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Incarcerated Youth with Disabilities: Reintegration into the Community, School, and Workforce . Joseph C. Gagnon, Ph.D. Brian R. Barber, M.Ed. University of Florida Juvenile Justice Education Institute and Southern Conference on Corrections August 4, 2009 (10:00-10:50). Agenda.

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incarcerated youth with disabilities reintegration into the community school and workforce

Incarcerated Youth with Disabilities: Reintegration into the Community, School, and Workforce

Joseph C. Gagnon, Ph.D.

Brian R. Barber, M.Ed.

University of Florida

Juvenile Justice Education Institute

and Southern Conference on Corrections

August 4, 2009 (10:00-10:50)

agenda
Agenda
  • Youth in Juvenile Corrections: Characteristics and Curriculum Issues
  • Guideposts for Success
  • Promising Practices Throughout the Juvenile Justice Process
student characteristics overview
Student CharacteristicsOverview

Consideration of youth characteristics is critical to developing effective policies, programs, and service systems for youth in JC (Wagner, Kutash, Duchnowski, Epstein, & Sumi, 2005)

In a year, approximately 144,000 delinquency cases result in youth being committed to out of home placements (Snyder, & Sickmund, 2006)

Increase of 44% over the last 20 years

student characteristics overview4
Student CharacteristicsOverview

Youth in JC schools may have few academic credits and low grade point averages (Major, Chester, McEntire, Waldo, & Blomberg, 2002)

Short length of enrollment - in juvenile detention facilities, youth may be enrolled for a week to several months (Austin, Johnson, & Weitzer, 2005)

Youth rarely return to high school, stay in school, and earn a diploma upon exit from a JC school (Griller-Clark, Rutherford, & Quinn, 2004; Haberman & Quinn, 1986; LeBlanc & Pfannenstiel, 1991; Todis, Bullis, Waintrup, Schultz, & D’Ambrosio, 2001; Webb & Maddox, 1986).

student characteristics special education
Student CharacteristicsSpecial Education

In juvenile corrections, 38.2-43.5% of students are in special education compared to 12% in public school (Gagnon, Barber, Van Loan, & Leone, in press; Stizek, Pittsonberger, Riordan, Lyter, & Orlofsky, 2007)

Students with EBD and LD comprise an overwhelming majority of the students with disabilities – 43.8% & 44.1%, respectively(Gagnon, Barber, Van Loan, & Leone, in press)

student characteristics mental health
Student CharacteristicsMental Health

40-50% of youth with ED are neglected, physically/sexually/emotionally abused (Mattison, Spitznagel, & Felix, 1998; Oseroff, Oseroff, Westling, & Gessner, 1999)

Of confined youth, about 1/2 of males and almost 1/2 of females have a substance use disorder (Teplin et al., 2002)

student characteristics mental health7
Student CharacteristicsMental Health

11% of detained youth have posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Abram et al., 2004)

In JC, more than 90% of youth experience a traumatic event (i.e., witnessed someone hurt very badly or killed) (Teplin et al., 2002)

Excluding conduct disorder, nearly 2/3 of males and 3/4 of females have one or more psychiatric disorders (Teplin et al., 2002)

student characteristics mental health8
Student CharacteristicsMental Health

Placement in juvenile corrections is viewed as a way of providing mental health services that may be otherwise unavailable (National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice, 2003)

1/3 to 2/3 of juvenile detention facilities hold youth with mental health needs without charges because they were awaiting a mental health placement (The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, 1999; United States House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform-Minority Staff Special Investigation Division, 2004)

student characteristics mental health9
Student CharacteristicsMental Health

Of facilities who detained youth awaiting mental health services, 48% reported that there were suicide attempts among those youth (United States House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform-Minority Staff Special Investigation Division, 2004)

Clear that student populations in JC schools have unique academic and mental health needs, requiring distinct forms of intervention and curricular/other support

curriculum concerns for students with disabilities11
CurriculumConcerns for Students with Disabilities

Appropriate educational services for incarcerated youth are an important element of successful transition into society (Foley, 2001; Nelson, Leone, & Rutherford, 2004)

No Child Left Behind Act (2002):

Provide all youth with a “fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education” (Sec. 101)

curriculum concerns for students with disabilities12
CurriculumConcerns for Students with Disabilities

IDEA (2004) requires that services be designed and delivered to provide access to and progress in the general education curriculum(Cortiella, 2006)

The assumption:

