Education Outcomes & Dropout Rates


More than two-thirds of incarcerated youth never return to school upon release1. We can reverse this trend.


  •  Dropout factory phenomena. The youth of color arrested during their ninth-grade year of public education experience lower attendance and grades. As a result, dropout rates increase dramatically.2
  •  Justice-involved youth and youth in the foster care system frequently have complex educational needs and, when compared to their peers, are less likely to receive adequate educational services.3
  •  The qualitative and quantitative evidence suggests that in the most disadvantaged inner-city communities, juvenile justice involvement is parallel to school termination.4


  •  The support of a well-funded, culturally responsive, wrap-around community-based service and mentor-focused diversion program could dramatically increase positive outcomes for youth regardless of the color of their skin or cultural identity.

Examples of Regional Best Practices and Resources

Open Doors Youth Reengagement (WAC 392-700) is a reengagement system that provides education and services to older youth, ages 16-21, who have dropped out of school or are not expected to graduate from high school by the age of 21. Open Doors reengages disconnected youth through programs that encourage community partnerships, create multiple pathways for students to realize success and provide an on-ramp to post-secondary achievement through a performance-based, individualized support model. 

Community Passageways is a community-based organization that supports youth at every stage in the justice process—from prevention to detention. Community Passageways’ unique evidence-based, community-centered model is designed to replace the school-to-prison pipeline with a school-to-life success pipeline.




[4] Impact of Juvenile Justice Involvement in Educational Outcomes. Retrieved from