The National Center on Education, Disability and Juvenile Justice

The National Center on Education, Disability and Juvenile Justice

EDJJ is a collaborative project involving partners from the University of Maryland, Arizona State University, the American Institutes for Research in Washington, DC, and the PACER parent advocacy center in Minneapolis.

The disproportionate representation of incarcerated youth with disabilities is increasingly recognized as an urgent national problem. In 1997, an expert panel convened by several federal agencies recommended a series of actions to the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention concerning the relationship between disability and involvement in the juvenile court and correctional systems. An outcome of that work was the National Center on Education, Disability and Juvenile Justice (EDJJ), established in 1999 through a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). EDJJ was organized as a collaborative project of the University of Maryland, Arizona State University, University of Kentucky, American Institutes for Research and PACER parent advocacy center.

EDJJ focuses on assisting practitioners, policymakers, researchers and advocates to identify and implement effective school-based delinquency prevention programs, education and special education services in juvenile correctional facilities, and transition supports for youth re-entering their schools and communities from secure care settings.

In August 2004, EDJJ received additional grant funding from OSEP to continue and expand our work. Currently, we are focusing on improving the poor literacy skills that are common among incarcerated youth by developing and disseminating evidence-based educational interventions specifically tailored for use in juvenile correctional facilities. Additional information about our research, training activities, publications and other resources is available on our website.

In August 2006, federal support for EDJJ activities ended. EDJJ continues as an affiliation of individuals involved in the original project as well as those interested in supporting quality education for incarcerated youth and those at-risk for incarceration. Faculty and staff at the University of Maryland and Arizona State University will maintain the website, disseminate information, and continue to promote prevention, appropriate services for incarcerated youth, and transition and support as youth return to their communities.