IDEA Compliance

Juvenile Corrections

As a condition of receiving Federal funds under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), States must demonstrate to the U.S. Department of Education that they have policies and procedures in place to fully comply with the law’s requirements. IDEA guarantees that youth with disabilities within correctional facilities have access to a free appropriate public education (FAPE).To ensure the availability of FAPE, IDEA specifies procedures to identify youth with disabilities, address their needs, and design individualized supports and services to help them meet academic and behavioral expectations. In addition, IDEA requires youth to be educated in the least restrictive environment (LRE). For youth with disabilities in correctional facilities, this means that, to the extent possible, they are to be educated with those who are not disabled. Removing youth with disabilities from the regular educational environment should occur only if the severity of the disability is such that satisfactory performance in regular classes cannot be achieved. Also, under IDEA, eligible youth are entitled to an individualized education program (IEP) that details the specially designed instruction and related services that they require. IDEA compliance requires (1) the identification of youth with disabilities who have not previously been identified by the school before they entered the correctional facility, and (2) for identified youth, the continued adherence to their IEPs while they are enrolled in a facility.

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