Community Justice Network for Youth- CJNY

Community Justice Network for Youth- CJNY We are a program of the W. Haywood Burns Institute that promotes the availability of effective, culturally appropriate interventions to detention and incarceration. Follow us!

The Community Justice Network for Youth (CJNY) is committed to the empowerment of children, youth, families and communities that are being served by governmental systems by promoting the availability of effective, culturally appropriate interventions for youth in poor communities, particularly communities of color. The network will identify, promote and help expand the work and capacities of effective community based organizations that provide interventions to children in trouble with the law. CJNY works to develop and expand local, state and national networks of community-based providers committed to youth of color so that community-based agencies can effectively influence public policy that now often adversely impacts youth of color.


Wondering why the W. Haywood Burns Institute is named that? Who is Haywod? Welcome to learning about a justice legend too many do not know...

W. Haywood Burns, a former dean of the City University of New York School of Law at Queens College and a longtime civil rights advocate who worked with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., represented the black radical Angela Davis against charges of kidnapping and murder, and coordinated the defense for inmates indicted in the Attica prison riot, died on Tuesday in an automobile accident. He was 55 and lived in New Rochelle, N.Y.

Mr. Burns was killed in Cape Town, where he was attending a conference on democracy and international law, when a truck ran a stoplight and hit a car in which he and M. Shanara Gilbert, an associate professor at the law school, were riding. She also died.

Mr. Burns stepped down as dean in 1994, and at the time of his death was back in the classroom, teaching courses like "Race and Law" and "Critical Race Theory" as well as constitutional law.

From the time he was involved in a successful effort to integrate a swimming pool in Peekskill, N.Y., at age 15, Mr. Burns worked continuously for black people and for civil rights, moving smoothly from academia to activist organizations. He spoke out frequently for human rights and did not hesitate to criticize people in power. At the Annual Conference of Human Rights Workers in 1970, he called law enforcement in this country "a repression of American justice" and a way of restricting the nonwhite population."

And at a hearing on the Attica prison revolt before a Senate Committee in 1974, he charged Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller with the responsibility for "human tragedy that ranks in the annals of national disgrace with My Lai."

He spoke out against the nomination of numerous candidates for the Supreme Court of the United States, from Clement F. Haynsworth and G. Harrold Carswell to David Souter and Clarence Thomas.

For example, in an Op-Ed article in The New York Times in 1991 opposing Judge Thomas's nomination, Mr. Burns recalled his childhood visits to his great-aunt, Vinnie, in the South, who had raised his mother in a shack with a tin roof and no indoor plumbing. "My background closely resembles that of Judge Clarence Thomas, a sharecropper's grandson from Pinpoint, Ga," he wrote. But he made it clear that he and the judge had headed in different directions. He called Judge Thomas a "counterfeit hero" who has "made it infinitely harder for other poor blacks from our Pinpoint, Georgias, to make it."

Mr. Burns was born on June 15, 1940, in Peekskill. His father held a variety of jobs, including harvesting tobacco and driving a truck. His mother worked as a home attendant. He graduated from Harvard College with honors and from Yale University Law School in 1966. In between, on a Harvard fellowship studying in Cambridge, England, he conducted research on black Muslims that he turned into a book, "The Voices of Negro Protest in America," published in 1963.

After graduating from Yale, Mr. Burns joined the New York law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, but left shortly after to become law clerk to Judge Constance Baker Motley of United States District Court. From there, he became assistant counsel to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund Inc.
During that time, he served as general counsel to Martin Luther King Jr.'s Poor People's Campaign in 1968. He often told the story later of how he had stood on the steps of the Supreme Court as campaign marchers headed toward the Court and watched the doors slam closed.

After two years with the civil rights group, Mr. Burns helped found the National Conference of Black Lawyers in 1969 to serve as "the legal arm of the black revolution" and became its first director, hoping to displace the more traditional National Bar Association. At the time, there were fewer than 3,000 black lawyers in the nation. Within months, the group was representing the Black Panthers, Vietnam War resisters and Cornell University students who had staged an armed occupation of the student union building.

Mr. Burns successfully defended Ms. Davis, who was acquitted of kidnapping and murder charges in connection with the invasion in 1970 of a San Rafael, Calif., courthouse to free black prisoners. A state judge and three others were killed in the incident.

