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ERIC Number: ED503742
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Dec
Pages: 77
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 27
Special Education and Juvenile Justice: An Overview and Analysis of Prevention and Intervention Policy and Program Developments
Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities
There is a serious overpopulation of special needs youth in Ohio's juvenile justice system. This study raises policy questions relating to gaining a deeper understanding of the reasons why there is an overpopulation of children with disabilities in youth correctional facilities and what can be done to reduce the need for future incarcerations. There is currently limited knowledge or data to support or disprove assumptions regarding why this overpopulation is occurring. A growing amount of research and independent evaluation regarding the effectiveness of relevant prevention and intervention programs is focused on the needs of students at-risk of incarceration, but little on special needs, at-risk youth. Advocating that it is important for Ohio policy makers and practitioners to learn more about the primary means of preventing the incarceration of students with special education needs, the report recommends creation of a Commission on Special Education and Juvenile Justice to provide a forum for bringing experts and stakeholders together to gain a more thorough understanding of how students with special educational needs who are at risk of incarceration are treated currently and how this treatment can be improved through more effective educational programming and prevention/intervention initiatives to reduce their ongoing over-representation in the juvenile justice system. Cited questions for the Commission to address include: (1) What steps can the state take to make the public, elected officials, policy makers and practitioners more aware of the problem of overpopulation of children with disabilities in the juvenile justice system? (2) Should the state fund and direct the Department of Youth Services (DYS) to conduct an independent evaluation of the costs of incarceration versus intervention and prevention in Ohio? (3) Should the state require the Ohio Department of Education to annually report on student discipline, including incidence rates for children with disabilities and review the correlation between disciplinary actions in schools and the students with disabilities that are incarcerated by both type of offense and disability category? (4) What are the most effective ways to discover evidenced-based and cost-effective best practices? (5) What steps should be taken to prevent the unnecessary institutionalization of youth with behavioral/mental problems? (6) How can the state improve both horizontal and vertical collaboration among the various departments and agencies involved in the intervention and prevention of children with disabilities becoming involved in the juvenile justice system? (7) What can be learned from reviewing the latest brain research, a rapidly evolving field, as it relates to serving this population? (8) To what extent do Ohio public education policies, including those related to prevention and intervention initiatives, expand and/or reduce the rate of incarceration of students with disabilities? (9) Should public school districts be required to report annually to parents the parents' rights under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA)? (10) How can current funding for intervention and prevention services for students with disabilities be utilized more effectively? and (11) What efforts should be made to ensure the appropriate screening of students with disabilities as part of a more effective early intervention and education strategy? Three appendices are included: (1) Listing of Organizations involved with some aspect of the overpopulation of special-needs youth in the juvenile justice system; (2) Listing of Evaluation Organizations that have identified, evaluated and ranked prevention and intervention programs designed to reduce risk factors associated with problem or delinquent behavior; and (3) Outline of Notes from a discussion conducted with special education and juvenile justice stakeholders about the over-representation of special education students in the juvenile justice system. (Contains 8 footnotes.)
Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities. 165 West Center Street Suite 302, Marion, OH 43302. Tel: 800-374-2806; Fax: 740-383-6421; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities, Marion.
Identifiers - Location: Ohio