On any given day, more than 60,000 young people under age 21 are confined in juvenile justice facilities throughout the United States.
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) recently released a multi-jurisdiction scan, identifying programs which address the developmental needs of young adults in the criminal justice system. NIJ is the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice. Their mission is to advance scientific research, development, and evaluation to enhance the administration of justice and public safety.
OCTAE is pleased that one of the Improved Reentry Education grantees, UTEC, was highlighted as an organization which took an innovative approach to address these developmental needs of youth. NIJ describes the UTEC program as one that “has responded to a need in the community and the population served by developing in-house social enterprises in order to offer its participants a paid work experience in a supportive setting”. As part of their approach, UTEC conducts pre-release visits to individuals in correctional and juvenile justice facilities and also uses street outreach and gang peacemaking to connect with individuals. As youth progress through the program, they are paired with case management with a focus towards social enterprises and a resumption of education in the community.
Guest Blogger, Sean Addie, Director of Correctional Education, OCTAE
 National Report Series Bulletin (Aug. 2014). Juveniles in Residential Placement, 2011. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.