On November 19, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education hosted a summit that addressed correctional and reentry education for youth and adults. Former Stoneleigh Fellow Candace Putter spoke at the initial summit, and was a co-facilitator for the juvenile break-out session at the summit. The goal was to ensure that individuals in correctional facilities and upon reentry have access to education as well as other tools and supports necessary to become positively engaged members of society who are prepared for 21st Century employment.
After this summit, with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, five organizations—Juvenile Law Center, Open Society Foundations, Pennsylvania Academic & Career Technical/Training (represented by Candace), Racial Justice Initiative, and Robert F. Kennedy Juvenile Justice Collaborative—convened key stakeholders in eight listening sessions across the country to learn more about the challenges of providing quality correctional and reentry education and career/technical training for young people.
All together, these listening sessions convened over 100 community leaders and experts from the education, justice, and youth advocacy fields, at meetings held in Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, as well as at the Correctional Education Association Director’s Forum, and a conference call for participants who could not attend in person.
The policy recommendations presented here reflect the insights, observations and knowledge gained from these critical conversations. They were presented at the Department of Education and Ford Foundation Summit on Correctional and Reentry Education on April 29, 2013.
127 organizations signed on to support these recommendations, which seek to achieve the following goals:
- Improve the quality and availability of educational programs, including special education, programs for English language learners, and career/technical training for young people in juvenile and adult correctional settings;
- Improve access to quality education including post-secondary education and career/technical training, and necessary supports for young people re-entering the community from secure facilities; and
- Improve cross-system collaboration and appropriate information-sharing that facilitates full access to quality education, career/technical training, and necessary supports.