Our Mission

RISE for Youth is a nonpartisan organization committed to dismantling the youth prison model and ensuring every space that impacts a young person’s life encourages growth and success. RISE promotes the creation of healthy communities and community-based alternatives to youth incarceration. Our work centers youth and their communities who together, challenge and dismantle racial and social injustice in Virginia.

Our Impact

Youth Prison Closures

Incarceration is not the answer for Virginia’s system-involved youth. Our youth don’t need prisons, they need wrap-around services and support available to them in their own communities. This is why RISE has worked tirelessly to close our state youth prisons and worked to fight against the construction of new facilities.

We shut down Beaumont Juvenile Correctional Center!

We stopped the construction of new juvenile correctional facilities in Chesapeake and Isle of Wight!

We are closing the Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center!

The Youth Development Academy

RISE For Youth’s Youth Development Academy is actively working towards decreasing youth incarceration and reducing referrals of youth to the juvenile justice system. ​The Academy aims to provide robust training, skill-building, and employment opportunities to youth who may not traditionally have access to such opportunities. ​By offering advocacy training, mentorship, community service, and internships, the Academy seeks to build career paths for youth and create healthier living environments for them and their families. ​ The ultimate goal is to reduce the number of youth engaged in the justice system and empower them to become strong advocates and community leaders.

Youth can apply for the Academy HERE

Read our Youth Development Academy impact paper HERE

Calling Young Adults 18-24!

RISE for Youth’s Youth Development Academy Application is live and accepting applicants for the class of 2024!

New Virginia Poll Results On Youth Justice Reform

After a year of pandemic, protests, and political strife, America’s divisions are clear, but a new survey reveals that reforming the youth justice system is an issue that brings Virginians together across education and ideological lines. The vast majority of Virginia residents support a range of reforms to the youth justice system designed to fundamentally shift focus and resources to prevention and rehabilitation instead of punishment and incarceration.

Linked here are key findings from a recent survey of 500 adults in the state of Virginia conducted by GBAO on behalf of the Youth First Initiative.

Latest News

Our Juneteenth block party was an enormous success!

Our Juneteenth celebration was an enormous success; we had over 300 people come out and support our youth out loud! The Keep Our Kids Free: Youth Talent Showcase lifted up youth singers, hip-hop artists, dance teams, mixed-media artists, and even a

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