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Issue Brief: Juvenile Justice and Jobs (August 16, 2010)

Monday, August 16, 2010
Youth Employment and Workforce Development

How DYRS is helping young people get jobs, learn job-related skills, and prepare for careers

Youth employment and public safety

Along with schooling and having relationships with caring adults, having a job can serve as a critical protective factor that helps young people leave delinquency behind them, and can help improve the safety of the whole community. Research in Washington, D.C. has shown that when youth unemployment rates go down so do youth referrals to the juvenile justice system. Studies that have compared the unemployment rates of states have found that, places with more people working experience less crime than places where joblessness persists.3 Youth in the juvenile justice system have significant unmet job training needs: most of the young people who end up in D.C.’s juvenile justice system are from and are returning to neighborhoods that have the highest unemployment rates in the city.

Over the last five years, the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) has refocused its mission to help connect young people to workforce development, employment and educational opportunities, and engage them in activities for job preparedness, a job or a career, and to engage as a productive citizen in our local economy.