Young New Yorkers

What is Young New Yorkers?


Young New Yorkers is a nonprofit organization that provides arts-focused programming for young people who become arrested in New York City, as an alternative to more punitive sanctions. Since our inaugural program 2012,  more than 1,400 young people have graduated from our Restorative Art Diversion (RAD) programs.

Who is eligible, and who can refer participants to the program?


Young people arrested in New York City between the ages of 14–25. YNY accepts referrals from judges, defense attorneys, prosecutors, and the NYPD via Project Reset. YNY works with Criminal Court and Family Court throughout the five boroughs.

How do I make a referral?

To make a referral, please email programs@youngnewyorkers.org the following information for each young person:

  • Full Legal Name

  • Date of Birth

  • Contact Details: Phone number and/or email address 

  • Full Address (incl. zip code)

  • Charge Information and Court Date (if applicable) 

  • Guardian Information (optional): Name, Phone, Email Address

What happens after a referral is made?


A Young New Yorkers staff member will reach out to the young person to describe the program and schedule them for their session(s). YNY can typically enroll participants in a program within a week of referral. 


What’s the program like?


The program is designed to let participants reflect upon their recent choices (including those that led to their arrest) and choices that they would like to make in the future. We use art to help participants connect with their future goals, and to consider their places in their communities. 

What happens to the case after the program?


Young New Yorkers Restorative Art Diversion (RAD) programs allow young people to exit the criminal legal system, have their cases dismissed and sealed, and avoid a lifelong criminal record. Graduates of Young New Yorkers RAD Programs are invited to join our community for opportunities for further engagement, including paid leadership training and mentoring opportunities, as well as community and cultural events.

To make a referral to YNY follow this link to our referral intake form or email programs@youngnewyorkers.org