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Education in Juvenile Detention Facilities in the State of Connecticut: A Glance at the System

Education in Juvenile Detention Facilities in the State of Connecticut: A Glance at the System. Elena L. Grigorenko Yale University. The problem in a nutshell. National statistics (annually) ~1.6 million juveniles are referred to juvenile court (Snyder & Sickmund, 2006)

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Education in Juvenile Detention Facilities in the State of Connecticut: A Glance at the System

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  1. Education in Juvenile Detention Facilities in the State of Connecticut: A Glance at the System Elena L. Grigorenko Yale University

  2. The problem in a nutshell • National statistics (annually) • ~1.6 million juveniles are referred to juvenile court (Snyder & Sickmund, 2006) • ~95,000 juveniles are in residential custody (Livsey, Sickund, & Sladky, 2009) • Education & employment are two of the most influential/effective factors predisposing desistance • Well-being must include education (Weinberg, 2007) • Vulnerable juveniles particularly need high-quality education services and support • Successful transition to adulthood • Rehabilitation & treatment (public opinion & tax $$$)

  3. Academic achievement & delinquency: nationwide • Krezmien, Mulcahy, & Leone (2008) • 555 males at intake to a juvenile correctional facility in a mid-Atlantic state • On average, ~4 years behind (academically) their age-equivalent peers • Suspended: >80% • Retained/repeated grade: >60% • Expelled: >50% • Wilson, Zablocki, & Bartolotta (2007) • 273 incarcerated girls • Reading and math scores substantially below expected age-level performance • Suspended: >80% • Retained/repeated grade: >55% • Expelled: >46%

  4. Academic achievement & delinquency: Connecticut (1) The relationships between Grade Attended (Y axis) and Grade Assigned (X axis) for Word- (a) and Text-level Reading (b) and Mathematics (c) Hart et al., in press

  5. Academic achievement & delinquency: Connecticut (2) • Academic capacity of juvenile detainees • 1058 juveniles in the three (3) DCs assessed with JAKAT • Average reported grade for this group of detainees was grade 9 • Word Decoding—7th grade performance • Reading Comprehension—4th grade performance • Mathematics—5th grade performance Hart et al., in press

  6. Situational analysis (1) • Method • Participants (complete sampling scheme) • Centers (3DC’s and 7 ACD’s) • Teachers (48) • Administrators (13) • Students • Records (n=713) • Clients (n=30) Macomber et al., 2010

  7. Situational analysis (2) • Method • Procedures • Interviews (structured) • All participants • Classroom observations (structured) • Each classroom at least twice • Data analyses • Qualitative • Quantitative Macomber et al., 2010

  8. Situational analysis (3) • Students • Programs • Teachers • Records Macomber et al., 2010

  9. Situational analysis: highlights (1) • Students • Highly diverse • Grade dispersion: 2-3 • ESL • Poorly characterized • No formalized placement procedure • Even when assessed with standardized tests—difficulty translating assessment into pedagogical guidelines • No formalized discharge/transfer procedure • Underidentified/underserved • Records from 713 juveniles • 70 (9.9%) identified as SN students • 8 (11.4%) had IEPs or notes on IEPs • Unmet needs • Eyeglasses • Lack of basic skills • Handling supplies (scissors, glue, clay…) • Impoverished general level of knowledge about the world Macomber et al., 2010

  10. Situational analysis: highlights (2) • Programs • Range of approaches • No unified program • District-based textbooks/programs (81%) • Specialized/individualized approaches (23%) • Range of instruction • From one-size-fits-all (6%) to individualized (7%) • Atmosphere • At least one distraction during class time: 55% of visits • Student removal: 18% • Teacher control: 93% • Quality • Highly variable (on a scale of 1 to 3, around 2+) Macomber et al., 2010

  11. Situational analysis: highlights (3) • Teachers • Qualifications • 65% SpEd certified; 77% advanced degrees • Lack of access to the information that is crucial for educating juveniles in detention • Monitoring • Lack of QA • Perception • Low level of effectiveness • Low level of appreciation of educational programs within facilities • Limited access to in-service professional development • Low level of support Macomber et al., 2010

  12. Situational analysis: highlights (4) • Records • There • Student information • 46%--no information from LEA on entry • 31%--no information form LEA ever • If the information arrives • 1-2 days (13%) • 2-7 days (33%) • > week (33%) • > month (2%) • Practices vary within detention centers and within LEA(s) • And back • Post-release communication with LEA(s) • Some (56%) • None (29%) • Small study • 30 selected & contacted • 9 releases received • 1 school (2 students) refused to participate • 1 student never returned • 6 schools acknowledged the return of the student • 3 schools (10%!!!) shared the information Macomber et al., 2010

  13. To conclude, Quality educational services and support are expected for all children and adolescents being educated in the U.S.A.; pre-adjudicated detained children and adolescents should be no exception, but, on the contrary, there should be a strong reminder that detained juveniles have legal rights, and that the system has an obligation to recognize and uphold those rights.

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