In 1974, he moved again, becoming a visiting professor of law at the State University of New York at Buffalo and coordinator for the defense for 62 inmates indicted in the Attica prison uprising, during which more than 40 people were killed.
"He lived on about four hours of sleep a night," said Herman Schwartz, a professor of law at American University who had defended one of the Attica murder suspects. "He had two full-time jobs. He would go to sleep around midnight or 1 A.M. and get up around 4 A.M. He taught a full load, and taught very well, and the students loved him. At the same time, he was coordinating the defense for the Attica uprising, which was both an intellectual and an administrative challenge."

Mr. Burns returned to New York City in 1975 as an associate law professor at New York University, then became chairman of the urban legal studies program at City College and vice provost and dean for urban and legal programs.
In 1987, he was named dean of the Law School at Queens College, becoming the first black dean of a law school in New York. Although he did not find much time to return to the poetry he wrote as a young man, he did write frequently for law journals and popular publications, including The Nation, on topics like race and affirmative action.

He was a trustee of many organizations, including the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Community Service Society, the Vera Institute for Justice and the Prisoners' Legal Services of New York. He was president of the Nation Institute, a foundation devoted to the alternative press and social justice. Susan Bryant, associate dean for academic affairs at the Queens law school, said that at a memorial service yesterday, student after student talked not only of a gifted teacher but also of one who met with them after class, gave them advice on their careers and helped them find jobs.

Rest in peace to a powerful bringer of peace and distruption. I am proud to work at your name sake.


The SF board of supervisors is slated to eliminate court fees, including for electronic monitoring. The DA’s office said it was in the "interest of public safety" to stop these charges.

(Last year SF collected approx. $200,000 a yr from EM fees. It would also involve writing off $15 million in back debt.)

This is a step in the right direction, though getting rid of the monitors altogether would be much more cost effective.

This takes place amidst an important set of developments on bail policies in SF. Last week the court ordered Kenneth Humphrey, freed with no cash payment. Bail for the 64 year old Humphrey bail had been set at $350,000. The release of Humphrey was a step in the local courts to move toward setting bail at a level that people can afford.

However, instead of remaining in jail, Humphrey was released to a lockup treatment facility and placed on EM.

While we celebrate these great and hard fought reforms lets continue to build toward what truly works- human to human support, services and opportunities (to be accountable, restore wellness and thrive).

Great job everyone working to reform the brokenAF prison system & happy Friday!

((Thanks to James Kilgore for passing along info.))

“The Connecticut Juvenile Training School was an ill-advised and costly relic... It placed young boys in a prison-like f...
Gov Malloy Announces Closure of Connecticut Juvenile Training School

“The Connecticut Juvenile Training School was an ill-advised and costly relic... It placed young boys in a prison-like facility, making rehabilitation, healing, and growth more challenging. The fact remains that this isn’t a celebratory moment, but a time to reflect on the past mistakes made when it comes to juvenile justice, and an opportunity to create a system that better serves our young people and society as a whole.”

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JJ's story is a lot of youth's stories.

After his father passed away, and his mother was re-incarcerated, staying out of prison became even harder for this college student.

We are so proud of our #TeamJustice friends and family at The Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions. When it comes ...
Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions

We are so proud of our #TeamJustice friends and family at The Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions. When it comes to policing and criminalization these folks are taking some steps necessary to get us closer to it.

This work is often judged and ridiculed from all sides and take lots of hard work and vision to get done.

They have secured a diversion program in Brooklyn. Meaning when folks are engaged by police they are diverted (away from police custody and jail) and sent to community supports. This is a BIG DEAL. An awesome and important piece of transforming local feeders into the the prison systems!!!

They also worked so hard (and took no funding from the department) to put into place a people’s training academy. They are designing an alternative training curriculum for local police (the 1st ever training of NYPD where police are trained by community experts, and precinct by precinct in the neighborhood where they serve, engaging in an innovative training design).

These are all steps in the right direction and we are so proud of them for making it all happen.

Goooo The Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions

From criminal justice to Human Justice; Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions is transforming the practice of public safety, justice and accountability from criminal to human.


Arrest Diversion MicroGrants to Support Equity & Inclusion

Deadline Extended to October 27th!
The Burns Institute has been working with the Open Society Foundation to generate support for viable alternatives to mass criminalization. This funding is intended to strengthen community-driven health services and resource interventions made prior to or instead of arrest. The goal is to improve the capacity of community-based organizations to deliver resources and harm-reduction services shown to improve health and well-being.

