Home News Center Rapid Response: June Spotlight on NJJN COVID-19 Mini Grant Fund

Rapid Response: June Spotlight on NJJN COVID-19 Mini Grant Fund

June 29, 2021

Last year, the youth justice advocacy community responded to the COVID-19 public health crisis by advocating to ensure incarcerated youth received the necessary protections and pushing for the 
decarceration of correctional facilities across the country. The National Juvenile Justice Network was proud to directly invest in advocacy efforts to protect justice-involved youth during the pandemic throughout our COVID-19  Rapid Response Mini-Grant Fund, which awarded 20 $1,000 grants to NJJN members.  

We are proud to report that our COVID-19 mini-grants supported the direct needs of youth and their families while also advocating for transformational changes that can ensure the rights and safety of system-impacted youth are always protected, even during a public health crisis.   

Recipients of the $1,000 grants have used the funding for projects as varied as:   

  • Purchasing tablets to help facilitate communication between family and youth where visitation was halted due to the pandemic;  

  • Providing stipends to youth advocates who are using their voices to push for systemic youth justice changes and release of incarcerated youth;  

  • Providing school supplies and laptops for system-involved youth going back to school;  

  • Providing transition packages for youth released during the pandemic including low-cost cell phones, grocery store gift cards and masks;  

  • And much more.

Over the past few months, we have highlighted a sampling of the work being done by our members with funds from the COVID-19 Rapid Response Mini Grant Program. This month, we take a look at the final sampling of work done by Advocates for Children and YouthCitizens for Juvenile JusticeColorado Juvenile Defender CenterEducation Justice AllianceJuvenile Justice InitiativeMichigan Center for Youth Justice and Team Child 

  • Advocates for Children and Youth - Grant funds used to support youth justice advocacy collaboration efforts with CLIA Youth. 

  • Citizens for Juvenile Justice - Grant funds used to support data collection to determine the needs and concerns of youth regarding their confinement and any planning happening regarding their return to the community. 

  • Colorado Juvenile Defender Center - Grant funds used to provide emergency supplies for youth clients including computers, school supplies and infant supplies for recent mothers. 

  • Education Justice Alliance - Grant funds used to support a COVID-19 mutual aid fund, which helped purchase food, cover internet fees, and support rent and utilities for Black and Latinx youth. 

  • Juvenile Justice Initiative - Grant funds used to support advocacy to eliminate pretrial detention of youth during the COVID-19 pandemic in Illinois. 

  • Michigan Center for Youth Justice - Grant funds used to purchase grocery store gift cards for 10 families impacted by the collection of juvenile court fines and fees. 

  • Team Child - Grant funds used to purchase a staff computer and training that supports pro bono assistance to youth incarcerated under an adult sentence.  

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