Juvenile Justice Shared Agenda, Tools for Promoting Educational Success and Reducing Delinquency, National Association of State Directors of Special Education and National Disability Rights Network
In 2005, the National Association of State Directors of Special Education and the National Disability Rights Network hosted a meeting of professionals and national organizations to discuss the disproportionate number of youth with disabilities in the juvenile justice system. This meeting led to the creation of the Juvenile Justice Shared Agenda to address this over-representation of youth with disabilities.
The Juvenile Justice Shared Agenda published Tools for Promoting Educational Success and Reducing Delinquency to provide educators with best, emerging, and promising practices successfully implemented across the country that can be utilized to prevent students from referral to the juvenile justice system because of their behavior in school. The nine steps correspond with the developmental stages of youth and include: Pre-school Early Intervention: Birth Through Age 5; Universal Interventions; Targeted Interventions; Intensive Interventions; Transition from School to Post-School Activities; Children in the Child Welfare System; Court-Involved Youth; Youth in Juvenile Justice Facilities; and School Re-enrollment and Transition from Juvenile Justice Facilities. Each step was written by a separate work group of subject-matter experts.
Among the steps, Step 7: Court-Involved Youth, provides an overview of current programs addressing the personal and educational needs of youth with disabilities in the juvenile justice system. Step 8: Youth in Juvenile Justice Facilities provides tools to help juvenile justice facilities create successful educational programs that promote positive social, behavioral, and academic outcomes for youth. Step 9: School Re-enrollment and Transition from Juvenile Justice Facilities provides research, information, and resources to improve youths’ aftercare and community reintegration from confinement.
To accompany these tools, the Juvenile Justice Shared Agenda also published a white paper, School Leadership for Improving the Lives of Youth: Innovative Steps for Preventing Placements of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System, which discusses the issues related to the large number of students with disabilities in the juvenile justice system.