Small, one-time micro-grants between $5,000 and $25,000 are available through a competitive application process.

Arrest diversion programs will include leaders who are directly impacted and equitably resourced.
Communities will design health-centered interventions that empower participants and measurably reduce the harms of policing drug use, sex work and other subsistence-based trade.
Organizations most responsive to the needs of over-policed communities will gain the tools and networks to systematically divert those facing the greatest risk of incarceration.

Criminal Justice Initiative will manage the application process. Grant selection will be made through consensus by CJI’s circle of activists and survivors of the war on drugs.

Full information and application

For further questions, please contact Bridgette Butler at 646-849-9174 or [email protected].

So this story from the Texas Observer provides further information on Libre by Nexus. Seems they have about 6500 people ...
For-Profit Ankle Monitors: Helpful Service or Debt Trap for Desperate Immigrants?

So this story from the Texas Observer provides further information on Libre by Nexus. Seems they have about 6500 people on EM bond from immigration detention.

A number of people on EM report that their devices don't even work but when they report it, the company doesn't even fix the device. So people sit for long periods of time with a non-working device but still pay their $14 a day. Profiteering of a new order.

Virgina company Libre by Nexus pulls in more than $30 million a year, has more than 6,500 clients and nearly 30 offices nationwide. (a sisterhood of women with incarcerated loved ones who support each other) has just l...
Home (a sisterhood of women with incarcerated loved ones who support each other) has just launched a survey to reach the 1 in 4 women with incarcerated loved ones across the country.
They are currently looking for folks to take the survey and for groups to help them get the word out! Please take a min, fill this out and post/forward.
We will be asking women across the country to tell us--and the rest of the world--how incarceration has impacted our bodies, hearts, and minds. So that we will know how to end incarceration for ourselves, for our loved ones, for our communities, for good.
If you are a woman with an incarcerated or formerly incarcerated loved one, please tell us how incarceration has impacted you, you can take the survey here!

Woman as in cis, trans, genderqueer, genderfluid, or gender non-conforming all welcome and seen!

With an unprecedented 2+ million people living behind bars in the United States - 90% of them men - millions of women with incarcerated loved ones are left behind. Today 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 2 Black women has a family member in prison. These women face stigma and isolation and are regularly…

The privatization of probation continues. Surveillance provider sued for working with Baton Rouge, LA judge and sheriff'...
SPLC lawsuit: Racketeering scheme in Louisiana parish forced people jailed before trial to pay company for freedom

The privatization of probation continues. Surveillance provider sued for working with Baton Rouge, LA judge and sheriff's office to extort folks awaiting trial.
Follow the full story here:

People awaiting trial before a criminal court in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, were coerced into paying hundreds of dollars to a company before they were released from jail – even after they had paid their bail, according to a federal lawsuit filed last night by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Americ...

Director Ruben Austria with Malachi Garza of the W. Haywood Burns Institute strategizing on community reinvestment in Lu...

Director Ruben Austria with Malachi Garza of the W. Haywood Burns Institute strategizing on community reinvestment in Lucas County, OH. This strategic collaboration led to the Juvenile Court reinvesting $100,000 in a grassroots faith-based organization to provide Parent Navigators for families going through the juvenile justice system. CCFY's Executive

CCFY's Executive Director Ruben Austria with Malachi Garza of the W. Haywood Burns Institute strategizing on community reinvestment in Lucas County, OH. This strategic collaboration led to the Juvenile Court reinvesting $100,000 in a grassroots faith-based organization to provide Parent Navigators for families going through the juvenile justice system.


After discussing the similarities in the hell they catch from the police, courts, and even public school systems earlier this year, youth artists from Detroit, Chicago, and Milwaukee decided to use their art and voices as a tool for change by collaborating on a free, spoken word and Hip Hop mixtape entitled “Youth Fighting 4 Justice”.

The original songs tell true stories about young adults going through the justice system, being affected by the police state and the need for creative community alternatives. Check out the mixtape here and support the young folks who put this awesome project together!


