Increase access to education for people in the juvenile and criminal justice systems
Updated June 15, 2021
Education and workforce development services are critical to securing meaningful employment and supporting long-term success, particularly for people in the juvenile and criminal justice systems. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) provides an opportunity for states and local communities to leverage over $160 billion in education-specific funding to expand the availability and quality of postsecondary and career technical education and increase financial assistance for people in the justice system.
|Name||Total Amount||Description||Administering Agencies||Eligible Entities||Distribution Mechanisms||End Date|
|Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund||$39.5 billion||Support student tuition expenses, defray institutional expenses, and expand financial aid grants to students.||Department of Education||Institutions of higher education and students||Formula allocation||September 30, 2023|
|Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief Fund||$122.7 billion||Help safely reopen schools; address learning losses due to the pandemic, particularly for vulnerable populations; and address the social, emotional, and mental health needs of students.
||Department of Education||State and local educational agencies||Formula allocation, subgrants, and contracts||September 30, 2023|
The ARP provides for an additional $350 billion in State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds for communities to address local fiscal priorities in response to the pandemic. Treasury guidance specifically allows these funds to be used for a wide range of educational investments, including addressing educational disparities and providing services to enhance educational supports, such as evidence-based practices to support social, emotional, and mental health needs and assisting high-poverty school districts. State, local and tribal governments can request recovery funds directly through the Treasury’s website.
1. Broaden job training pathways: Communities can strengthen and expand Career Technical Education (CTE) and job training pathways for youth and adults in the justice system, including work-based learning and improved credentialing programs that are aligned to local economic needs. Providing high–quality workforce development services helps position people in the justice system to meet employers’ expectations and lays the groundwork for long-term success.
2. Expand higher education access and financial aid: ARP funding can be used to incentivize and scale best practices for higher education institutions—particularly community colleges—to recruit, enroll, and support people in the juvenile and criminal justice systems. This includes broadening access to college credit and dual enrollment programs and expanding adult-education programming for people without high school diplomas. At the same time, communities should explore opportunities to expand financial aid and scholarships for non-traditional students, including people in the justice system.
3. Increase wraparound educational support services: Communities can use ARP resources to provide meaningful wraparound supports, such as tutoring and counseling, that are crucial to address potential barriers to postsecondary and CTE program completion.
- Laying the Groundwork: How States Can Improve Access to Continued Education for People in the Criminal Justice System
- Provides a comprehensive, state-by-state analysis of postsecondary education policy and practices
- Improving Equity and Access to High-Quality CTE for Youth and Young Adults in the Justice System
- Describes how localities can improve workforce development and employment outcomes for youth and young adults in the justice system
- How States Can Reduce Structural Barriers to School and Work for People with Juvenile Records
- Offers policy solutions for stakeholders to reduce collateral consequences for people with juvenile records
- Locked Out: Improving Educational and Vocational Outcomes for Incarcerated Youth
- Provides policymakers with recommendations to improve college and career readiness for incarcerated youth
- On Track: How Well Are States Preparing Youth in the Juvenile Justice System for Employment?
- Outlines how well juvenile correctional agencies are preparing youth for employment
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