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Guiding Principles for Providing High-Quality Education in Juvenile Justice Secure Care Settings

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This is necessary reading for anyone involved with educating incarcerated youth. "Providing high-quality education in juvenile justice secure care settings presents unique challenges for the administrators, teachers, and staff who are responsible for the education, rehabilitation, and welfare of youths committed to their care ... The more than 2,500 juvenile justice residential facilities across the country need support from federal, state, and local educational agencies; the broader juvenile justice system (particularly the juvenile justice agencies that oversee facilities); and their communities to improve services for committed youths. The services provided to them in secure care facilities should be developmentally appropriate and focus on the youths’ educational, social-emotional, behavioral, and career planning needs so that their time within a secure care facility is a positive experience during which they attain new skills and move on to a more productive path. Building on prior guidance from ED and DOJ, this report focuses on five guiding principles recommended by the federal government for providing high-quality education in juvenile justice secure care settings" (p. iv). Briefly, the five guiding principles and supporting core activities are: the need of a safe, healthy, and facility-wide climate that supports all youth; necessary funding; recruitment, employment, and retention of qualified staff; rigorous and relevant curricula; and formal processes and procedures. The report expands and describes each principle in detail. A list of relevant federal laws, with links to the documents, is also included.