School Justice Project (SJP) is dedicated to using special education law to ensure that older court-involved students with disabilities can access education. SJP’s attorneys work directly with their clients through individual representation and advocacy programs to protect and enforce special education rights. Through access to counsel, court-involved students ages 17-22 can access their rights to education, both during incarceration and throughout reentry.
District of Columbia
Promising Resources, Policies, and Practices
Goal 2: Adult Support
Goal 5: Quality Education in Facilities
Goal 9: Smooth Transitions
Goal 10: Protect Especially Vulnerable Youth
The office of the State Superintendent of Education, the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) , and the District of Columbia Public Schools entered into a memorandum of agreement to improve educational outcomes for youth committed to DYRS. The MOA includes an agreement between DYRS and the DCPS to plan for student discharge from DYRS.
The Maya Angelou academy is a charter school located within the New Beginnings Youth Development Center and serves students who have been adjudicated. The curriculum is aligned with standards for the District of Columbia and divided into one-month units for which students are given 1/8th of a credit for each unit. Each classroom consists of 10-15 students with two instructors per room. The curriculum is designed specifically to aid students in overcoming challenges to learning.
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education, the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS), and the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) entered into a memorandum of agreement to improve educational outcomes for youth committed to DYRS. The MOA includes an agreement between DYRS and the DCPS to plan for student discharge from DYRS.
Courts in Washington, DC may appoint attorneys to handle the special education matters of children in neglect and delinquency matters. Special Education attorneys must be well-trained and informed regarding the procedural and substantive law and cognizant of the psycho-social issues which may be impacting their clients. In DC, the right to special education extends to and in some cases beyond the 22nd birthday. In those instances Special Education attorneys may be appointed in criminal cases or other cases outside the jurisdiction of the Family Court.