Providing all students with access to the general education curriculum will prepare students for life after exiting school (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, 2004)

curriculum concerns for students with disabilities13
CurriculumConcerns for Students with Disabilities

Access to the general education curriculum may run counter to IDEA regulations that call for individualized educational experiences for youth with disabilities (Hardman & Dawson, 2008)

“to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living”(2004, P. L. 108-446 Sec. 682 (d)(1)(A))

curriculum concerns for students with disabilities14
CurriculumConcerns for Students with Disabilities

Preparations for future success and integration into society, and access to the general education curriculum are not necessarily mutually exclusive…

Youth with disabilities who graduate with a diploma are more likely to be employed full time and live above the poverty level (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2001)

curriculum concerns for students with disabilities15
CurriculumConcerns for Students with Disabilities

The dilemma of access versus individualization is complicated by the characteristics of secure settings as well as of students

A lack of oversight has lead to a situation in which JC schools have one of the worst records of adhering to federal special education requirements (Browne, 2003; Coffey & Gemignani, 1994; Leone, 1994)

curriculum concerns for students with disabilities16
CurriculumConcerns for Students with Disabilities

Some view the emphasis on state tests as restrictive of student access to alternative, and potentially more meaningful educational experiences (e.g., Platt, Casey, & Faessel, 2006)

Incarcerated youth who completed vocational training or a GED program while confined were twice as likely to be employed six months after their release (Black, Brush, Grow, Hawes, Henry, & Hinke, 1996)

curriculum concerns for students with disabilities17
CurriculumConcerns for Students with Disabilities

Many experts consider that education for youth in JC schools should include access to the general education curriculum, as well as:

pre-vocational and vocational training,

paid work experience, and

General Educational Development (GED) test preparation

(Carter, Lane, Pierson, & Glasser, 2006; Lane & Carter, 2006; Nelson et al., 2004; Rutherford, Quinn, Leone, Garfinkel, & Nelson, 2002)

the guideposts for success19
1 - School-Based Preparatory Experiences

2 - Career Preparation & Work-Based Experiences

3 - Youth Development & Leadership

4 - Connecting Activities

5 - Family Involvement and Supports

The Guideposts for Success
slide20
Specific Needs:

Highly qualified teachers

Curriculum aligned with state and local standards

Educational options

Transferable credits

Meeting federal accountability requirements

NCLB, IDEA

Collaboration among professionals across disciplines

School-Based

Preparatory

Experiences

slide21
Specific Needs:

Comprehensive vocational programming

Collaboration among education, corrections, community organizations, employers

Development of career pathways

Instruction in work-related skills

Work-based experiences

Career Preparation &

Work-Based Experiences

  • Examples
  • North Carolina Program
  • Graduated release program
  • Advocate/job development specialist
slide22
Specific Needs

Highly individualized transition plan with youth input

Transition support that recognizes unique needs of youth in corrections

Instruction on laws, rights, consequences throughout JJ process

Education on risk-taking behaviors/consequences

Self-empowerment activities

Mentoring opportunities

Youth Development

& Leadership

  • Examples
  • Project SUPPORT
  • Project Parole
  • SUPPORT
  • Local employers
  • serving as
  • mentors
slide23
Specific Needs:

Collaboration among families, mental health service providers, educators, youth development professionals, probation officers

Clear delineation of roles

On-going communication

Systemic responses to transitioning youth

Assistance in addressing sensitive issues

Connecting Activities

  • Examples:
  • Cross-system
  • professional development
  • Comprehensive transition
  • policies in state law (VA)
  • Exit document (Passport)
slide24
Specific Needs

Well-informed parent involvement is critical at all stages of juvenile justice process

Advocacy

Information-sharing

Prevention and rehabilitation

Supports for parents

Family Supports

& Involvement

  • Examples
  • Multisystemic Therapy
  • Family-focused mental
  • health treatment
promising practices throughout the juvenile justice process
Promising Practices Throughout the Juvenile Justice Process

Youth with disabilities commonly have difficulties at each stage:

  • Beginning at arrest
  • Potentially leading to overrepresentation in juvenile justice system
  • High percentage of youth with ED also have language disorders - Approximately 1/3 have difficulty understanding what others say to them

Thus, youth at risk for involvement in the juvenile justice system, in particular those with disabilities, must receive support and preventative services to minimize their vulnerability

promising practices throughout the juvenile justice process26
Promising Practices Throughout the Juvenile Justice Process

A Case for Collaboration/Support

Most effective strategy for treating and rehabilitating juvenile offenders and preventing recidivism is a comprehensive, community-based model that integrates:

