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Merging Two Worlds : A Transition/Career Planning Curriculum for Youth in the Justice System. Dorothy (Dottie) Wodraska Correctional Education Specialist Director, Federal Education Grants Program Arizona Supreme Court Administrative Office of the Courts Juvenile Justice Services Division.

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Merging two worlds a transition career planning curriculum for youth in the justice system

Merging Two Worlds: A Transition/Career PlanningCurriculum for Youth in the Justice System

Dorothy (Dottie) Wodraska

Correctional Education Specialist

Director, Federal Education Grants Program

Arizona Supreme Court

Administrative Office of the Courts

Juvenile Justice Services Division

Arizona secure care education
Arizona Secure Care Education

  • 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.

    • AOC 14 county juvenile detention facilities (age 8-18)

    • Jails 15 county jails (age 14-22)

    • ADJC 5 state juvenile correction facilities (age 8-18)

    • ADC 10 state prisons and 3 private prisons (age 14-22)

      TOTAL: 47 facilities statewide

Arizona secure care education1
Arizona Secure Care Education

  • 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.

Arizona legislation

County Detention

Law: ARS 15 - 913

Days: 225 per IGA

Minutes Per Day: 240 after 48 hours of detention

Agency: County School Superintendent & Presiding Juvenile Judge

Special Ed: Under 18

Regular Ed: Under 18

Records: ARS 15 - 828 (f) within 5 school days

Funding: County pays and ADE reimburses county. $20,000 base rate plus $15 a day & Special Ed daily rate

County Jail

Law: ARS15 - 913.01

Days: 225

Minutes Per Day: 240

after 48 hours of incarceration

Agency: County School Super. & County Sheriff

Special Ed: Under 18 and 18-22

Regular Ed: Under 18

Records: ARS15 - 828 (f) within 5 school days

Funding: County pays and ADE reimburses county. $14,000 base rate plus $10.80 a day & $10.50 for juveniles & Special Ed daily rate

Arizona Legislation

Arizona legislation cont d


Law: ARS 15 - 1371

Days: 204

Minutes: 360

Agency: ADJC

Special Ed: Under 18

Regular Ed: Under 18

Records: ARS 15 - 828/141 (f) within 10 working days

Funding: ADM - ADE pays base level; capital outlay revenue limit, in accordance with ARS 15-1371.G.


Law: ARS 15 - 1372

Days: 208/240

Minutes: 180

Agency: ADC

Special Ed: Under 18 & 18-22

Regular Ed: Under 18;mandatory daily education

Over 18 education; for 120 days to achieve 8th grade literacy (based on TABE scores) in all areas in order to earn early release credits at 85% of sentencing.

Records: ARS 15-828 (f) within 5 school days

Funding: ADM – CEF pays .67 base level plus .5 capital outlay revenue limit, In accordance with ARS 15-1372.D.

Arizona Legislation Cont’d.

Juvenile detention education arizona
Juvenile Detention Education - Arizona

  • Statewide Financial Support, supplemented by Federal Funds

  • Shared Jurisdictional responsibility between the County School Superintendent and Presiding Juvenile Court Judge

  • Coordination and Oversight by the Arizona Supreme Court, AOC

  • 14 Juvenile Detention Schools served 12, 913 youth in FY03

  • Approximately 21% of students require Special Education Services

Juvenile detention education arizona1
Juvenile Detention Education - Arizona

  • Fully Certified Teachers with Special Education endorsement preferred

  • 12 Month Programming - Minimum of 225 Instructional Days

  • Average Length of Stay in Facility is 12-15 days Statewide

  • Educational/diagnostic Screening; student-focused educational instruction utilizing both individualized computer curricula and classroom instruction; transition planning

  • Curriculum correlated with Arizona Academic Standards

County jail schools arizona
County Jail Schools- Arizona

  • Fully Certified Teachers with Special Education endorsement preferred

  • 12 Month Programming - Minimum 225 Days

  • Average Length of Stay - 67 Days

  • Juveniles with felony charges remanded as adults

  • Approximately 50% Return to the community

  • Approximately 50% sent to prison

  • 51% are special education students

  • Approximately 500 inmates daily

Jail education program
Jail Education Program


    • Teacher case management

    • Disability(s) accommodation

    • Annual audio/vision testing

    • Parental Involvement in Individual Education Plan (IEP)

    • Supplemental Programs

    • Anger Management Class

    • Cognitive Restructuring Class

    • Psychological Evaluation

    • Transition Planning beyond jail

Juvenile corrections education arizona
Juvenile Corrections Education - Arizona

  • Dr. Kathleen Karol, Education Superintendent

  • Statewide Financial Support, supplemented by Federal Funds

  • Average Length of Stay – 7 months

  • Average Stay on Parole – 6 months

  • Accredited by North Central Accreditation

  • Fully Certified Teachers with Secondary and Special Education endorsement preferred

