The outcomes on record for youth experiencing incarceration in Washington reflect the lowest graduation rates of any other student population. The needs of students in Juvenile Rehabilitation (JR) are complex. They require more intensive services to achieve positive outcomes, making quality education a critical need for this group of students.
House Bill 1295 was passed in 2020 to provide public education to young people in or released from institutional education facilities. The bill requires DCYF and the Office of Superintendent for Public Instruction (OSPI) to make vital improvements in education. With expert consultation from American Institutes for Research, JustLeadershipUSA, and an advisory group, DCYF and OSPI are collaborating to develop recommendations that will transform and dramatically improve educational delivery and system-wide improvements. These improvements will reflect a holistic and trauma-informed approach grounded in research and best practices.
DCYF is also expanding post-secondary pathways to adequately serve JR students up to age 25. JR is developing partnerships with colleges and the community to ensure multiple education and career pathways for the youth and young adults in our care. The framework for guided pathways includes a variety of choices that prepare individuals for living-wage jobs and careers, including registered pre-apprenticeships, career and technical education, academic pathways, and post-release education connections.