  • prevention programming
  • a continuum of pre-trial and sentencing placement options and sanctions
  • aftercare programs

(Zavlek, 2005)

promising practices throughout the juvenile justice process27
Promising Practices Throughout the Juvenile Justice Process

Prevention and Early Intervention

U.S. Dept. of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has indicated that most unsuccessful juvenile delinquency efforts fail because of their negative approach

Further suggest that “successful delinquency prevention strategies must be positive in orientation and comprehensive in scope” (OJJDP, 2000)

promising practices throughout the juvenile justice process28
Promising Practices Throughout the Juvenile Justice Process

Prevention and Early Intervention

Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS)

Multi-tiered model that promotes pro-social skills in youth with and without disabilities, is an effective approach to problem behavior in schools

(Nelson, Sugai, & Smith, 2005)

promising practices throughout the juvenile justice process29
Promising Practices Throughout the Juvenile Justice Process

Prevention and Early Intervention

Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG)

JAG model includes three program types:

  • School-to-career program for high school seniors
  • Multi-year dropout prevention for grades 9-12
  • Dropout recovery program that targets dropouts and youth in alternative school settings
promising practices throughout the juvenile justice process30
Promising Practices Throughout the Juvenile Justice Process

Prevention and Early Intervention

JAG is comprised of several components including:

classroom instruction from a trained career specialist;

employability skills;

adult mentoring, advisement, and support;

summer employment training;

student-led leadership groups;

job and postsecondary education placement;

follow-up services;

accountability system

30

promising practices throughout the juvenile justice process31
Promising Practices Throughout the Juvenile Justice Process

Prevention and Early Intervention

In 2004, the graduation/GED rate of JAG participants was 90.9 percent and the postsecondary enrollment rate was 41.2%. (Jobs for America’s Graduates, 2005)

In 2005 JAG graduation rates for students with disabilities and ED were 85.4% and 81.5%, postsecondary enrollment rates for students with disabilities and ED were 54.3% and 40.9%, respectively(Jobs for America’s Graduates, 2007)

promising practices throughout the juvenile justice process32
Promising Practices Throughout the Juvenile Justice Process

Diversion

“An attempt to divert, or channel out, youthful offenders from the juvenile justice system” (Bynum & Thompson, 1996)

Community based treatments and programs for youth in JJS are generally more effective than incarceration or residential placement in reducing recidivism, even for serious and violent juvenile offenders (Lipsey, Wilson, & Cothern, 2000)

promising practices throughout the juvenile justice process33
Promising Practices Throughout the Juvenile Justice Process

Diversion Programs: Rehabilitative Models

For non-institutionalized juvenile offenders, certain variables such as increased length of treatment (e.g., interpersonal skills training, individual counseling, behavioral programs) have a significant positive effect on recidivism (Lipsey, Wilson, & Cothern, 2000)

promising practices throughout the juvenile justice process34
Promising Practices Throughout the Juvenile Justice Process

Diversion Programs: Rehabilitative Models

  • Missouri has made a commitment to treatment of youth in small (33 or fewer beds) facilities (Mendel, 2001)
  • California Youth Authority:
    • Small scale residential facilities (replace training schools)
    • Extensive 24-hour therapy
    • Quality education programs
    • Heavy family outreach/counseling
    • Well qualified, highly-trained staff
    • Extensive, non-residential programming and aftercare
promising practices throughout the juvenile justice process35
Promising Practices Throughout the Juvenile Justice Process

Diversion Programs: Family-focused Treatment

Family-focused treatments, including components such as cognitive-behavior therapy and medication management, are also effective in assisting non-confined youth(Hoagwood et al., 2001)

Strategic family therapy “provides families with tools to overcome individual and family risk factors through focused intervention to improve maladaptive patterns of family interaction and skill-building strategies to strengthen families” (Center for Family Studies, 2002)

promising practices throughout the juvenile justice process36
Promising Practices Throughout the Juvenile Justice Process

Diversion Programs: Teen Courts

Typically an option for youth under 16, having no prior arrest record, and charged with a less serious crime

Provide a system of graduated sanctions via a peer jury, including those that go beyond punishments and include:

(a) community service, (b) apology letters, (c) drug/alcohol classes, (d) restitution, and (e) service in future teen court cases

Additional high quality research is needed on features of effective programs, factors/barriers to success, types of effective sanctions, and strategies for youth who do not comply with sanctions.

promising practices throughout the juvenile justice process37
Promising Practices Throughout the Juvenile Justice Process

