Our Program

AFJ's services are 24/7 and comprehensive. Read about our successful model here!

Avenues for Justice (AFJ) was launched in the late 1970's as one of the first Alternative to Incarceration (ATI) programs for youth in the country. Formerly known as The Andrew Glover Youth Program, AFJ continues to provide services to over 600 youthful offenders and at-risk per year between the ages of 13 to 24. We provide youth with educational, vocational training, employment opportunities and wraparound social health services. Currently, just 4% of our youth are reconvicted over a three-year tracking period after enrollment. AFJ has had continuous Latinx / African-American leadership for over 40 years.

Our mission is:

  • Intervene to divert and reclaim young people from lives of crime.
  • Provide an overloaded court system a reliable alternative to incarceration.
  • Make Manhattan and all of New York City a safer place for everyone.

We have three levels of services: 

Type of Youth

Court Advocacy

In-depth Services & Education


1.     Youthful Offender




2.     Prevention Program - At-Risk Youth*




3.     Referrals - At-Risk Youth & Walk-Ins




*Our Youthful Offenders and At-Risk Youth in our Prevention program share the same classes and activities.


Court Advocacy: For most of our youthful offenders, this is their starting point with AFJ. Our staff assess them prior to trial and advocate to the judge to have them mandated to our services instead of detention or jail. Youth are then assigned to our Harlem or Lower East Side community centers and online services while AFJ’s court advocacy continues. In 2019, AFJ had 311 court outcomes - most were adjournments with deferred sentences. For more information, see our Philliber Report!


Re-connecting to school: Some youth quit school prior to graduation so Avenues for Justice re-enroll youth, and Court Advocates meet with their teachers to identify needs and help the youth stay engaged. Under COVID quarantine, AFJ helped youth transition to online study with the NYC Department of Education, including providing computers. 

Tutoring to stay in school: AFJ recruits volunteers to help tutor youth with their homework. During the quarantine we opened tutoring online and by phone.

Advancing to college: When youth obtain a diploma, AFJ works with them to enter college full- or part-time, providing college visits, SAT-prep, tutoring and help with applications and financial aid.


At our community centers, and now online, AFJ provides group sessions and workshops for creative writing, cooking and healthy expression. 


Staff stay on call 24/7 for mentoring and to handle crisis.


Under the COVID-19 quarantine, Avenues for Justice launched online job training with certification and will continue when we re-open: 

Digital literacy:  While we have computer labs at our two community centers, as we moved our services online under COVID closures, our youth needed more help.  We purchased phones and laptops so they could connect and launched an online Digital Literacy class with self-paced modules and certification for each topic completed. 

Job preparation:  Volunteers from First Republic Bank facilitate job preparation and job coaching via group remote conferencing. 

Construction safety training: NYC requires all construction workers to complete a 30-hour safety course from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  AFJ will launch online OSHA 30-hour construction safety classes in August - 13 have enrolled to date

Real estate sales: This online class is accessed via REBNY.  To date we have one youth enrolled. 

Food services: NYC requires every food establishment have at least one employee per shift who is certified in Food Handling. We will offer online certification training when available after the City reopens. 


Step 1 - Mentor our young adults:  Your staff can mentor via virtual conferencing platforms or by phone to describe their positions, their work life, answer questions, and help prepare our participants for a world of employment that’s been out of reach, via resume writing, mock interviews and skill development.

Step 2 - Internships:  AFJ will work with your company to create an internship agreement for the hours your organization needs, including work stipends

Step 3 - HIRE UP!  We hope that by getting to know our participants and assisting them in building awareness and skills that they could be hired for a full, or part-time job while receiving program support from Avenues for Justice and your company mentors.

SIGN UP FOR HIRE UP:  If you have a potential opportunity for one of our participants, or would like to learn more about our employment placement needs, please email our Manager of Court Advocacy, Gamal Willis at gwillis@avenuesforjustice.org.