Juvenile justice education research and quality assurance
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Thomas G. Blomberg Dean and Sheldon L. Messinger Professor of Criminology George B. Pesta Research Coordinator. Juvenile Justice Education Research and Quality Assurance. JJEEP. School of Criminology and Criminal Justice Florida State University.

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Juvenile Justice Education Research and Quality Assurance

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Juvenile justice education research and quality assurance

Thomas G. Blomberg

Dean and Sheldon L. Messinger

Professor of Criminology

George B. Pesta

Research Coordinator

Juvenile Justice Education Research and Quality Assurance

JJEEP

School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Florida State University

Prepared for Presentation at the Transition Conference

National Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center for Education of Children and Youth Who are Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk 

Sponsored by the office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C.


Presentation outline

Presentation Outline

I - Introduction

II - Assessing Quality Education in relation to Academic Attainment and Community Reintegration

III - Developing a Quality Assurance Monitoring System for Juvenile Justice Schools

IV - Questions and Answers


Background information

Background Information

  • JJEEP’s Major Goals

    • Best Education Practices Research

    • Educational Quality Assurance (QA) of Florida’s Juvenile Justice Schools

    • Technical Assistance for School Districts and Educational Providers

    • State Legislative and Department of Education Policy Recommendations


Florida s juvenile justice schools

Approximately 196 facilities with education services provided onsite

Approximately 10,000 youth on any given day

Facility size ranges from 15 to 350 youth

75% of residential custody & care services are privatized

50% of education services are privatized

Local school districts are ultimately responsible for all educational services

Florida’s Juvenile Justice Schools


Prior literature

Prior Literature

While there are variations in the findings reported in the delinquency and life course literature, a major theme that has emerged is continuity in the life course. It has been found in numerous studies that problem children often become adolescent delinquents and subsequent adult criminals. As a result, an often voiced conclusion is that the “best” predictor of future behavior is past behavior (Robins 1966, West and Farrington 1977, Wolfgang et al. 1987, Patterson 1992, and Moffit 1993).


A dynamic life course conceptualization

  • In a well received study, Sampson and Laub (1993) argue that childhood antisocial behavior and adolescent delinquency are linked to adult crime in part through weak social bonds. However, they also contend that certain life events and socialization experiences in the life course may counteract earlier life experiences. Specifically, Sampson and Laub present findings demonstrating that such young adult transitions and subsequent social ties resulting from marriage, employment or military service can serve as positive turning points in the life course.

  • Sampson and Laub recommend that subsequent research needs to identify and explore more fully other potential life course transitions and associated social ties occurring not only during young adulthood but during adolescence that may facilitate either continuity or change in the life course.

A Dynamic Life Course Conceptualization


Self selection and life events

Self Selection and Life Events

  • Self-Selection = Social Control and Individual Decisions

  • Life Events = Education, Jobs, Marriage, Military Service, etc.

  • Combining Self-Selection and Life Events


Research methods and data

Research Methods and Data

  • Cohort of 4,794 youth released from 113 residential juvenile justice facilities throughout Florida in fiscal year 2000-2001 are being longitudinally tracked

  • Student data from official State Databases

    • DOE and FDLE

  • Program level data on Educational Quality and Program Characteristics

  • Statistical method

    • Logistic regression

    • Statistical significance is <.05


Research question 1

Research Question 1

  • Does receipt of high quality education while incarcerated increase the likelihood of particular youth returning to school following release?

  • Exposure to high quality education while incarcerated increased the likelihood of youth returning to school following release from low/moderate risk programs.

  • Youth released from high/maximum risk programs did not benefit from high quality education as measured by return to school.

  • Youth released from low/moderate risk programs comprised 73% of the residential releases in the cohort and the 27% of the youth released from high/maximum risk programs represented youth who were likely more entrenched in delinquency.


Research question 2

Research Question 2

  • Does above average academic achievement while incarcerated increase the likelihood of particular youth returning to school following release?

