The Institute’s Youth Councils Leader Krystal Writes

Two years ago this week, former Gov. Chris Christie announced the closure of two of New Jersey’s youth prisons. Two years later, they remain open. Based on my personal experience, this is unacceptable.

I was what they call a dual-system kid. In the world of youth justice, that means I spent time in both a youth detention center and foster care. As you can imagine, it wasn’t an easy journey from those dark days to my life today as a 26-year-old full-time social worker.

My success wasn’t inevitable. So many kids who get caught up in the criminal justice system never find their way back, so it’s important to me now to use the lessons I’ve learned to fix a broken system that fails so many of our vulnerable youth.