!JOB OPENING! CJNY Community Engagement Organizer The W. Haywood Burns Institute (BI) is a national non-profit organizat...
Burns Institute | For Youth Justice, Fairness & Equity

!JOB OPENING! CJNY Community Engagement Organizer

The W. Haywood Burns Institute (BI) is a national non-profit organization based in Oakland, California. Our mission is to protect and improve the lives of youth and adults of color and the well-being of their communities by ensuring fairness and equity throughout the justice system.

BI uses a data-driven and collaborative approach to reducing racial and ethnic disparities by working with justice and community stakeholders to develop community alternatives to justice system involvement. Additionally, through the Community Justice Network for Youth (CJNY), BI supports communities in building capacity to hold child serving systems accountable and reduce the inappropriate use of the youth justice system for youth misbehavior. BI has worked in over 100 sites nationwide.
CJNY is a national network of 130 community based organizations working to improve the lives of system involved youth of color. CJNY staff serve these organizations through a variety of programs as well as work to integrate community stakeholders into juvenile justice reform efforts. CJNY includes 4 local “task forces” across the country. These Task Forces are comprised of CJNY member organizations organizing together to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in juvenile justice systems.
We are hiring a motivated, innovative, and versatile individual willing to work diligently to help us dismantle structural racism and promote equity in the youth and adult justice systems. The CJNY Community Engagement Network Organizer will have a specific focus on supporting community capacities within system reform intensive sites. The ideal canidate will need to possess skills in community organizing, youth development, facilitation, public speaking, and event planning.

Job Description
The CJNY Community Engagement Network Organizer is expected to work in multiple areas, including, but not limited to:

Community Engagement in BI Sites
•Train community stakeholders in BI system engagement strategies
•Train system stakeholders on BI community engagement strategies
•Utilize the BI’s data driven approach to connect system stakeholders and community based interventions
•Provide TA to BI site partners focused on sustaining community based interventions
•Identify resources to strengthen community based interventions in BI sites
•Track system and community based leadership across BI sites
•Track community engagement support requests across BI sites
•Engage all BI departments in supporting community engagement efforts in BI sites

Member Management & Sustainability
•Maintain consistent communication with CJNY member organizations, tracking requests and network exchange opportunities
•Design, carry out and document CJNY member site visits
•Provide materials and training to CJNY members on the utilization of BI curriculums, tools and technologies
•Assist in the planning and facilitation of local, state and regional CJNY gatherings
•Assist in the development of key alliances to enhance development opportunities for the CJNY membership

•Consistently document community engagement best practices in criminal and juvenile justice reform
•Produce articles for the bi-annual CJNY magazine
•Contribute content to CJNY social media sites

BI and CJNY Network Duties
•Attend BI internal meetings such as staff meetings and retreats
•Assist in BI program planning and strategic planning
•Publicly represent the Burns Institute and the CJNY via public speaking engagements, workshop presentations and trainings

The ideal candidate can demonstrate a strong commitment to racial justice and youth justice reform. The BI is open to considering applicants who are trained community organizers from various social change fields. Experience engaging stakeholders from a variety of political perspectives in joint work and managing large membership bases are of particular interest.

This position requires up to 60% travel.

The W. Haywood Burns Institute is an equal opportunity employer. Salary is dependent upon experience. The Burns Institute provides extensive benefits including fully paid health, medical, dental, vision, long-term disability insurance, Health Savings Plan (HSA), Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) and 401(k) retirement plan
People of color, women, LGBT people, formally incarcerated people, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Bi-lingual and bi-cultural candidates are particularly desired. No relocation funds are available. Very experienced candidates may apply to work remotely. Please visit our website to learn more about the Burns Institute at

How to Apply:
For applications to be complete please include:
• A letter of interest;
• Your resume;
• A minimum of three references; and
• A brief writing sample

Please send your complete applications to Executive Assistant & Office Manager, Hanâ Zait
[email protected]

Please use “Community Engagement Network Organizer” as the subject of your email. Only complete applications will be reviewed. It is preferred that all materials be submitted via email. If emailing is not possible, please send materials to: W. Haywood Burns Institute, 475 14th Street, Suite 800, Oakland, CA 94612 Attn: Hanâ Zait.

Hiring Timeline:
Virtual and in-person interviews are scheduled to begin May 22nd. We hope to have the position filled by close of June 2017.

Only candidates selected for interview will be contacted.


475 E 14th St
Oakland, CA

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00


(415) 321-4100


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