In 2012, the U.S. Department of Education hosted a Summit on Education in Correctional Facilities to address correctional and reentry education for youth and adults. The goal was to ensure that previously incarcerated individuals have the supports and tools needed to be positively engaged members of society who are prepared for employment. Participants at the summit recognized that youth have unique needs, which require a separate set of standards, approaches, and programs.
After the Summit, five organizations, Juvenile Law Center, Open Society Foundations, Pennsylvania Academic/Career Technical Training Alliance, the Racial Justice Initiative, and the Robert F. Kennedy Juvenile Justice Collaborative, brought together key stakeholders in eight listening sessions across the country to learn more about the barriers to providing quality correctional and reentry education and employment training for youth. Together, these listening sessions convened over 100 leaders and experts from the justice, education, and youth advocacy fields. The policy recommendations were compiled in Recommendations to Improve Correctional and Reentry Education for Young People to reflect the ideas, observations, and information gained from these conversations.