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Multiple Pathways to Academic Success Online Series


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Supporting At-Risk Students: From Enrollment to Graduation and Beyond


Youth adjudicated delinquent are in an educational crisis - they are more likely than their peers to be absent or truant, face disciplinary action, need evaluation and remedial services, perform below grade level, have a disability that qualifies them for special education services, and drop out of high school.

These problems arise in the context of a broad social disparity along racial and economic lines that emerges in the education system and is often reinforced by policing practices and entry to the juvenile justice system. Thus, a disproportionate number of youth arrive in the juvenile justice system from under-resourced schools that offer fewer opportunities for positive educational engagement, struggle with higher rates of violence, and rely increasingly on police, criminal and juvenile justice system involvement to resolve school discipline problems.

Academics and activists have written extensively about the serious problems raised by the school-to-prison pipeline. As these researchers recognize, the problem should be solved at the front end by developing positive educational opportunities for youth and preventing entry into the justice system. Given the reality that roughly 93,000 youth are currently held in juvenile correction facilities, however, a pressing need still exists to consider the educational well-being of youth in the justice system. This session, therefore, focuses on problem solving at the tail end of the school-to-prison pipeline, once youth have been adjudicated delinquent. Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Identify those children most likely to be at risk educationally
  • List at least five commonly viewed barriers for at-risk students to succeed in school
  • Identify five ways to improve positive school environments for at-risk students
  • Examine ways to improve curriculum, instruction and support for at-risk students

Presenter: Maura McInerney, J.D., Staff Attorney, Education Law Center, Philadelphia, Pa.

 

The Importance of Education in Reducing Crime and Delinquency


The presentation will examine the past and present role of the educational system in crime and delinquency prevention, as well as offer suggestions for the future role education may play. Education was not actively involved in confronting crime and delinquency until recent years. This session will highlight the positive role that education can play in reducing crime and delinquency, as illustrated by delinquency reduction research conducted in Florida.

Future challenges posed by crime and delinquency and their escalating costs will be examined. Finally, the session will conclude with a description of how education can effectively confront and reduce crime and delinquency and their costs. Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Provide historical description and understanding of the U.S. response to crime and delinquency to demonstrate the absence of concern with the role of education
  • Document the positive role of education upon decreasing the likelihood of crime and delinquency and/or recidivism
  • Provide a research illustration drawn from Florida on how educational achievement while incarcerated improves post release outcomes for delinquent youth
  • Identify some of the future challenges associated with crime and delinquency's escalating financial costs
  • Illustrate how education can effectively confront crime and delinquency and their costs

Presenter: Thomas G. Blomberg, Ph.D., Dean and Sheldon L. Messinger Professor of Criminology, College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Florida State University and Executive Director, Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research, College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla.


 

Screening and Assessment in the Juvenile Justice Systems: Identifying Mental Health Needs and Risk of Reoffending


When agencies are responsible for protecting both the welfare of youth and public safety, two broad issues become important to address among the youth they serve: mental health and risk of reoffending. With respect to mental health, juvenile justice facilities have a legal and societal responsibility to respond to the needs of youth in their custody if those needs place the youth at risk of harm to themselves (Grisso, 2004). With respect to risk in juvenile justice, this concept refers to the potential for serious reoffending and/or continued delinquent activity and potential for harming others.

Juvenile court decision-makers are often faced with the task of determining whether such behaviors might occur in the future and whether the risk is sufficiently great that some sort of intervention is necessary. This session will explain why screening and assessment for risk and mental health are best used together by child-serving agencies when planning the most effective course of action for individual youth. Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Define the difference between screening and assessment
  • List at least three ways in which adolescent development affects offending behavior
  • Describe how risk assessment aids intervention decisions for youth
  • Provide at least three criteria for selecting an evidence based tool

Presenter: Gina M. Vincent, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of Translational Law & Psychiatry Research, Center for Mental Health Services Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Mass.


 

Educating All Children: Addressing the Unmet Needs of Children and Youth in the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems


Children and youth involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, like all children, deserve quality educations that allow them to develop the skills and competencies necessary to become productive adults. Regrettably, this is infrequently the case. Many of these children and youth leave school without a regular diploma; and others graduate without the academic proficiency and social-emotional competencies that constitute twenty-first century learning skills. The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute has recognized these poor outcomes and the need for greater cross-system collaboration to correct these negative outcomes. Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Examine challenges and current education status of services for youth involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems
  • Describe strategies and practices that improve options and opportunities for youth involved in the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice systems
  • Pose questions for professionals and family members interested in shaping the conversation and increasing collaboration among agencies and professionals serving these youth

Presenter: Peter E. Leone, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Special Education, University of Maryland, College Park, Md.


 

Providing Individually Tailored Academic and Behavioral Support Services for Youth in the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems


The second edition of National Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center's Transition Toolkit brings together strategies, existing practices, and updated resources and documents on transition to enable administrators and service providers to deliver high-quality transition services for children and youth moving into, through, and out of education programs within the juvenile justice system.

Simple communication efforts and the implementation of basic transition processes, such as timely records transfer, can have a dramatic impact on a student's engagement in school and avoidance of further incarceration. The focus of the toolkit is on the administrative processes, coordination efforts and communication practices within the juvenile justice system.

