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Reentry Services Making its Mark in Juvenile Services

by adamp — last modified Jan 03, 2017 12:01 PM
In contrast to adult corrections, 100 percent of juvenile offenders in Kansas will be returning home, making reentry services a critical component of the juvenile correctional facilities. With reentry services, the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) is able to address domains that directly affect recidivism.
Reentry Services Making its Mark in Juvenile Services

Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex in Topeka, Kan.

Education services are provided by accredited high schools at both juvenile facilities. However, the learning does not stop there. Through the KDOC's collaboration with community partners, the KDOC is able to offer additional learning opportunities:

  • Kansas Kids @GEAR UP (KKGU) is a U.S. Department of Education grant-funded program that helps low-income, foster care or out-of-home placed youths prepare for undergraduate programs. Currently, Kansas is the only GEAR UP program in the United States that offers its members a needs-based scholarship which helps to finance education.
  • Jayhawk D.R.E.A.M. program (Developing Relationships through Education and Mentoring) is a program that provides tutors for youth, helping with success for short and long-term education goals.
  • With the assistance of Juvenile Services staff, youth are provided assistance in registering with FAFSA (Free Applications for Federal Student Aid) and in taking steps toward college readiness.

 Employment services are addressed through training and continued practice in preparation for future employment.

  • Facility staff teach elective classes/groups that help youth develop the soft skills necessary for maintaining appropriate relationships and collaborations.
  • Both KDOC juvenile facilities partner with local vocational programs to offer industry-relevant classes and certification programs such as welding, construction, electrical, plumbing and woodworking programs.

Family Situations are continually addressed by empowering youth to have open, inclusive dialogues with their families about all reentry matters.  Through discussions focused on practical and healthy goals, the KDOC is able to begin building bridges between the youth and the youth's family that creates a foundation for the youth's future successes.

Friends/Acquaintances are addressed in part by the Juvenile Mentoring4Success (M4S) program which has made in excess of 160 matches since 2014.The M4S program has had such a phenomenal impact on the lives of KDOC clients and illustrated that despite some young people having numerous barriers to future success, having positive relationships with stable role models who can show them the way to succeed makes all the difference. 

In an effort to recognize the great work being done, April 24th – April 30th has been designated as National Reentry Week.

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