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Pennsylvania

Promising Resources, Policies, and Practices

Goal 1: Youth Voice

Reentry MythBuster About Education Technology in Juvenile Facilities: Many Juvenile Correctional Facilities Have Successfully Integrated Technology to Broaden Educational Programming

A Reentry Myth Buster, authored by the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, is a fact sheet intending to clearly explain federal policies that affect justice-involved individuals and their families. This document dispels the myth that juvenile justice facilities must compromise security and safety to expand youth access to technology.

Juvenile Law Center, Understanding FERPA: Sharing Education Records of Children in the Juvenile Justice System, Juvenile Law Center (2014)

A publication of the Juvenile Law Center explores how education records can be responsibly shared with juvenile justice staff under one relevant federal law, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The publication provides an overview of FERPA and a description of the provisions most pertinent to information-sharing with the juvenile justice system. Its appendix also provides examples of state authorizations of FERPA that may affect juvenile justice involved youth. 

Academic and Career/Technical Training Alliance (PACTT)

PACTT, which began as a project of the PA Council of Chief Juvenile Probation Officers and is now run through the PA Department of Human Services, seeks to align residential academic and career/technical programming with state standards and local graduation requirements as well as encourage the adoption of best practices aimed at accelerating remediation and credit recovery. PACTT encourages facilities to improve career and technical training for youth through technical skills training, entry-level certifications, soft skill development, and subsidized job experiences.

Loysville Youth Development Center International Computer Driving License

The Loysville Development Center, a secure juvenile facility in Pennsylvania, offers online training courses through the International Computer Driving License program. The ICDL is a certification program consisting of several modules that provide users with the skills necessary to be a proficient user of a computer and common computer applications – such as computer essentials, word processing, and online essentials. Youth have access to the program outside of the classroom during evening study hours, to supplement what they were able to accomplish during the school day.

Juveniles for Justice, Youth Engagement at Juvenile Law Center

Juvenile Law Center works with an annual “class” of youth who have been involved in the juvenile justice system and facilitates their efforts to become advocates for other justice-involved youth. The group meets weekly and works on an annual project of their choosing. Staff assists the youth in research, putting together publications, videos, and presentations. The youth are also connected to important policymakers who can implement changes to the system. Some projects concentrate on educating other young people about their rights and the opportunities available to them.

Loysville Youth Development Center

The PA Loysville Youth Development Center offers a curriculum that is aligned with PDE state standards for public schools and a full complement of educational programming that may lead to a high school diploma, GED or career/technical endorsements. Youth are pretested and reassessed throughout their time at the Loysville Youth Development Center. Each student has an individual learning plan and the goal of programming is to ensure that youth are best prepared for successful transition back to the community.

Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Requiring Judges to Address Education Issues and Appoint Educational Decision Makers

Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Court Procedural Rules governing delinquency cases require the juvenile court to make findings “to ensure the stability and appropriateness of the juvenile’s education.” Pa. Juv. Ct. P. R. 512(D)(6). They also allow the court to order a social study to address the educational needs of the youth. Pa. Juv. Ct. P. R. 513(A).

Educational Aftercare & Reintegration Toolkit for Juvenile Justice Professionals, Education Law Center

In 2005-2006 juvenile justice professionals throughout the state of Pennsylvania were assessed to determine their aftercare practices; they listed education barriers as a top concern. The Education Law Center developed the toolkit to assist youth in the transition from a juvenile justice facility to a traditional school.

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