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Guidelines for Transitioning DJS Youth to Public Schools (2014)

This document discusses policies for transition of youth involved with the Maryland juvenile justice system, both upon admission to a detention facility and upon release from detention. Specific policies are set forth for youth in detention programs and for youth in committed programs. In both policies, facility staff are tasked with ensuring that the youth’s education records are received and reviewed within three days of admission to the program and that an education plan based on the program’s average length of stay is established.

For youth incarcerated for less than 30 days, upon release, a Student Exit Record must be completed within one day of release, and the Juvenile Services Education (JSE) staff must provide the parent/guardian with a Progress Report and Parent Instructional Cover Letter to be used to re-enroll the child in school. For youth incarcerated for 30 or more days, the Student Exit Record is forwarded automatically to the Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) Office of Re-entry, which is the office that serves as a liaison between the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and the DJS. Procedures are also outlined requiring MDSE JSE to follow up to ensure that all documents were appropriately sent to the youth’s new school and that any requested education records are forwarded promptly.

For youth admitted to DJS committed programs, this policy provides for a discharge planning meeting to be held at least 45 days prior to the youth’s projected release. A transition specialist should be assigned to determine the youth’s education status and plans and identify records that are needed to allow for a smooth transition. The transition meeting should include a presentation of a complete education packet, compiled by the transition specialist, including all relevant documents. During this meeting, the team, which includes DJS staff, the transition specialist, and the parent and youth, will discuss the most appropriate placement. The transition specialist is also responsible for following up with the school to verify enrollment upon release.