community-based mentoring program that provides one-on-one and group mentorship. Next STEPS’s programming is rooted in principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy. It utilizes one-on-one and group mentoring to young people ages 16-24 who reside in the Stapleton NYCHA housing development.
SIJC is seeking a Youth Peer Advocate who will provide support and guidance to the youth enrolled in our Vibrant Emotional Health Initiative. Reporting to the Coordinator, Family Support, the Youth Peer Advocate will facilitate support programming, including intakes, assessments, support groups, on-going case management, family team meetings, and restorative practices. The Youth Peer Advocate will work individually and with a team to assist youth participants and their support network in navigating the system stressors and family dynamics.
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Develop and provide a range of formal and informal support services designed to help youth attain their stated goals and improve functioning;
- Work with youth to expand the skills and strategies necessary to move forward in meeting their personal, individualized life goals which support their transitioning into adulthood;
- Document and track demographic data of youth participants, goals, and all services provided to youth;
- Participate in professional development, training and quality improvement activities, as required for the Vibrant Emotional Health Initiative;
- Work collaboratively with the Family Peer Advocate to develop and maintain a strong family systems model for health and restoration;
- Provide coverage and support for other SIJC youth programming, as needed;
- Participate in staff meetings and staff development activities at SIJC, as required;
- Perform other duties as necessary to support the Staten Island Justice Center and department activities;
- Perform additional relevant tasks, as needed.
Position Type: Full time; Monday through Friday (9am-5pm or 11am-7pm shift as scheduled) and alternating weekend scheduling. Flexibility with scheduling is required. Please note, this position requires in-person work.
Location: Staten Island, NY
Qualifications: The ideal candidate will be an individual who has self-identified as a person who has first-hand experience with social, emotional, medical, developmental, substance use, and/or behavioral challenges, and has experience with mental health services and/or navigating other child-serving systems. High school diploma plus 2 years of relevant professional experience preferred. Candidate must demonstrate qualities of leadership, including knowledge of advocacy, and can positively reflect on and share their life experiences. Candidate must have basic computer skills and knowledge of office applications. Strong knowledge of community resources in the North Shore of Staten Island is a plus. Candidate must not have any pending criminal cases or prior convictions for sexual assault, child abuse, or domestic violence. Candidates must have the ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds in a culturally-competent manner and be able to provide crisis management as needed.
Compensation: The role is hourly, non-exempt. The hourly rate is $24.40 per hour and is commensurate with experience. Center for Court Innovation offers an excellent benefits package including comprehensive health, free basic dental coverage, vision insurance, short-term and long term disability, and life insurance. All healthcare benefits are effective on the date of hire. Paid time off includes 20 days of paid vacation per year, 15 paid sick days, Flexible Spending Account plans for health and dependent care, commuter FSA and offers a 10% employer match on the 403(b) retirement plan.
The Center for Court Innovation is an equal opportunity employer. The Center does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, national origin, age, military service eligibility, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, or any other category protected by law. We strongly encourage and seek applications from women, people of color, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities as well as individuals with prior contact with the criminal justice system.
As of September 9, 2021, all new hires are required to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, unless they have been granted a reasonable accommodation for medical, disability or religious reasons by the Center’s Human Resources Department.
In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete an employment eligibility verification document form upon hire. Only applicants under consideration will be contacted. No phone calls please.