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment

for Non-Institutionalized Juveniles

Multisystemic Therapy (MST) is a treatment for juvenile offenders that is provided at the youth’s home and community and uses a combination of empirically-based treatments, such as:

  • cognitive behavior therapy,
  • behavioral parent training,
  • functional family therapy

(Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy, 2006)

MST therapist is available at all times during the intervention

promising practices throughout the juvenile justice process38
Promising Practices Throughout the Juvenile Justice Process

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment

for Non-Institutionalized Juveniles

Review of MST research showed positive effects that were maintained with regard to:

  • Re-arrest,
  • Out of home placement, and
  • Drug use

Cost benefit analyses indicate that MST is associated with equivalent or better outcomes and costs than hospitalization (Burns, et al., 2000; Sheidow, et al., 2004)

promising practices throughout the juvenile justice process39
Promising Practices Throughout the Juvenile Justice Process

Intervention for Institutionalized Juveniles: SIM Model

One promising research-based option for approaching student learning and teacher professional development is the Strategic Instruction Model (SIM) that includes:

  • Teacher focused interventions that utilize content enhancement are designed to assist teachers in preparing, adapting, and presenting material.
  • Student focused interventions provide learning strategies in areas such as reading, studying, interacting with others, and remembering information.
promising practices throughout the juvenile justice process40
Promising Practices Throughout the Juvenile Justice Process

Intervention for Institutionalized Juveniles: Career and Technical Education

Youth completing either vocational training or a GED program while confined are twice as likely to be employed six months after release (Black et al., 1996)

Example of a well-developed career-technical education program:

North Carolina’s Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

promising practices throughout the juvenile justice process41
Promising Practices Throughout the Juvenile Justice Process

Intervention for Institutionalized Juveniles: Career and Technical Education

VoCATS - competency based, computer supported system including course and lesson planning, assessment items and aggregated and disaggregated reports of students, classes, teachers, schools, and LEAs.

Pathways - youth are provided a choice of 10 career pathways (e.g., business technologies, health sciences, industrial technologies), identify a specific career area with accompanying map to indicate necessary coursework, work-based learning opportunities, postsecondary options, and possible career options.

Youth Apprenticeships–include a clear, established plan

promising practices throughout the juvenile justice process42
Promising Practices Throughout the Juvenile Justice Process

Intervention for Institutionalized Juveniles: Behavioral Intervention

Attitude held by many in corrections is that confinement should not be a positive place where appropriate behaviors are reinforce; PBIS approach provides convincing alternative to the argument for a solely punitive behavioral approach: (Nelson, Sugai, & Smith, 2005)

Illinois Youth Center (IYC) implemented PBIS at the Harrisburg boys’ prison in 2001; minor and major infractions at the school have declined, and fights declined from 32 per month to zero in three years

Iowa Juvenile Home (IJH) implemented PBIS model as well; this has led to a reduction in restraint and seclusion by 73 percent and the avg. rate of disciplinary removals reduced by 50 percent

promising practices throughout the juvenile justice process43
Promising Practices Throughout the Juvenile Justice Process

Intervention for Institutionalized Juveniles: Mental Health Interventions

Some evidence exists suggesting the following intervention strategies reduce recidivism and other variables leading to personal and societal costs caused in part by mental health problems:

  • Counseling including components of anger management, social skills training, and career training
  • Substance abuse treatment including relapse prevention
  • Behavioral & cognitive behavioral approaches to intervention
promising practices throughout the juvenile justice process45
Promising Practices Throughout the Juvenile Justice Process

Intervention for Institutionalized Juveniles: Transition and After Care

For successful transition into the workforce and toward self-sufficiency, several preparatory activities need to occur before the youth is released in the community

Example:

Project SUPPORT

(Service Utilization to Promote the Positive Rehabilitation and Community Transition of confined Youth with disabilities, Oregon Department of Education, 1999)

promising practices throughout the juvenile justice process46
Promising Practices Throughout the Juvenile Justice Process

Intervention for Institutionalized Juveniles: Transition and After Care

Structured around tenets identified as effective for youth with emotional and behavioral disorders including:

  • strategies to enhance self-determination skills
  • competitive job placement
  • flexible educational opportunities
  • social skill instruction
  • immediate service coordination of wrap-around services
slide47

Questions/Comments?Thank you for Attending!Further information regarding the Guideposts for Success, or other material included in this presentation may be obtained by contacting the presenters at:[email protected]@ufl.edu

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