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Juvenile corrections pp week 12

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Juvenile corrections pp week 12

  1. 1. CHAPTER FOURTEEN Educational Programs
  2. 2. Educational Programs• Frequent moves, truancy, inconsistent parenting, and a lack of parental support for education and physical or psychological disabilities or substance abuse make it difficult for students to succeed in community schools• They must provide these youth with an educational program that best meets their needs in classroom settings that leave much to be desired• Teachers often have inadequate resources and very high rates of turnover• Educational experiences should facilitate improvement and growth, not simply repeat earlier school experiences• Students placed in correctional classrooms experience a much higher level of learning and behavior problems, oftentimes unidentified in their prior K-12 classroom• Male juvenile offenders have lower academic skills than female juvenile offenders
  3. 3. Education Staff in Youth Corrections• Educators often come to the field of youth corrections prepared as elementary school teachers or subject matter teachers – this preparation proves inadequate• Many do not consider life-long careers in the field - they are only there until a better job comes along, making turnover rates very high• Correctional educators need to learn how to adapt the curriculum and how to maintain their own educational excellence in the environment of a juvenile facility• A juvenile facility educator “develops, implements, supports, coordinates, researches, and assesses educational programs for students in juvenile correctional facilities emphasizing the creation of a safe, secure and supportive educational environment• It is essential for a correctional teacher to have a sense of humor, not to take oneself too seriously, have interests outside of work, and continue to learn and study so that the difficult environment does not make one jaded and disinterested
  4. 4. Training for Educators in Juvenile Corrections• Educators come to corrections with licensure in elementary education, secondary education, special education, or with vocational certificates• They rarely, if ever, have been trained to work in the environment in which they find themselves• A system of pre-and in-service training must be developed to facilitate skills in teaching in a correctional environment• For most K-12 public schools, the emphasis for instruction is on knowledge, skills, and attitudes – consistent with child development• With juvenile youth, a different approach is needed – they need a curriculum that first emphasizes attitudes, and then skills, and knowledge• Correctional educators must understand that these students have had life experiences that they bring to the classroom or clinical setting• Correctional educators also need to adapt the curriculum to the student and the environment and not simply repeat instructional strategies that were not successful the first time around
  5. 5. Special Education Teachers and Related Services Provision• Youth correctional facilities often have difficulty hiring qualified special education personnel• This is an area of shortage for community schools, so the two systems are often competing for those same professionals• It does take some time to become accustomed to working in an institutional environment and turnover rates of juvenile justice staff members are high during the first year• Related services in special education include counseling, speech services, occupational therapy, and physical therapy• Correctional schools often do a poor job of providing the appropriate services because they are unsuccessful in hiring and keeping qualified specialists, many of whom are very marketable• Some places have developed some innovative ways to overcome constraints – such as having a traveling team of professional working at several school sites, hiring public school professional to come in after their regular workday, or contracting with local agencies to provide services• There is a significant problem with collaboration between agencies and disciplines• Outside agencies are often reluctant to work with an institutional population or to provide quality services after a youth’s release
  6. 6. Educational Programs in Youth Corrections• The school programs offered in juvenile schools feature academic and career exploration• Schools may take many forms: classes held in (a) alternative settings managed by the community school system; (b) the local juvenile hall; (c) state correctional schools; and (d) alternative settings once a youth is released and often follows the K-12 public school model, centering on hour-long academic courses with movement between classes• These programs often focus on prevocational skills development and adult education models rather than vocational training and high school degrees• There has been very little research about the programs that are available , what programs are effective, and the quality of instruction• 83% of facilities screened all residents for grade level prior to the end of their first week• Some facilities almost administered written tests (70%), or conducted an education-related interview with an education specialist (62%), intake counselor (43%), or guidance counselor (27%)• 89% of facilities reported that at least some youth in their facility attended school• Residents in smaller facilities were less likely to attend school than youth living in larger institutions• Most facilities also offer special education services (79%) and GED preparation (70%) and some provided vocational or technical education (38%) and post-high school education (25%)• There is no assessment of the quality of these programs
  7. 7. Complying with No Child Left Behind• The Improving Teacher Quality aspect of the legislation requires that educators be highly qualified in the subjects that they teach• Many correctional educators, however, teach three or four subjects and would have to take years of additional coursework in order to meet the requirements• Correctional education administrators are faced with a no-win situation – if they support the needed staff training to comply with NCLB, as they must by law, they are faced with the likelihood that they will lose this teacher to the K- 12 system Programs for Juveniles with Disabilities in Corrections• Education of All Handicapped Children Act (EHA) in 1975• Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) of 2004 and 2007• The number of students in juvenile corrections with identifiable disabilities is much higher than in the community population• K-12 schools report between 11% and 13% of the school population possesses educational disabilities, while incarcerated populations is from 30% to 70%• 33.4% of youth in correctional schools had some type of disability
  8. 8. Disability Categories in Juvenile Corrections• 13 categories of disabilities identified by the IDEA legislation are all reflected among juveniles• The most frequently occurring are “The Big Three”: specific learning disabilities, mental retardation, and emotional disturbance• There are also juvenile offenders with oppositional defiant disorder, autism, those who are deaf and hard of hearing, and those who are visually impaired• Correctional systems sometimes have difficulty providing appropriate services for these residents• Residents with specific learning disabilities (SLD) often do not appropriately understand social situations• A significant challenge is that misreading social cues in a correctional facility may lead to problems with security staff or dangerous consequences with other youth• It can be a matter of life and death to misinterpret an interaction with other wards in the institution• Residents with learning disabilities should be given special consideration when they are placed in housing units.
