Emerging Leader Fellow Ashley Sawyer Published on CJJ Today

Collaboration between Advocates, Facilities, and Government to Achieve Positive Education Outcomes for Incarcerated Youth
Coalition for Juvenile Justice
Ashley C. Sawyer, Esq. | August 4, 2015

Ensuring the well-being of young people in juvenile justice placement means ensuring that they have access to the same opportunities to succeed as other adolescents. Juvenile correctional facilities are ineffective rehabilitation tools, especially because youth in these facilities do not have access to a proper education.
The Education Law Center (ELC) works to ensure that youth in juvenile justice facilities receive the quality education they need. As part of the ELC team, I have had the opportunity to craft policy solutions that address the lack of educational supports in juvenile delinquency facilities.
Many of the vulnerable youth in these facilities have special education or mental health needs that must be met in order for them to graduate from high school and lead stable lives. At ELC, we recognize that many juvenile facilities are not meeting the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), and we try to leverage it as a tool to place pressure on facilities to provide better education to youth in their care.