Research Projects

NYU Blueprints for Progressive Change in Juvenile Justice

About NYU Blueprints for Progressive Change in Juvenile Justice

Children face profound and predictable disparities in their encounters with the legal system. Eliminating these disparities, and accompanying social inequality, requires innovative, multidisciplinary, and responsive solutions – solutions that bridge education, mental health, public safety, child welfare, and the law.

NYU Blueprints for Progressive Change in Juvenile Justice involves faculty working across disciplinary boundaries to address these disparities. In collaboration with policy and practice leaders, we develop and test research-based solutions to create meaningful and long-lasting change in the lives of children and their families.

Blueprints is co-sponsored by NYU’s Institute of Human Development and Social Change (IHDSC) and Strategies to Reduce Inequality (SRI) initiative, and advances NYU’s mission to leverage rigorous scholarship toward social impact. If you are interested in Blueprints, please contact Chris Barker, Assistant Director, Program Development, IHDSC (cjb241@nyu.edu) and Jayson Jones, Research Coordinator, SRI (jayson.jones@nyu.edu).

NYU Schools:

  • Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
  • Arts & Science
  • School of Medicine
  • School of Law
  • Silver School of Social Work

NYU Faculty Members:

Amanda Geller is Clinical Associate Professor of Sociology at New York University. Her research examines the intersection of criminal justice and social inequality, with a focus on policing and incarceration. In addition to her academic publications, her research has been presented before a variety of policy audiences. 

C. Cybele Raver is Deputy Provost at NYU. She provides university-wide leadership for strengthening NYU’s position among top-tier Research I institutions of higher education. Dr. Raver also provides oversight of key provostial initiatives involving faculty, research, and graduate student affairs. Prior to joining the Provost’s Office, Dr. Raver served as inaugural director of NYU’s Institute of Human Development and Social Change (IHDSC). As a behavioral social scientist trained in psychology and public policy, Raver played a key role in fostering interdisciplinary research at NYU through the IHDSC.

Christopher Branson is Assistant Professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine. His research focuses on the link between trauma exposure and juvenile justice involvement and the role of evidence-based, trauma-informed care in supporting youth and families involved in the justice system. He provides training and consultation on trauma-informed practices to juvenile justice agencies across the city and in several states.

Elise Cappella is Director of NYU’s Institute of Human Development and Social Change and Associate Professor of Applied Psychology at NYU. Her scholarship examines and promotes mental health and academic achievement among students in school and out-of-school settings. In partnership with community and policy agencies, she studies school climate, teaching practices, peer relationships, and social-behavioral interventions that influence the learning and development of students experiencing risk due to poverty and/or behavioral problems.

Erin Godfrey is Associate Professor of Applied Psychology at NYU’s Steinhardt School. Her research examines how individuals interact with, understand, and are influenced by the systems in which they are embedded, including schools, juvenile justice settings and other social service contexts. She explores how individuals perceive and justify social and economic systems and hierarchies, the psychological consequences of these inequalities and ways to counteract adverse effects. She also uses these perspectives to describe and improve upon contexts of social service delivery.

Michael Lindsey is Executive Director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research and the Constance and Martin Silver Professor of Poverty Studies at NYU’s Silver School of Social Work. He is a child and adolescent mental health intervention services researcher whose work focuses on children with depressive disorders and the provision of school based mental health services. He specializes in engagement factors that improve connections to treatment among vulnerable youth with serious psychiatric illnesses.  

Natasha M. Strassfeld is Assistant Professor of Special Education in the Department of Teaching and Learning at NYU Steinhardt. Her research examines the ways in which parents navigate the special education and accommodations process via legal and policy mechanisms, racial/ethnic disparities in how students are (mis)identified for special education placements and services, and special education and related services within the juvenile justice setting. She obtained her J.D. from University of Wisconsin School of Law and Ph.D. in Special Education from The Pennsylvania State University.

Shabnam Javdani is Associate Professor of Applied Psychology at New York University. The overarching goal of her scholarship is to understand and reduce the development of inequality-related mental health and legal problems and study community and institutional responses to these complex challenges. Her research hopes to identify meaningful solutions, with a focus on promoting equality for underserved families, girls, women, and gender-expansive individuals.

Vincent Southerland is Executive Director of the NYU Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law. Prior to joining NYU's School of Law in 2017, he was a state and federal public defender, and a Senior Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF). His work there included the successful representation of children sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.