Studies have shown that youth in the juvenile justice system face serious academic challenges. The fact that these students do not get the assistance they need before, during, and after their detention largely contributes to the academic challenges they face, including low academic performance, high retention and dropout rates.
The Juvenile Education Advocacy Project (JEAP) seeks to provide advocacy for system-involved youth as they navigate their educational rights both in detention and upon re-entry, in an effort to decrease recidivism and improve educational outcomes. Students will be assigned a client. During the first two months, students will review their client’s records and meet with their client and his/her parents. Students will gather information about their client’s academic history, needs, and goals with an eye to developing an education plan. Most clients will be detained, so meetings will likely take place in a detention facility. Then, students will combine what they learned from their client and parent interviews and educational records to develop a plan for the student’s educational goals. The student will share and further develop the plan with the client and teach self-advocacy and goal-setting skills. Advocates will also identify any red flags about the client’s educational experience in detention and notify supervising attorneys of any concerns.
Time Commitment: Students will spend around 25 hours total on the SLP during the year. Students will be expected to attend all trainings and meet with clients at least three times over the course of the year. Trainings will be monthly and there will be no specific “weekly” commitment. Students will meet with clients at times chosen by the students so long as there are at least three meetings by the end of the year.
For more information, please contact the student leaders at Berkeley.JEAP@gmail.com.