Bridging justice from childhood to adulthood
Welcome to the new website of the Emerging Adult Justice Project (EAJP) at the Columbia Justice Lab. With the remarkable amount of activity in the burgeoning field of EAJ in just the last few years, we felt it was imperative that we find ways to share the knowledge in the field as widely as possible. With that in mind, as well as the realization that the EAJ Project has become a hub of much of this activity nationwide, we have created this website—including a new online library—for easy access to research articles, news stories and policy and practice innovations on this cutting-edge issue. We hope you find this website useful, and that you will contact us with suggestions for its improvement.
The fact that the U.S. has become a carceral state, with the highest incarceration rates in the world, has finally become more widely recognized in public discourse. But what is still often overlooked is that young people, especially poor youth of color, are bearing the brunt of mass incarceration. Emerging adults (18 – 25 year olds) are incarcerated at double their representation in the adult populace, have the highest recidivism rates of any age cohort, and suffer the worse racial disparities—with African American male emerging adults incarcerated at 7 to 9 times more than their white peers.
The EAJ Project is committed to creating fair, effective, and developmentally appropriate responses to young people who are swept up in our legal system, and, ultimately, to ensuring that our legal system eschews mass incarceration. We are pleased to share up-to-date information about our work and emerging adult justice developments around the country. We hope this resource can facilitate both more research as well as policy and practice innovations to inform and drive reforms.