2017 Q1 Accomplishments

·      SJP Staff submitted comments to D.C.’s juvenile justice agency’s case management manual. The comments provided recommendations and modifications to how social workers and case managers can better ensure that each young person in the juvenile justice system can access a quality education.

·      Comeau testified at the D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services Performance Oversight Hearing for the 2016 fiscal year for the D.C. Council. Comeau’s testimony emphasized the importance of community-based placements and services over out-of-state residential facilities, the need for transparency and consistency in data collection, and transition planning for students returning home. 

·      Russo represented SJP in the D.C. Secondary Transition Community of Practice, a cross section of D.C. stakeholders who work jointly to support DC youth with disabilities as they transition from high school to independent adulthood. Russo will attend the group’s upcoming retreat to develop goals and work priorities for the next year.

·      Comeau filed a complaint on behalf of an individual client in Federal District Court against the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the District of Columbia education agencies. The complaint alleged that D.C. students placed in prisons do not have access to special education or any path to a high school diploma, contrary to Federal and District law.

·      Russo filed a due process complaint on behalf of an individual client and, as a result, secured the following in compensatory education services: 130 hours of tutoring and 25 hours of transition services.

·      Comeau met with a member from the Executive Office of the Mayor to discuss policy changes regarding placement of District residents in Federal Bureau of Prisons facilities. To follow up on this meeting, Comeau was invited to train staff of D.C.’s Corrections Information Council, a District agency monitoring the placement of District residents in Federal Bureau of Prisons prisons, on the lack of access to education and special education. Comeau and the CIC are working together to find a policy solution so all residents can access education.

·      SJP staff participated in quarterly meeting with the Director of D.C.’s juvenile justice agency to help ensure that policies and procedures will reflect the special education entitlements of court-involved young people.