  • Academic attainment was strongly correlated to whether youth return to school following release

  • This finding was statistically significant for youth released from low/moderate risk programs


Research question 3

Research Question 3

  • Does the receipt of high school or GED diplomas while incarcerated reduce the likelihood of particular youth begin rearrested following release?

  • Youth who earned a high school or GED diploma while incarcerated were less likely to be rearrested following release

  • This finding was statistically significant for youth release form high/maximum risk programs


Research question 4

Research Question 4

  • Does returning to school with above average attendance reduce the likelihood of particular youth being rearrested following release?

  • Youth who return to school are less likely to be rearrested following release

  • Moreover, above average school attendance further reduces the likelihood of rearrest

  • This finding was statistically significant for youth released from low/moderate risk programs


Research question 5

Research Question 5

  • How does prior school performance and attachment influence the response of particular youth to education while incarcerated, their subsequent return to school, and rearrest following release?

  • Prior school performance and attachment significantly influences youths’ participation in school while incarcerated and their likelihood of returning to school and being rearrested following release

  • Youth with high attachment to school are more likely to benefit from exposure to high quality education while incarcerated, regardless of their level of delinquency, by increasing their likelihood of returning to school

  • Youth with high prior school performance and attachment to school were also more likely to benefit from returning to school by reducing their likelihood of being rearrested


Summary

Summary

  • Our combined cohort of maximum, high, moderate, and low risk delinquent youth was comprised of youth characterized by disproportionate educational deficiencies as compared to matched public school students resulting in major challenges for the provision of quality and effective educational services while incarcerated

  • The results indicate that high quality education can serve as a turning point particularly in the life course of low and moderate risk incarcerated delinquents


Juvenile justice education research and quality assurance

  • While our cohort of delinquent youth suffered disproportionate educational deficiencies, it is likely that the moderate and low risk youth were less entrenched and committed to their delinquent life course as compared to the maximum and high risk delinquents

  • Continued longitudinal tracking of our cohort is necessary to more fully address the conditions under which continuity or turning points occur and are sustained or not during transition from incarceration into the community and throughout the life course including the role of marriage, jobs, military service, etc.


Juvenile justice education research and quality assurance

Policy Implications:

  • The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 is intended to increase the educational opportunities for all students in public schools and in juvenile justice facilities throughout the United States.

  • Since the inception of Juvenile Courts at the turn of the Twentieth Century, the quality of juvenile justice education programs throughout the country has been uneven and inferior to public schools.


Juvenile justice education research and quality assurance

  • If states are able to successfully implement the various NCLB juvenile justice school requirements and practices, educational opportunity will be substantially increased for incarcerated delinquent youth throughout the country thereby providing the potential for positive turning points in the life course of countless numbers of youth.

  • Indeed, the challenge will be to overcome various impediments during the implementation of NCLB (i.e. ideological and professional resistance, politics, and various other bureaucratic obstacles)


Continuing research

Continuing Research

  • Extended longitudinal findings

    • 2-3 years post release

  • Second cohort using same methods

    • Different year of release

    • 1-2 years post-release

  • Comparison of specific subgroups within the population

    • Special education students (behavior disorders v.s. learning disabled)

    • Students who earn diplomas while incarcerated (GED v.s. Standard H.S. Diploma)

    • Younger and older youth


Developing an effective educational quality assurance system for juvenile justice schools

Developing an Effective Educational Quality Assurance System for Juvenile Justice Schools


The context of delinquent populations difficulties with educating incarcerated youth

The Context of Delinquent Populations –Difficulties with Educating Incarcerated Youth

  • An average 1-2 years behind their age appropriate grade level

  • 43% have some form of disability

  • Chronic histories of school failure, truancy, dropout, and school discipline problems

  • High mobility rates

  • Large facilities in rural areas make providing parental involvement and transition services difficult

  • The juvenile justice system is often not part of the public school system

  • Difficulties in recruiting and retaining qualified teachers

  • The education component of a juvenile justice program often competes for resources with other areas such as security and treatment


Litigation in juvenile justice

Litigation in Juvenile Justice

  • 1983 - Florida’s juvenile justice system fell under scrutiny for excessive use of force, lack of due process, lack of educational services, IDEA

  • In the past two decades 34 states have experienced litigation regarding their juvenile justice institutions (most common cause for these suits has been educational services) n=50

  • As a result, 19 states have changed their organizational structure (n=48)

  • And 16 statesdeveloped orchanged their accountability system (n=48)


Florida s reaction to litigation bobby m

Florida’s Reaction to Litigation – Bobby M.

