State Organizational Structures
Overall, the 2006 interview and survey results reveal a high level of variation across states with respect to the type of state agencies ultimately responsible for juvenile justice education as well as the level of administrative centralization within states. When an agency was not responsible for all juvenile justice education programs in the state, the types of programs that the agency was not responsible for were noted. States were categorized according to the degree of administrative centralization for juvenile justice education services and the size of the state’s juvenile justice population. Institution types include detention centers, locally operated programs, privately operated programs and state-operated juvenile institutions. Centralized systems are characterized by having one or two state agencies working jointly to oversee all juvenile justice education services within the state. Decentralized systems have at least one type of juvenile justice institution (such as detention centers, locally or privately operated facilities) or one geographic region within a state not overseen by the state agency ultimately responsible for juvenile justice education.
National residential census data of juvenile justice populations were gathered from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention1 and were utilized to classify each state as large (juvenile justice population of 1,400 or over) or small (population of under 1,400).
This information was obtained from Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2003 Census of Juveniles in Residential
Placement Databook. Retrieved from http://ojjdp.ncjrs.org/ojstatbb/cjrp/default.asp
Twenty-two states had a juvenile justice population less than 1000, with as few as 51 youth in Vermont; 17 states had populations that ranged between 1000 and 2000 youth; and 11 states had more than 2000 youth in their juvenile justice system, with as many as 16,782 in California. In 20 states, the administration and oversight of juvenile justice education is centralized. Variations of decentralized juvenile justice education systems included states where the agency responsible for the administration and evaluation of juvenile justice education does NOT oversee education services in locally operated detention facilities (12 states), privately operated facilities (13 states), and locally operated commitment facilities (10 states).2 Other variations of decentralized systems included:
** Program types are not mutually exclusive
One state having a split system where one agency oversees education services in detention centers, while another agency oversees these services in all of the states residential commitment programs.
Two states having separate geographic regions operating independently from the primary state agency responsible for juvenile justice education.
The two most common types of agencies responsible for juvenile justice education are State Education Agencies in 17 states and State Juvenile Justice Agencies in 16 states.
State Social Services Agencies, responsible for special populations other than delinquent youth such as Departments of Health and Human Services, are responsible for juvenile justice education in 10 states.
Correctional Agencies, also responsible for adult populations, are responsible for education services in seven states. In 12 states, more than one agency shares responsibility for the oversight of juvenile justice education. The general trend is a state Juvenile Justice Agency collaborating with a State Education Agency.
There are 16 states in which juvenile justice education services operate as an independent correctional school district, however, administrative oversight is still provided by a state agency.
This information highlights the diversity of juvenile justice education organizational structures throughout the United States. These varying organizational structures will, undoubtedly, influence the implementation of NCLB. Therefore, they are essential to identify and describe before identifying common and unique impediments to implementing NCLB.