By Benjamin Chambers, April 27 2010
It's not news that teens in the juvenile justice system often have trouble in school. But you might be interested in this issue brief from NDTAC*, which summarizes the relevant research on the link between low literacy and delinquency -- and on the probable positive impact that literacy programs have on reducing recidivism. (The research to date, unfortunately, is more suggestive than conclusive.) The brief makes a forceful case for addressing the educational needs of youth in the justice system.
You might also be interested in NDTAC's Transition Toolkit 2.0. Here's what NDTAC says about it:
[The] second edition of NDTAC’s Transition Toolkit brings together strategies, existing practices, and updated resources and documents on transition to enable administrators and service providers to deliver high-quality transition services for children and youth moving into, through, and out of education programs within the juvenile justice system.
Simple communication efforts and the implementation of basic transition processes, such as timely records transfer, can have a dramatic impact on a student’s engagement in school and avoidance of further incarceration. As such, the focus of the Toolkit is on the administrative processes, coordination efforts, and communication practices within the juvenile justice system. The Toolkit offers ideas and tools that administrators can use to improve the basic functioning of their treatment and institution-based programs, with a primary focus on programs related to the educational needs of youth and those who directly provide education services.
*NDTAC stands for-- are you ready? -- The National Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At Risk. Hat tip to Paul Savery for bringing this resource to my attention.
Updated: February 08 2018