The John Jay College Institute for Justice and Opportunity is committed to driving lasting systems and institutional change that support and sustain pathways to higher education and meaningful careers for people impacted by the criminal legal system. Our Special Projects portfolio leverages the Institute’s position within the City University of New York (CUNY) to support current and prospective CUNY students with criminal legal system by building relationships across CUNY to eliminate policies and practices that create barriers to higher education at CUNY, and to serve as a resource to our partners who aspire to better support students impacted by the criminal legal system at their campuses.
Our Special Projects portfolio consists of two main areas: the CUNY Justice Learning Collaborative and Navigator Barriers to Opportunity work.
The Institute convenes and facilitates the CUNY Justice Learning Collaborative: a cross-university community of CUNY faculty, staff, administrators, and students committed to creating a more equitable and accessible university for students impacted by the criminal legal system.
The Institute fights to eliminate higher education and employment policy barriers and improve practices that limit opportunities for students impacted by the criminal legal system. Our work involves supporting in understanding and navigating barriers related to background checks, employment, and professional or occupational licensure, and educating college and university personnel on supporting students in navigating these processes. This work includes but is not limited to developing tools, guides, and publications for decision-makers and directly impacted people; collecting and sharing resources; and building relationships with college and university, government, and elected officials.