How Cross-Systems Collaboration Can Help Young People in the Justice System Achieve Improved Workforce Outcomes

Past Event
July 22, 2020, 2:00- 3:30pm

Hosted by The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center  

Perhaps no population is more at risk of being negatively affected by the economic impact of COVID-19 than youth and young adults in the justice system. As of May 2020, nearly 7.7 million American workers under age 30 were unemployed, and 3 million dropped out of the labor force in May. This means that nearly one in three young workers are disconnected from the labor force—by far the highest rate since the country started tracking unemployment almost 75 years ago. Further, as with many aspects of the justice system, these negative outcomes disproportionately affect communities of color. As of 2018, 18 percent of Black youth and young adults were disconnected from the workforce compared to 9 percent of White youth, and the unemployment rate for Black individuals with a record was 30 times higher than the national unemployment rate.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, justice systems, workforce development agencies, higher education institutions, and employers had begun to recognize the critical need to improve workforce development services for young people in the justice system and to collaborate to reduce systemic barriers to accessing needed services and supports. Continuing to meet the distinct needs of this population and ensuring they are not left behind during the economic recovery will require a targeted and cross-systems approach that involves partners from justice, education, labor, and service provider systems.

Representatives from the CSG Justice Center, the Department of Education, and the Department of Labor along with state-based education and workforce development leaders discuss how cross-systems collaboration can help effectively meet the workforce development and career and technical education needs of youth and young adults in the justice system. The webinar covers

  • Some of the top identified challenges facing jurisdictions seeking to implement improved workforce development services for youth and young adults in the justice system,
  • Best practices from leading jurisdictions, and
  • Concrete tools and resources from the federal government that exist to support jurisdictions in the implementation of economic development services.


  • Sean Addie, Director of Correctional Education, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education
  • Jennifer Kemp,  Director, Division of Youth Services, U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration
  • Heather Gay, Education Manager, Michigan Department of Corrections
  • Dyann Barrientos, Director of Operations, Garden Pathways
  • Jacob Agus-Kleinman, Policy Analyst, CSG Justice Center

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