On Friday, December 2, the Department of Education released guidance and resources on assisting young people juvenile justice placement in their transition back to traditional school settings. The assistance includes:
- a guide is written for incarcerated youth;
- a newly updated transition toolkit and resource guide for practitioners in juvenile justice facilities;
- a document detailing education programs in juvenile justice facilities from the most recent Civil Rights Data Collection;
- a website that provides technical assistance to support youth with disabilities with transitioning out of juvenile justice facilities.
Education Secretary John King Jr. said, “It is in the interest of every community to help incarcerated youth who are exiting the juvenile justice system build the skills they need to succeed in college and careers and to become productive citizens. Unfortunately, many barriers can prevent justice-involved youth from making a successful transition back to school. We want to use every tool we have to help eliminate barriers for all students and ensure all young people can reach their full potential.”
According to the Department more than 50,000 young people under the age of 21 are confined in juvenile justice facilities on any given day across the U.S. and for many of these young people barriers can prevent these youth from transitioning back to school. A quarter of these youth drop out of school within six months, and only 15 percent of released ninth-graders graduate from high school in four years. Almost half of all youth released from juvenile justice facilities return to confinement within three years.
In publishing the information, the Administration said that the initiatives build off of recommendations from the Federal Interagency Reentry Council and the President’s My Brother’s Keeper Task Force, which have both emphasized the importance of helping justice-involved youth transition back to traditional school settings.