Sarah Bryer, executive director of the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) since its inception in 2005, recently announced that she is leaving her position and parting ways with the juvenile justice reform organization.
With thirty years in the juvenile and criminal justice systems, Bryer is a true veteran that will be seeking to bring her expertise and experience elsewhere.
She was hired to lead NJJN in Washington, D.C. at the time of its founding after six years working as director of policy and planning at the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES) in New York, where she helped the organization serve more than 10,000 misdemeanor and felony-level court-involved youth and adults per year.
Prior to her time with CASES, she spent two years at the Center for Court Innovation, also in New York, where she was responsible for founding the Bronx and Queens drug courts. She would then become manager of youth program planning and lead the initiation of one of New York City’s first Youth Courts, in Brooklyn.
Before her career in the Northeast, Bryer lived and worked in California. She attended Stanford University, earning a bachelor’s degree in public policy before gaining admittance to Harvard University.
She would obtain a master’s degree in public policy and then join the workforce in San Francisco at the Community Boards & Victim-Offender Reconciliation Program, working for four years as restorative justice mediator for court-involved youth. Before making her move to New York, Bryer also worked for the California Appellate Project as an appellate investigator for death row inmates.
Bryer, in a letter about her departure, spoke of her time at NJJN and what comes next: “As I step down, I know that I am leaving NJJN in a strong place with the ability to vigorously and imaginatively tackle the challenges that face us… I’m eager to see the avenues that new leadership at NJJN will explore in our pursuit of justice. My three decades of work to transform our justice systems will not end with my departure from NJJN.”
Sarah Bryer released this letter announcing her departure on May 16. NJJN is currently accepting applications and conducting a search for a new executive director.