Reentry Mythbuster: On Education Technology in Juvenile Facilities

Juvenile correctional facilities have successfully used technology to broaden the scope of education programming.

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A Product of the Federal Interagency Reentry Council
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MYTH: Juvenile correctional facilities that want to expand youth access to technology must be willing to compromise the security of the facility and the safety of detained youth.

FACT: Many juvenile correctional facilities have successfully used technology, including the Internet, to broaden the scope of education programming while maintaining appropriate and effective safeguards for detained youth. 

The use of technology in correctional classrooms offers many advantages, such as addressing a broad range of learning styles and academic readiness, reaching isolated or geographically remote populations, and leveraging limited instructional resources via virtual dissemination. While concerns over youth and community safety often prevent facilities from pursuing such options, states and jurisdictions have begun to explore options for offering their students and staff opportunities to use education techology while maintaining security and safety. 

Benefits and Uses

The Reentry Council, established by Attorney General Holder in January 2011, represents a significant executive branch commitment to coordinating reentry efforts and advancing effective reentry policies. The Council’s myth busters are fact sheets designed to clarify existing federal policies that can improve reentry success.  This myth buster explains that high quality educational programs in juvenile confinement institutions make use of a variety of technology resources.  Rich examples are provided, as well as a link to additional resources on technology use in the juvenile justice education context. 

This fact sheet focuses on showcaseing how three programs implemented innovative practices to serve youth who are involved, or at risk of involvement, with the juvenile justice and/or child welfare systems. 

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