This policy brief discusses four state approaches to reentry programs for students with disabilities in the juvenile justice system. The publication provides an overview and background about reentry and explains federal supports to support successful reentry. The purpose of reentry programs and recommended reentry strategies are discussed. Case specific examples of reentry programs in Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, and Oregon are highlighted.
Promising Resources, Policies, and Practices
Goal 2: Adult Support
Goal 5: Quality Education in Facilities
Goal 6: Supportive School Environments
Goal 9: Smooth Transitions
FosterEd, an initiative of the National Center for Youth Law, has been working to close the achievement gap for students in foster care since 2005. It has project sites in Arizona, California, Indiana, and New Mexico. Independent evaluations of FosterEd’s work in Arizona and California indicate that FosterEd has helped students in foster care reach educational goals, such as improved attendance and higher grade point averages. In 2014, FosterEd began expanding the initiative to also serve youth in the juvenile justice system.
Project RISE implements re-entry practices for youth with disabilities residing in the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections, including intensive educational and vocational programming that follows Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and Individualized Transition Plan (ITP) goals; development of a Transition Portfolio for all youth with disabilities, and individualized aftercare and community supports after release.
ADTP was a 4-year model demonstration project to assure the seamless transfer of youth with disabilities and their education records across public schools, detention centers, community and employment agencies, and corrections. Funded by the U.S.
Merging Two Worlds (M2W) is a life skills and transition-based curriculum for secure-care populations. The curriculum is focused on resiliency because it is critical to successful reintegration into the community. The curriculum emphasizes student leadership and initiative to create life plans while allowing flexibility and tailoring to individual student needs, strengths, and weaknesses. M2W includes: career assessments, career preparation, transition planning, life planning and teacher resources.
The goal of juvenile detention education in Arizona is to provide an education program for all school-age youth detained in the respective county juvenile detention facilities that is compatible with public school education goals and requirements, pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute §15-913. The statute assigns responsibility for juvenile detention education to the county, and stipulates that the County School Superintendent and the Presiding Juvenile Court Judge shall agree on the method of delivery of the education program in the juvenile detention facilities.
The TJST program is a collaborative effort between the Maricopa County Education Service Agency, Juvenile Probation Department, Adult Probation Department, Sherriff’s Office, Regional School District, and the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections. The program aims to increase the number of juveniles who are successfully reintegrated into the community through coordinated transition support which will ultimately reduce recidivism and costs to the adult and juvenile detention and jail facilities.