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Guiding Principles for Providing High-Quality Education in Juvenile Justice Secure Care Settings, U.S. Department of Education and Department of Justice

In December of 2014, the Department of Education in partnership with the Department of Justice released five guiding principles for the provision of correctional education in juvenile justice facilities. Principle I recognizes “[a] safe, healthy, facility-wide climate that prioritizes education, provides the conditions for learning, and encourages the necessary behavioral and social support services that address the individual needs of all youths, including those with disabilities and English learners.”  The DOE identified four core activities for secure care facilities that support this principle:

  1. Establish a school- and facility-wide climate with a focus on family engagement in which youths are free from threats of or actual physical or emotional harm;
  2. Create and/or revise policies, procedures, and progress measures that prioritize education and student educational achievement;
  3. Develop a continuum of academic and behavioral supports and services to promote the long-term educational outcomes desired for youths who are system-involved, potentially through a tiered framework; and
  4. Ensure fairness and equity in the provision of educational services and promotion of a facility-wide climate that supports learning consistent with federal law.