  • 1990 – 1994 Began revamping the juvenile justice system.

    • Closed one state training school and reduced population in two others

    • Created one agency for Dependent youth and a separate agency for Delinquent youth

  • In 1995, the Florida DOE developed the first set of Quality Assurance Education Standards

    • Based on Special Education performance standards and statutory authority

  • In 1998, the Florida DOE contracted with FSU

    • Added research component

    • Began providing technical assistance

    • Used research to guide the Quality Assurance system


The initial development of florida s quality assurance system

The Initial Development of Florida‘s Quality Assurance System

  • In 1998, JJEEP conducted an extensive literature review in the areas of juvenile justice education and the education of at-risk students

  • Sponsored five regional meetings throughout the state to solicit input from juvenile justice teachers and principals


Promising educational practices from the literature

Initial Assessments

Educational Planning

Transition Planning & Services

Parent Involvement

Curriculum & Instruction

Individualized Curriculum

Vocational Programming

Special Education

GED Prep

Cultural Diversity

Psychosocial Education

Teacher Qualifications & Professional Development

Effective School Environment

Adequate Space

Instructional Materials

Community Involvement

Separate Educational Budget

Aftercare

Promising Educational Practices from the Literature


Continuing development of florida s quality assurance system

Continuing Development of Florida's Quality Assurance System

  • Annual Raising of the Bar

    • Incorporating Latest Best Practice Research & Experience

    • Implementing New Legislation

    • Facilitating School District and Provider Input Annually through Standard Revisions


Increasing accountability for juvenile justice education

Increasing Accountability for Juvenile Justice Education

  • 1999 – HB 349

    • Research and technical assistance, Sanctions and interventions, LEA contract management

  • 2000 – State Board of Education Rule

    • Testing, Student planning, Records, School related transition services, Diversified curriculum and diploma options

  • 2001 – SB 2464

    • Educational Funding, Space, Vocational

  • 2002 – No Child Left Behind

    • Improve education services, Return to school, Highly qualified teachers, Program evaluation,


Quality assurance standards

Quality Assurance Standards

  • Transition

    • Enrollment, testing, planning (academic and transition), guidance, parent involvement

  • Service Delivery

    • Curriculum and instruction (vocational, academic, reading, employability/social), special education services

  • Educational Resources and Learning Environment

    • Teacher qualifications, collaboration, educational resources

  • Contract Management

    • Local school district accountability and oversight

      For a full version of JJEEP’s Standards, visit our website at www.jjeep.org


Quality assurance process

Quality Assurance Process

  • QA Review Protocol and Methodology

    • Triangulation of Information

      • Documentation, Interviews, & Observations

  • Peer Reviewers

  • Follow-up with low performing programs

  • Provide technical assistance through site visits and conferences

    Process vs. Component Compliance

  • Talk to teachers and kids, Observe classrooms

  • How are materials and information used? Is the process part of the program’s culture?


Current longitudinal research

Current Longitudinal Research

  • How should outcome information influence new Quality Assurance standards and process?

  • What types of educational services best benefit which type of students?

  • The only thing constant in JJEEP is change (continuous evaluation, strategic planning, new legislation, new research)


Contact us for information

Contact Us for Information

JJEEP

325 John Knox Road

Bldg. L, Suite 102

Tallahassee, FL 32303

_______________(850) 414-8355______________

Visit our website for information on research, standards, technical assistance documents, and links related to juvenile justice education

www.jjeep.org


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