Juvenile corrections education arizona1
Juvenile Corrections Education - Arizona

  • 5 facilities statewide serving 2,076 students in FY 2002

  • Schools Beds

    • Adobe Mountain School 438

    • Black Canyon School 115

    • Catalina Mountain School 143

    • Eagle Point School 150

    • Sunrise Mountain PV Center 75

  • 12 Month Programming - Minimum of 204 Instructional Days

  • Approximately 30% of students require Special Education Services

Adult prisons education arizona
Adult Prisons Education - Arizona

  • 13 facilities statewide serving over 28,000 in FY 2002

  • Inmates 14-24 years of age - 4,800 males - 290 females

  • 12 Month Programming - Minimum of 208 Instructional Days

  • Screen over 2,500 inmates under the age of 22 annually for special education needs and eligibility

  • Approximately 10% of students require Special Education Services…This is due in large part to the individualized nature of academic and vocational instruction offered by the prison education system

  • Fully certified teachers with certifications ranging across all ages and areas

  • Average length of stay is 34 months

  • Award , on average, 1,100 GEDs annually

Secure care education committee scec
Secure Care Education Committee (SCEC)


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

  • Since 1999 the SCEC has hosted four statewide conferences for secure care educators to receive training on implementation of the MTW curriculum.

Secure care education committee
Secure Care Education Committee

Current Committee Members:

Dorothy Wodraska, Chair – Arizona Supreme Court, AOC

Judeth Badgley - Yuma County School Superintendent

Paul Johnson – Maricopa County Accommodation School District

Jeff Johnston – Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections

Barbara Kilian – Arizona Department of Corrections

Lisa Klukosky – Pima County Accommodation School District

Chris Roberts – Arizona State University/EDJJ

Jim Scullary – Arizona Department of Corrections

Lt. David Williams – Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office

Thelda Williams – Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office

Special Thanks and Acknowledgements:

Gari Strohm and Tess Alan, Ph.D. – Arizona Department of Education/Exceptional Student Services

Kathleen Parkhurst, Ed.D. - Pinal County School Superintendent’s Office

Chris Nybakken, Gayle Siegel, Debbie D’Amore, Donna Williamson, Jean Cornelli, Don Lawhead and Carole Ferlazzo – Pima County School Superintendent’s Office

Local challenges national focus
Local Challenges…National Focus

  • Transient student population

  • Students have attended various public schools/charters and/or have dropped out of school due to lack of success.

  • Records exchange for prompt provision of specialized instruction if a student has a history of special education.

  • Conflicting organizational philosophies within agencies between security (punitive) and education (rehabilitative).

  • Reintegration: 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.

  • Shortage of adequately trained personnel in the area of correctional education.

Effective reintegration transition strategies
Effective Reintegration/Transition Strategies

  • Link between education and recidivism

    • In Arizona, it costs an annual average of $4,200 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.

  • Interagency collaboration

    • Effective transition practices are those that are shared by correctional education staffs, 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
Effective Reintegration/Transition Strategies Cont’d.

  • Team based planning/Intra-agency collaboration

    • Transition services need to be developed and implemented by the IEP team in cooperation with the correctional counselors, probation/parole personnel and vocational instructors.

  • Tracking and Monitoring

    • 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
Promising Practices to Facilitate Successful Reintegration/Transition

  • Linkages with community, business and professional organizations

    • Cooperative contractual agreements among local agencies that provide transition services need to be established to maintain a seamless continuum of care.

  • Wraparound services to deliver comprehensive and coordinated services

    • 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.

  • Pre-release training in social skills, independent living and pre-employment training

    • 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)

Mtw curriculum focus resiliency building skills
MTW Curriculum Focus: Reintegration/TransitionResiliency Building Skills

Sense of Purpose

  • Inner direction

    • Bases choices on internal evaluation

    • Internal focus of control

  • View of future

    • Optimistic

  • Spirituality

    • Personal faith in something greater

  • Perseverance

    • Doesn’t give up despite obstacles

Resiliency building skills cont d
Resiliency Building Skills (cont’d) Reintegration/Transition

Social Competence

  • Relationships

    • Form relationships

    • Able to be a friend, and keep close

  • Humor

    • Can see the funny

  • Perceptive

    • Insightful understanding of people and situations

  • Assertive

    • Clearly expresses opinions, feelings, ideas

    • Understands how attitude influences others

Resiliency building skills cont d1
Resiliency Building Skills (cont’d) Reintegration/Transition

