Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 75–86 | Cite as

Young Offenders with Disabilities: Legal Requirements and Reform Considerations

  • Antonis Katsiyannis
  • Francie Murry


Delinquency rates have been a persistent concern in the United States with juveniles involved in almost a third of arrests for major crimes in 1993. Further, a disproportionate number of youths incarcerated have a disability. Because youths with disabilities in correctional facilities present legal and educational challenges, we explored the parameters of providing appropriate services based on individual needs. Despite applicable federal legislation, the juvenile correctional system often fails to meet the educational needs of those with disabilities (i.e., some youths are denied special education services, services are often inferior to those provided by public schools, and teachers are often inadequately trained). According to federal legislation, juvenile facilities must observe procedural safeguards afforded to those individuals and provide needed services even for pre trial detainees (services, however, may be balanced against legitimate security concerns). Ultimately, state educational agencies have the responsibility for ensuring that youths with disabilities receive a free appropriate education. Promising practices applicable to all youths may include Positive Peer Culture, aggression replacement training, aftercare programs, and research validated instructional interventions.

delinquency special education legislation litigation educational practice 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonis Katsiyannis
    • 1
    • 2
  • Francie Murry
    • 3
  1. 1.Special EducationClemson UniversityClemson
  2. 2.Special EducationClemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  3. 3.Special EducationUniversity of Northern ColoradoGreeleyUSA

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