U.S. Dept. of Education (DOE) (Washington, DC)
"Technology has transformed the way we approach most daily tasks and activities. It plays a role in how we apply for and perform on a job, communicate with friends and family, access government and other services, manage our finances, and purchase entertainment. Technology also enables our learning … The policies and practices of federal, state, and local corrections agencies, including the juvenile justice system, severely hinder the ability of correctional education programs to enable learning through technology … The primary concern about adopting educational technology in corrections is the potential for security breaches. Other reasons include, but are not limited to, insufficient resources and staff capacity to purchase, implement, maintain, and monitor advanced technologies … This report is designed to inform federal, state, and local corrections and correctional education administrators as they explore ways to securely and cost effectively provide advanced technologies in corrections facilities to help strengthen and expand educational and reentry services. It describes the current status of these technologies in corrections, existing and emerging approaches to providing such services in facilities, and the successes and challenges of early implementers. The report concludes with a set of recommendations that align with the National Education Technology Plan’s five overarching goals" (p. 1-3). Sections of this report include: introduction; overview; current status of advanced technologies in corrections; mobile device vendors providing educational technology in corrections; successes and challenges of early implementers; international use of technology in correctional education delivery; recommendations for adopting educational technology in corrections; information technology terminology; and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction's Policy on Internet Access to Prisoners.
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.