The toolkit offers ideas and resources that administrators can use to improve the basic functioning of their treatment and institution-based programs, with a primary focus on programs related to the educational needs of youth and those who directly provide education services. Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Analyze practices and strategies to assist students in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems succeed educationally
  • List three strategies to engage students, from the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, in a successful learning experience
  • Identify three practices to assist schools in engaging students from the child welfare and juvenile justice systems in educational communities

Presenters: Lauren Amos and Nick Read, Research Analysts, American Institutes for Research (AIR), National Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At Risk (NDTAC), Washington, D.C.


 

The Pennsylvania Juvenile Collateral Consequences Checklists


Although the Pennsylvania Juvenile Act limits public access to juvenile court records and juvenile arrest records, youth still suffer collateral consequences because of juvenile adjudications. Currently, there is no statutory collection of collateral consequences for juvenile adjudications of delinquency, which leaves many juveniles, attorneys and families unaware of the inevitable barriers to the juvenile’s future successes. Moreover, no law mandates that attorneys, judges or juvenile probation officers inform juveniles of these potential collateral consequences.

An adjudication of delinquency in Pennsylvania can affect later court proceedings, employment opportunities, access to financial aid, public benefits and the child welfare system, and the juvenile’s military enlistment and/or receipt of a driver’s license. Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Explore the collateral consequences of juvenile adjudications of delinquency
  • Provide some approaches to reduce their adverse effects

 Presenter: Lisa Campbell, J.D., Public Defender, Defender Association of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa.


 

 

Presenter Biographies

Lauren Amos is a research analyst at the American Institutes for Research (AIR) with more than 15 years of experience in research, evaluation, and technical assistance in education. At National Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At Risk (NDTAC) she serves as a technical assistance liaison for 18 states in supporting the implementation of the Title I, Part D, program. In addition to her work with NDTAC, she is the project director for the Broadening Participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) project funded by NSF; and serves as deputy director for an evaluation of the U.S. Department of Education's Carol M. White Physical Education Program. She is the project director for the Satellites, Weather and Climate project, which provides technical assistance for the evaluation of the University of Vermont's geosciences professional development program; and is the STEM subject-matter expert for an AIR-led effort to develop practitioner guides for U.S. Department of Education's 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

Thomas G. Blomberg, Ph.D. is Dean and Sheldon L. Messinger Professor of Criminology, College of Criminology and Criminal Justice and Executive Director, Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research, College of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University. He has published numerous books, articles and monographs in such areas as penology and social control, victim services and the role of education in delinquency desistance. Among his more recent books are American Penology: Enlarged Second Edition (2009), Punishment and Social Control: Enlarged Second Edition (2003), and Data Driven Juvenile Justice Education (2001). His experience includes an extensive record of externally funded research projects involving the utilization of empirically grounded research to inform public policy. Since 1998, he has been involved in research in Florida and the nation, which has documented the positive role of educational achievement among incarcerated youth in successful community reintegration. Additionally, he has assessed the practices and effectiveness of alternative education schools for at-risk youth and developed education and behavior quality assurance standards for these schools.

Lisa Campbell, J.D. has been a public defender at the Defender Association of Philadelphia since 2004. She has handled countless adult and juvenile cases during rotations through the various trial units. She has experience handling complex and serious juvenile cases; and leading and training teams of attorneys in the Juvenile Unit. She currently is researching and presenting on the issue of collateral consequences of juvenile adjudications and the need for expungements of juvenile records.

Peter E. Leone, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Maryland. His experience includes direct service to troubled youth as well as field-based research, which examines the multidimensional problems associated with behavior disorders. Leone points to the role of environmental and cultural factors in the inception of behavior disorders and believes educators need to take a multidisciplinary approach when implementing programs for troubled or troubling youth. From 1999 to 2006, he directed The National Center on Education, Disability and Juvenile Justice, a research, training and technical assistance project.

Maura McInerney, J.D. is a staff attorney at the Education Law Center in Philadelphia, Pa. Her practice focuses on the legal rights of students who are homeless or in foster care, including issues relating to prompt enrollment, school stability, special education, transfer and graduation requirements. McInerney is also involved in policy work at federal, state and local levels. In 1990, she co-founded a transitional housing program in Columbia, Maryland that provides housing, legal support and social services for homeless families.

Nicholas Read, a research analyst at the American Institutes for Research, serves NDTAC as a direct technical assistance provider to 16 states administering Title I, Part D, funds; develops toolkits, guides, fact sheets, and other publications; and conducts webinars, conference workshops, and presentations. In addition to his work on NDTAC, Read is a technical assistance specialist for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's State Training and Technical Assistance Center where he assists states in meeting the requirements of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. He is also a site liaison and data management specialist for OJJDP's Evaluation of the Mentoring Enhancement Demonstration Project.

Gina M. Vincent is Associate Professor and Director of Translational Law & Psychiatry Research Center for Mental Health Services Research, Department of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She has received funding from National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute of Mental Health and the MacArthur Foundation for studies relevant to risk assessment for reoffending, violence, mental health screening, and addiction among youth involved in the juvenile justice system. She has a NIDA K01 Young Investigator's Award to study the underlying functionalities of cocaine addiction among youth with callous-unemotional conduct disorder. Vincent is the co-director of the National Youth Screening & Assessment Project, one of the national technical assistance centers for the MacArthur Models for Change Initiative, a national effort towards juvenile justice reform.