Problem Solving

  • Flexibility

    • Can adjust to change

    • Can adapt to cope

  • Love of Learning

    • Needs to know

    • Loves to find out

  • Creativity

    • Sees unique choices, consequences

    • Individualistic

  • Goal Setting

    • Knows power of goals

  • Decision Making

    • Uses process; can explain

Resiliency building skills cont d2
Resiliency Building Skills (cont’d) Reintegration/Transition


  • Independence

    • Health/wellness

    • Adaptive distancing from unhealthy people and situations

  • Self motivation

    • Inner passion and direction

  • Competence

    • Is “good at something”

    • Has skills to manage life

  • Self worth

    • Feeling self confident

Mtw curriculum organization
MTW Curriculum Organization Reintegration/Transition

  • Pre-Assessment Tools:Structured Interview; Individual Learning Plan; Student Screening Report for Child Find; Credit Information and Certificate; Educational History

  • Four Chapters with 10 Lessons in each Chapter:

    Chapter 1: Transition Planning: Who Am I?

    Chapter 2: Career Preparation: Where Am I Going?

    Chapter 3: Transition Planning: How Do I Get There?

    Chapter 4: Life Planning: How Do I Keep It All Together?

  • Teacher Resources: Work Evaluation Rubric & Lesson Resources

  • My Resource Guide (MRG), Personal Transition Survival Guide: Merge Checklist; Certificate of Competency; Chapter Reflection Sheet

Mtw chapter organization
MTW Chapter Organization Reintegration/Transition

  • Acknowledgement

  • Facilitation Tips

  • Chapter Background

  • Overview of Chapter Contents & Format

  • Table of Contents

  • Work Evaluation Rubric Aligned with Arizona State Standards

  • Lesson Theme, Objective & Steps to Follow

  • Materials Needed: Handouts etc.

  • Evaluation Rubric

  • Enrichment

Chapter 1 transition planning who am i
Chapter 1 - Transition Planning: Reintegration/TransitionWho Am I?

  • Concept of Resiliency as Critical to Successful Reintegration

  • Self-Awareness Strengthens Resiliency – “Bouncing Back”

  • Lesson Topics Include: Value, Beliefs, Self Confidence, Learning Styles & Interests, Personal Skills, Job/Career Paths, Decision Making

  • Career Planning as a Dynamic Process

  • Employment Trends: Impact of Technology, Globalization, New Economy

  • Managing Change through “Process and Self-Awareness”

  • Building My Resource Guide (MRG) – A Personal Transition Survival Guide

Chapter 2 career preparation where am i going
Chapter 2 - Career Preparation: Reintegration/TransitionWhere Am I Going?

  • All lessons include self talk, self-awareness, stop and think, resiliency, decision making and planning

  • Each lesson concludes with the Self-Talk litany

  • Lesson Topics Include: Make a Decision, Values, The Power of Goals, Priorities, Lifestyle, Choices and Consequences, Gathering Information/Observe, Gathering Information/Ask Questions, Gathering Information/Listen, Other Points of View, Make a Decision

  • Building My Resource Guide (MRG)

Chapter 3 transition planning how do i get there
Chapter 3 - Transition Planning: Reintegration/TransitionHow Do I Get There?

  • Concept of Self-Assessment leading to Self-Awareness

  • Life Through a Wide-Angle Lens and Other Points of View

  • Lesson Topics Include: Self talk, Self Awareness, Decision Making, Social Skills, Planning

  • Resiliency: Successfully Bouncing Back from Adversity

  • Planning Process: Goal Setting

  • Nine Life Areas: Leisure, Spiritual, Health/Wellness, Learning, Career, Financial, Family Relationships, Community

  • Social Skills Practice

  • Building My Resource Guide (MRG)

Chapter 4 life planning how do i keep it all together
Chapter 4 - Life Planning: Reintegration/TransitionHow Do I Keep It All Together?

  • Continues concept of self assessment as self-awareness through emphasizing community resources

  • Lesson Topics Include: Transition into the Community, Self Talk, Self Awareness, Stop and Think, Resiliency, Decision Making, and Planning

  • Lessons include: Finding a Place to Live, Money Management, Food, Medical Treatment, transportation, Communication, Employment, Education, Leisure Time, Support

  • Continues development of MRG (My Resource Guide)

Closing thoughts
Closing Thoughts… Reintegration/Transition

Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other. It's like feeding a dog on his own tail. It won't fatten the dog.

Mark Twain 11/23/1900

Contact information
Contact Information Reintegration/Transition

Dorothy (Dottie) Wodraska,

Correctional Education Specialist

Director, Federal Education Grants Program

Arizona Supreme Court,

Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC)

Juvenile Justice Services Division

1501 West Washington, Suite 337

Phoenix, AZ 85007

Phone: (602) 542-9573

Fax: (602) 542-9479

Email: [email protected]

ADE Website: care