ICI Releases New Report on Youth with Disabilities in Juvenile Justice System

Publication date: 
November 30, 2017

ICI has released A Better Path, A Better Future, a report describing three innovative projects that have developed and tested strategies for improving the community reentry of youth with disabilities incarcerated in juvenile justice facilities. The projects are Project RISE at Arizona State University, Project STAY OUT at the University of Oregon, and the MAP Project at ICI.

On November 28, the three Principal Investigators (David R. Johnson, Minnesota; Sarup R. Mathur, Arizona; Deanne K. Unruh, Oregon) presented the report and discussed the work and findings of the projects with an invited gathering of representatives from several federal agencies that was organized by the project funder, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).

“It is more than evident that far too many incarcerated youth with disabilities continue to fall through the cracks and go unserved or underserved upon release,” says Johnson. “In the report we share some of the lessons learned over the past four years that might be useful to others in improving the reentry.” 

The report includes an overview of youth with disabilities in the juvenile justice system, description of the role of IDEA in ensuring they receive special education and related services while incarcerated, strategies and findings of the three four-year model demonstration projects, and 10 lessons learned through the projects that can help inform improvements to services and supports for youth with disabilities during and following their incarceration.

A webinar on the findings of the three projects titled, "Lessons Learned from Three Reentry Programs for Young Offenders with Disabilities" is being presented on December 14 at 3pm (Eastern) by the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition, the TA Center funded by OSEP. Registration is open.