Arizona Judicial Branch

JJSD AZ Correction Education Home

Correctional Education History
Correctional education has a rich history spanning more than 200 years, evolving from the early efforts to offer instruction at Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Jail in 1789, and had been intricately tied to the prison reform movement. The individually prescribed instruction (IPI) method that was systematically applied and perfected at correctional schools as an innovation was later adopted by local public schools. The IPI method was designed to address the severe basic skill deficits and extreme heterogeneity found in correctional classrooms. The IPI is consistent with the operational principle guiding correctional educators that attitudes, ideas, and behavior can be corrected—that humans are capable of progressing to higher thresholds of awareness. (Gehring, CEA Journal, 1980).

Detention Education is Fundamental
There is agreement among juvenile justice and detention education professionals supported by case and statutory law, that education is fundamental to the success of at-risk and delinquent youth. David W. Roush of the National Juvenile Detention Association has stated that detention education is the most important program element in the juvenile confinement experience and a critical agent for restoring troubled youth to a law-abiding lifestyle. Education adds structure to the confinement experience, strengthens self-esteem and confidence, builds usable skills and abilities, and is an effective bridge to community reintegration/transition following the youth’s release from incarceration.

The Arizona Juvenile Detention Schools are accredited through AdvancED by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI).

Correctional Education, What We Do
In recognition of the important role of correctional education and in support of maximizing the restorative potential of educational programming in the detention facilities, JJSD provides administrative and fiscal support, and oversight for detention education. In addition, two other educational programs, GED Preparation and Testing and Project LEARN, are supported for both juveniles and adults who have been court involved and/or court referred.

Project LEARN (Literacy Education and Resource Network) was initially established as a computer-based literacy program for at risk youth and adults by the Arizona Supreme Court, Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) in 1987. During the 20+ years history, LEARN has evolved into a nationally recognized innovative correctional education model.

GED preparation and testing support is provided by the AOC for both eligible juveniles when appropriate and adults in recognition of the GED achievement as a transitional step to post-secondary education, training and life-long learning.

For further information regarding the correctional education programs presented on this web page, please contact:
Mary Therese (Teasie) Colla
Correctional Education Specialist
Juvenile Justice Services Division
Phone: (602) 452-3573