Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress released a new report examining the administration and state of educational supports for students in the juvenile justice system as well as what supports exist to help students transitioning out of detention. The report includes a 50-state analysis of which entities govern education for students in juvenile detention, whether there is a clear education continuum for students entering and exiting juvenile detention, and who governs the aftercare process to reintegrate students. The report’s findings also draw from discussions with incarcerated students detailing their experiences during the pandemic and providing feedback on the supports they need for a successful transition from detention to their communities. These conversations revealed that changing learning environments, a lack of mental health supports, and weak connections between detention facilities and the schools they returned to complicated efforts to ensure that their needs were met—increasing the risk of recidivism.
To address these challenges, the report includes recommendations for policymakers to support students transitioning from the juvenile detention back to schools in their communities, including how state and local education agencies can utilize funds provided by Congress under the American Rescue Plan to advance these efforts.
“To slow the spread of COVID-19, many juvenile detention facilities released students, and courts were discouraged from detaining additional youth. This increased the number of justice-involved students returning to their communities and underscores the need to invest in their successful reentry to the classroom. This report identifies key challenges standing in the way of that effort and offers urgent recommendations for policymakers to support justice-involved students in their moment of greatest need,” said Bayliss Fiddiman, associate director for K-12 Education Policy at CAP and author of the report.
Read the report: “How To Increase Support for Youth Leaving Juvenile Detention Facilities” by Bayliss Fiddiman
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