Civic Justice Corps

In the Civic Justice Corps (CJC), formerly incarcerated and court-involved youth reconnect with their community and find pathways to success through service. Service is the center of a model that includes formal working partnerships with justice agencies, employers, and other community agencies; individual case management and intensive services; lifeskills development, education, and employment preparation—and meaningful service projects.

Multiple sites across the country have incorporated CJC principals into their programs, reaching young people who accepted the challenge to serve—and the opportunity to turn their lives around. CJC Corpsmembers improve their communities by planting trees in bare urban landscapes, weatherizing the homes of their low-income neighbors, replacing sidewalks on dilapidated streets, and installing green roofs on city government buildings. CJC’s remarkable effectiveness is a tribute to these youth and the people who work with them.

The Civic Justice Corps Initiative is supported by the Open Society Foundations, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and The Corps Network. While The Corps Network is not currently operating a Civic Justice Corps program, our Postsecondary Education Success Initiative has made a concerted effort to enroll a percentage of participants who have been formerly incarcerated. The U.S. Department of Laborhas also recently funded Civic Justice Corps programs.

A pilot of the Civic Justice Corps program produced overwhelmingly positive outcomes at 14 sites:

559 enrolled
436 formerly/currently incarcerated
47.1% received GED/high school diploma
79.0% placement in job/education
72.2% retention in job/education placements
10.2% recidivism (prevailing rate: 50 - 70%)