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School Improvement RFP of the Week

Juvenile Justice Offers A Parallel State System of Public Education

From the March 3 issue of K-12Leads and Youth Service Markets Report

Operation of the Paulding RYDC (Regional Youth Detention Center) Due April 7 (Feb 29), Department of Juvenile Justice, Georgia

Their Description: The Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) is requesting proposals for the management and operation of the Paulding Regional Youth Detention Center (RYDC).... The rated capacity is 100. Both male and female youth will be detained.... This facility... may receive youth from any other county in Georgia. This short-term facility houses youth who are awaiting court hearings or who have been committed to the DJJ and are awaiting placement in one of the Departments residential placement options.... The Department operates 22 RYDCs statewide. A private contractor in Paulding County currently operates one RYDC and another in Crisp County....

Georgia Code does not establish a minimum age for juveniles referred and there are occasions when juveniles as young as eight or nine years of age are received.... [I]if an individual is under age seventeen when sentenced, he/she can remain in the DJJ system up to age twenty-one. [T]he average age for juveniles referred to DJJ is fifteen....

Compliance is required with DJJ policies and directives and DJJ OCI Standards of Excellence.... The facility must also comply with the Standards for Juvenile Detention Facilities, published by the American Correctional Association. The detention facility is expected to apply for accreditation by the ACA within one (1) year of opening.....

The vendor must specify and describe the program philosophy, purpose, goals, and program services.... The vendor shall be required to develop an operations manual, which complies with all applicable laws, DJJ Policies, applicable DJJ Office of Continuing Improvement Standards, and Georgia DOE Policies and Standards, ACA and NCCHC Standards which will be completed and submitted to DJJ for approval....

The U. S. Department of Justice will be monitoring compliance with the Memorandum of Agreement between the DJJ and the DOJ....

The contractor shall be responsible for maintaining administrative records and personnel records on all employees and for providing for their security and confidentiality....

An annual audit report prepared by an independent auditor, and paid for by the vendor is required....

The contractor shall provide directly, or by contract, appropriate educational services to meet the needs of the detained youth. The education services must include assessment, individualized programming, regular academic instruction, GED preparation for appropriate youth, remedial and special education services, and related services that meet state, federal, and DJJ rules and regulations. DJJ expects that youth served in the program will receive appropriate, individualized education services that meet all federal and state laws and guidelines and are in compliance with DJJ Policies....

The vendor is required to provide instruction using the approved (DJJ CAPS) curriculum, which is based on the Georgia Performance Standards. The educational staff of the facility are required to fully participate in the State of Georgia Standardized Assessment program as coordinated by the DJJ Office of Education. Textbooks (from the DJJ required textbook list)... shall be purchased by the vendor.

My Thoughts:
Whether you choose to take on one of these management contracts, or provide k-12 services to the system, this is a must read for those interested in juvenile justice education.

I’ve never understood why the firms that do this don’t create units to manage traditional district schools, because they are surely experienced dealing with difficult students and following multiple regulatory regimes. By the same token, I’m surprised more school districts don’t review these contracts before writing up their own school management RFPs.

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