  9. 9. Services to Students with Disabilities• One of the challenges with special education implementation is the availability of programs and not all children with special needs are served• The EHA and IDEA require that special education services be provided and cannot be limited because of financial constraints• School districts must actively attempt to locate and serve eligible special needs students through a process called Child Find, where school systems must actively search for student who need special education and do not simply wait until a student or parent comes forward to request special help• Students in any setting are eligible for special education, including custodial facilities• Once a student is identified for special services, the development of an educational plan specific to that child’s individual student needs must be developed• This Individualized Education Plan (IEP) has strict guidelines and timelines for service delivery and a built-in process of reevaluation• Students with special needs required extra help in transitioning from the school to community led to requirements for transition programming before leaving the school environment
  10. 10. Free Appropriate Public Education• Requires that proper education and related services be provided to each student identified as eligible for special education services• Students in special or restrictive housing are often not provided appropriate education• Student may receive reduced or no educational service• The movement makes continuity of services very difficult• A particular problem is providing the total amount of service indicated on the student plan, which may be caused by employees absences, competition for student time, or school closures• Disruptions such as the following in an educational program make it difficult for the youth to stay engaged in his studies: • Class being routinely canceled when teaching staff are sick/on vacation • Over six months, an average of 27% of classes were closed • Class cancellations due to security issues, teacher absences, and lack of available substitute teachers
  11. 11. Parental Involvement• Corrections agencies must have parental consent to evaluate a student for special education, for IEP development, and for any changes in program, however, some systems are not rigorous in efforts to find the natural parent or legal guardian• It can be difficult to find parents because they may be incarcerated or not involved in the youth’s life• Unless parental rights have been removed legally, attempts must be made to find parents• When the efforts to find a natural parent or legal guardian have been exhausted, a surrogate parent must be appointed• A student may serve as his or her own parents after the age of 18 years and can then sign themselves out of special education if they wish to
  12. 12. Least Restrictive Environment• Students with special education needs will not be educated in environments that are more restrictive than their non-disabled peers• As long as students with disabilities within the institution are not housed in more restrictive environments than other correctional students because of their disability, the obligation of LRE has been met• Where this continues to be a problem is for students with mental illnesses or severe emotional disturbances – the behaviors exhibited by this group often place them in more restrictive housing units and educational opportunities are often limited in these settings• Students with severe mental illnesses may need to concentrate on therapeutic efforts rather than formal educational experiences for a period of time Confidentiality of Records• Corrections may overlay its procedures to the point that access is restricted to youth correctional educators who should read these records• Public schools often are not forthcoming with student records• Youth corrections often have to wait a long time for records and, in some cases, K-12 public schools do not recognize correctional schools as real schools, so they are unwilling to submit records
  13. 13. Timelines• Corrections systems commonly fail in meeting timelines for special education implementation• Special education requirements, by both federal and state statutes, have clear timelines for when evaluation, identification, IEP program development, and services must be accomplished• Timelines were developed so schools would not drag its feet because of expense or the lack of services Assessment and Evaluation• Assessment for eligibility for special education and progress in the program often is not comprehensive in youth corrections• Inappropriate assessment materials may be used• When a student is identified and the educational program is developed, the services articulated may be influenced by the knowledge of what services are available at the sites instead of the actual needs of the residents Continuum of Educational Placements• Requires that students be provided those services needed to meet individual needs in the most appropriate setting• The student is required to be served in the environment least restrictive to meet his or her specific educational needs• When considering low incidence disabilities such as services for the deaf or visually impaired, providing qualified educational and support staff becomes even more difficult
  14. 14. Community Transition• Transition services, in spite of being one of the most important efforts for the correctional student, remain poorly implemented in many systems• Rather than preparing students for a postsecondary education or employment setting, correctional facilities often need to prepare incarcerated juveniles for return to their respective community settings, and possibly prepare them to return to their respective public education setting• The school in the institution usually is not funded to provide any kind of transition service beyond a short prerelease program required for all residents• Transition services are generally considered a function of the custodial or casework staff• Indicators that leas to success after release: planning prior to release, an emphasis on community member support, follow-up educational services, and recognition of differences in gender needs
  15. 15. Promising Programs in Youth Corrections• Most days, students in youth corrections attend classes and have the opportunity to change their lives through education• There is a growing body of research that demonstrates the effectiveness of educational programs in juvenile corrections• Participation in correctional education is one of the main indicators of success after release• The more the student participates in education, the less likely he or she is to return to the institution• Education provide s one of the most significant opportunities for change and this change also extends into the community• Nine elements of successful programs: • Pedagogy/andragogy  Vocational education  Technology • Social education  Cultural education  Inclusion • Access to libraries  Administrative organizational structure • Shared responsibility for decision making

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