A high percentage of incarcerated teenagers have emotional and health issues that impair their ability to learn. Many have been victims of physical or sexual abuse. For these teenagers, education, rehabilitation, and reentry programs offer not so much a second chance at a decent adult life, but a first chance.

The Robert F. Kennedy Juvenile Justice Collaborative works with the Robert F. Kennedy Children's Action Corps to shape federal programs that support young people during and after their incarceration, so that they can exit their sentences healthier, better educated, and with a sense of personal and moral integrity.

Working jointly with Department of Justice and Department of Education, Robert F. Kennedy Juvenile Justice has gathered insight and information on how to improve federal programs for incarcerated youth, convening over 100 community leaders and experts from the education, justice, and youth advocacy fields.

The policy recommendations that grew from this networked research were endorsed by 128 organizations, including the National Education Association, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and the American Probation and Parole Association.