What is Community Capacity Building?

Community capacity building refers to efforts to strengthen the ability of local community organizations to support, serve and supervise young people with juvenile justice system involvement as a strategy for reducing reliance on youth incarceration.

Jurisdictions that engage in community capacity building build partnerships between system and community stakeholders to develop community-based alternatives to incarceration.

Community capacity building involves grassroots faith and community organizations in neighborhoods impacted by juvenile incarceration as primary stakeholders in efforts to keep youth out of the juvenile justice system and connect them to positive supports in their home communities.

Jurisdictions that participate in CCFY’s Community Capacity Building Process go through three phases:


Phase I: Assessment & System Analysis: assessment of a system’s community partnerships and its readiness for community capacity building; assessment of community partners and readiness to implement alternatives.

Phase II: System & Community Partnership Facilitation: a structured process in which system and community stakeholders plan an intervention together built on the strengths of local neighborhood faith and community organizations.

Phase III: Program Model Training & Implementation: training for community partners on implementing a specific program intervention to divert youth from deeper system involvement.

Jurisdictions that engage in community capacity building efforts with sustained, dedicated commitment to partnerships between system and community stakeholders can expect to see increased community capacity, which produces the following benefits:

  • More meaningful partnerships between system stakeholders and community members.
  • Improved family engagement and family participation in juvenile justice reform
  • An increase in community-based diversions and alternatives to incarceration for youth
  • A reduction in juvenile detention admissions and out-of-home placements.
  • A reduction in Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) and racial disparities
  • A decrease in juvenile recidivism and better long-term life outcomes for youth.

Click here for more on our Community Capacity Building Program.