Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Breaking: Department of Education Announces New Tools to Support Reentry For Recently Incarcerated Youth #IncarceratedStudents

Alright, how cool are we? As you know we are currently running a series on the newest hot button issue in special education law: incarcerated students. This story goes under the category of I told you so!

Yesterday the Department of Education, in conjunction with the Department of Justice, issued a series of resources pertaining to improving outcomes for students who have been incarcerated. The resources include $5.7 million in new research grants and a new toolkit providing guidance to teachers and others who work with formerly incarcerated students. The reentry education toolkit is available here. The press release may be reviewed here.

Here is a quote from the press release:
"The toolkit announced today aligns with the Education Department’s effort to promote access to correctional education and reentry services for those leaving the criminal justice system, and thereby build stronger, safer communities and families. The toolkit provides resources for educators and community members and highlights the five critical components of an effective reentry system: program infrastructure, strategic partnerships, education services, transition processes, and sustainability.
Children of incarcerated parents are at greater risk of health and behavior issues in school, among other challenges. Research shows that more than 5 million children have had at least one parent in prison at one point in their lives. The prevalence of incarceration, particularly in low-income communities of color, has negative consequences for both those incarcerated and their families. In addition, children of incarcerated parents face more economic and residential instability than their counterparts.
2013 federal study of people released from state prisons found that 94 percent of incarcerated adults who were nearing reentry identified education as a key need. Equipping incarcerated youth and adults with the skills they need to successfully reenter the community is one of the most powerful – and cost-effective – ways to ensure they avoid future contact with the justice system and become productive members of society."

So our series on incarcerated students is certainly timely, right?

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