Correctional Education Guidance Package

Correctional Education Guidance PackageAccording to a December 8, 2014, letter (PDF, 3 pages) from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder, “on any given day, more than 60,000 young people under age 21 are confined in juvenile justice facilities throughout the United States.1 With few exceptions, each one of these young people will eventually reenter our communities, and, ideally, our schools and postsecondary institutions. High-quality correctional education is one crucial means of supporting their future success and thereby strengthening the communities they return to.” The letter was written to Chief State School Officers and State Attorneys General, introducing the release of “Guiding Principles for Providing High-Quality Education in Juvenile Justice Secure Care Setting” (PDF, 38 pages).

This guidance package from the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice identifies promising practices for improving education programs in juvenile justice facilities, as well as in areas in which federal legal obligations apply. The guidance informs the efforts of states, school districts, and juvenile justice facilities that serve system-involved youth to build on recommendations in the “My Brother’s Keeper Task Force Report to the President.” Together, this guidance package and the recommendations in the My Brother’s Keeper report aim to “reform the juvenile and criminal justice systems to reduce unnecessary interactions for youth and to enforce the rights of incarcerated youth to a quality education.”2

The guidance package, additional resources, and technical assistance and support are available from the website of the U.S. Department of Education.

1 National Report Series Bulletin (2014). Juveniles in residential placement, 2011. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 3. Retrieved from (PDF, 16 pages)
2U.S. Department of Education. (2014). Secretary Duncan, Attorney General Holder announce guidance package on providing quality education services to America’s confined youth. Retrieved from