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Think Exit at Entry: Preparing Youth in Secure Care for Successful Reintegration/Transition Back to the Community Dorothy (Dottie) Wodraska Correctional Education Specialist/ Director of Federal Education Grant Programs Arizona Supreme Court, Administrative Office of the Courts Juvenile Justice Services Division
Arizona Secure Care Education n Secure Care education is defined as every education program which exists in a county detention, county jail, state juvenile corrections, and state prison facility in the State of Arizona excluding Native American and federal facilities. n AOC 14 county juvenile detention facilities (age 8 -18) n Jails 15 county jails (age 14 -22) n ADJC n ADC 4 state juvenile correction facilities (age 8 -18) 10 state prisons and 3 private prisons (age 14 -22) TOTAL: 46 facilities statewide
Arizona Secure Care Education n Secure Care Education must address these acknowledged needs: 1) Institutional confinement programming must prepare youth for a successful reintegration back to their community. 2) Lessons and skills learned in secure care environments must be monitored and reinforced outside of the institution. 3) Reintegration of students from the juvenile justice system requires cooperative and collaborative relationships with local school districts prior to release from a secure care facility to ensure a continuum of services and appropriate placement which can reduce recidivism.
Juvenile Detention Education – Arizona n Statewide Financial Support (County Equalization Funds), supplemented by Federal Funds n Shared Jurisdictional responsibility between the County School Superintendent and Presiding Juvenile Court Judge n Coordination and Oversight by the Arizona Supreme Court, Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) n 14 Juvenile Detention Schools served 12, 913 youth in FY 03 n Approximately 21% of students require Special Education Services
Juvenile Detention Education - Arizona n Fully Certified Teachers with Special Education endorsement preferred n 12 Month Programming - Minimum of 225 Instructional Days-4 hrs. n Average Length of Stay in Facility is 12 -15 days Statewide n Educational/diagnostic Screening; student-focused educational instruction utilizing both individualized computer curricula and classroom instruction; transition planning n Curriculum correlated with Arizona Academic Standards n Special Programs Candidate – North Central Association Accreditation
Juvenile Corrections Education - Arizona n Dr. Jude Lanphar, Education Superintendent n Statewide Financial Support, supplemented by Federal Funds n Average Length of Stay – 7 months n Average Stay on Parole – 6 months n Accredited by North Central Association n Fully Certified Teachers with Secondary and Special Education endorsement preferred
Juvenile Corrections Education - Arizona n 4 facilities statewide serving 2, 076 students in FY 2002 n Schools • • Adobe Mountain School Black Canyon School Catalina Mountain School Eagle Point School Beds Actual 438 115 143 150 318 77 116 125 n 12 Month Programming - Minimum of 182 Instructional Days n Approximately 40 -45% of students require Special Education Services n Intersession (3 weeks) will involve “catch up” on academics in core areas
County Jail Schools- Arizona n Fully Certified Teachers with Special Education endorsement preferred n 12 Month Programming - Minimum 225 Days n Average Length of Stay - 67 Days n Juveniles with felony charges remanded as adults n Approximately 60% return to the community after completing their jail time n Approximately 40% of the juveniles are sent to prison n 30 -35% are special education students n Approximately 350 inmates daily/FY 2004 9, 300 total
County Jail Schools- Arizona n SPECIAL EDUCATION n Teacher case management n Disability(s) accommodation n Annual audio/vision testing n Parental Involvement in Individual Education Plan (IEP) n Supplemental Programs/ALPHA/A. A. /C. A. n Anger Management Class n 8 th Grade Certificate Program/GED n Psychological Evaluation n Transition Planning beyond jail/ Merging Two Worlds curriculum
Adult Prisons Education - Arizona n 13 facilities statewide serving over 32, 000 in FY 2004 n 12 Month Programming - Minimum of 208 Instructional Days n Screen over 2, 500 inmates under the age of 22 annually for special education needs and eligibility n Approximately 14% of students require Special Education Services…More students are being identified yearly due to the new NCLB laws and the new screening procedures conducted at each facility. n Fully certified teachers with certifications ranging across all ages and areas n Average length of stay is 34 months n Award , on average, 1, 321 GEDs annually
Local Challenges…National Focus n Transient student population n Students have attended various public schools/charters and/or have dropped out of school due to lack of success. n Delayed records exchange for prompt provision of specialized instruction if a student has a history of special education. n Reluctance of schools/districts to accept students upon release from secure care.
Local Challenges…National Focus, Cont’d. n Conflicting organizational philosophies within agencies between security (punitive) and education (rehabilitative). n Reintegration: lack of consistent cooperative and collaborative relationship with the local school districts prior to release from a secure care facility to ensure continuum of services and appropriate placement which can reduce recidivism. n Shortage of adequately trained personnel in the area of correctional education.
Effective Reintegration/ Transition Strategies n Link between education and recidivism n In Arizona, it costs an annual average of $5, 200 to educate a student, compared to $56, 000 in ADJC and $32, 000 in ADC to house an inmate annually. Reducing recidivism decreases the burden and expenses to taxpayers. n Interagency collaboration n Effective transition practices are those that are shared by correctional education staff, as well as personnel from public schools and other community based programs, such as mental health and social services.
