A Study of the Transition of Youth from a Detention Center Education Program to a Standard School Education Program in Selected Southeastern States

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Virginia Tech

The purpose of this study was to examine the factors which facilitate the successful transition of youth from a detention educational program to a mainstream educational program. The study investigated the following components: (a) informal or formalized transition programs, (b) the practices used to assist youth at the detention level transition to the educational mainstream, (c) program components used at the detention level to successfully transition youth to the educational mainstream, the importance of personnel in assisting youth in their transition, (d) factors which contribute to the successful transition from detention to the educational mainstream, (e) program components effective in moving youth from a detention education program to the educational mainstream, and (f) whether or not a detention education program with a formal or informal transition program makes a difference in recidivism rates.

A survey questionnaire was sent to 143 detention center administrators in the Southeastern United States . Descriptive data were run on all items in the survey. Cronbach's alpha test of reliability was used to assess internal consistency. Pearson correlation was used to compare consistency between independent and dependent variables. Finally, an independent sample t-test was conducted to examine if mean differences exist on Total Returned to a Detention Center by Transition Program.

Transitioning from a detention facility to the community is a difficult process. By making available to youth a comprehensive program during periods of incarceration, and collaborating with the local educational agency, youth are often better able to make the adjustment. This study emphasized that in order for youth to be successful once they leave a correctional facility, a linkage must exist among all stakeholders.

short term detention, juvenile, delinquency, education program