Effective Reintegration/ Transition Strategies Cont’d. n Team based planning/Intra-agency collaboration n Transition services need to be developed and implemented by the IEP team in cooperation with the correctional counselors, probation/parole personnel and vocational instructors. n Tracking and Monitoring n Systematic and continuous monitoring of the youth through the juvenile justice system facilitates achieving transition goals and outcomes. The present secure care system is disjointed and has no means of following a student to determine outcomes.
Promising Practices to Facilitate Successful Reintegration/Transition n Linkages with community, business and professional organizations n Cooperative contractual agreements among local agencies that provide transition services need to be established to maintain a seamless continuum of care. n Wraparound services to deliver comprehensive and coordinated services n Historically, transition services for juveniles offenders have been fragmented, inefficient and disconnected. These services must be individualized and encompass all aspects of the youth’s life. n Pre-release training in social skills, independent living and pre- employment training n Students who receive training or support in these areas are more likely to succeed upon release from a secure care facility. (Correctional Education Bulletin, June 2001)
Components Of A Comprehensive Reintegration/Transition System n Component 1: Develop Individualized Transition Plans (ITPs) specifying the skills and supports required currently and in the future based on the youth’s educational and vocational needs, abilities, interest, and preferences n Component 2: Develop and Implement a Student Education Passport/Portfolio collecting meaningful information on youth’s educational and vocational needs, their strengths and competencies and samples of their work that will be transferred with students as they move along a continuum of appropriate transition services n Component 3: Establish a Seamless Transfer of Education Records and Services to ensure educational programming and services that build upon the student’s prior placement with common assessment and portfolio information that will be relevant across all education programs in which students are placed (Rutherford et al. , 2001)
Components Of A Comprehensive Reintegration/Transition System Cont’d. n Component 4: Increase Interagency Linkages and Communication at the administrative level and among line staff of schools and agencies on a student-by-student basis, with these predictable and reliable contacts initiated immediately upon entry into the detention facility due to the relatively short period of time detained n Component 5: Establish a Youth Tracking System to assure that no youth is “lost” in the system and that all youth receive appropriate transition services n Component 6: Transition, Special Education and Related Services in Short-term Juvenile Detention Facilities and Jail responsible for the immediate identification of students with disabilities and initiating or updating ITP’s, beginning portfolio assessments and student education passports, and establishing linkages with school, community and employment (Rutherford et al. , 2001)
Secure Care Education Committee (SCEC) Mission n To advocate for excellence in secure care education which leads to student centered seamless reintegration from correctional facilities into community settings in order to reduce recidivism. History n The SCEC was formed in 1998 by staff of the Arizona Department of Education and secure care educators from across the state to address the glaring educational needs of youth and adults in correctional settings. Accomplishments n The SCEC has developed the Merging Two Worlds (MTW) Curriculum through a ADE grant-supported partnership with the Pima County School Superintendent’s Office, Special Programs Division. www. ade. az. gov/ess/securecare n Since 1999 the SCEC has hosted four statewide conferences for training educators on implementation of the MTW, developed a statewide regional structure for ongoing training, mentoring and technical assistance and standardized special ed reporting forms.
Implementation in Arizona Department of Education/ESS n n n ADE has over-site responsibility for all secure care facilities to insure delivery of educational services for all incarcerated youth. A special position was created to monitor, train, fund assist educators in secure care settings. ADE annually hosts a state wide Transition Conference to update educators on the implementation of transition services for all students.
Implementation in Arizona n Juvenile Detention Education - Statewide Coordination by Arizona Supreme Court, AOC n Integrating MTW in Detention Ed Curriculum n Integrated Technology Assisted Individualized Instruction n NCA/CASI to Facilitate Credit Transfer & Recovery n GED Preparation & Testing Available As Needed n AZ Detention Transition Project (ASU) – Phoenix § 5 Goals § Develop Individualized Transition Plans (ITP) § Develop & Implement a Student Education Passport § Seamless Transfer of Educational Records & Services § Increase Interagency Linkages & Communication § Establish a Youth Tracking System
Implementation in Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections n n Family mental health and vocational rehabilitation located in parole offices Educational Transition Coordinators work with youth behind the fence and support appropriate educational placement after release Developed programs for CFT and FFT from different funding sources Emergency special education certification/ 100% tuition reimbursement n $5, 000 stipend for certified sped teachers/ n Volunteer groups n n Line staff and education working together to develop effective ways to manage kids with disabilities Elevating education to an equal partner at the facilities
Implementation in Arizona Department of Corrections: n All persons remanded to ADC tested using TABE (Test for Adult Basic Education) n GED Preparation Program n Functional Literacy Program n Vocational Education/carpentry, water treatment program, masonry and custodial. n Special Education/transition n Merging Two Worlds Curriculum
To Ensure A Successful Transition REMEMBER TO “THINK EXIT AT ENTRY”
Contact Information Dorothy (Dottie) Wodraska Correctional Education Specialist/ Director of Federal Education Grants Program Arizona Supreme Court, AOC Juvenile Justice Services Division 1501 West Washington, Suite 337 Phoenix, AZ 85007 Phone: (602) 542 -9573 Fax: (602) 542 -9479 Email: [email protected] sp. state. az. us