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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78092 Find in a Library
Title: Learning Disabilities and Delinquency Prevention and Programming
Journal: Thresholds in Secondary Education  Volume:3  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring 1977)  Pages:8-9,37-38
Author(s): A J Mauser
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 4
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews findings regarding curriculum and personnel from a 1975 national survey of educational programs in 136 juvenile correctional institutions and recommends revisions in vocational and special education curricula.
Abstract: Recent increases in crime support the popular belief that young people value deviance and lack self-control. Several studies have also documented a close relationship between learning disabilities and delinquency, noting that the learning disabled and delinquent populations both have negative self-concepts, display a low tolerance for frustration, and have problems in school. A survey of educational programs for delinquent youth showed that few institutions address the special needs of this group. Most teachers employed in these facilities had college degrees and secondary school accreditation, but only 10 percent were certified in special education. Since approximately 75 percent of institutionalized juvenile delinquents are educationally handicapped, this shortage of learning disabilities specialists is disturbing. Most respondents reported that they formulated behavioral or instructional objectives and relied on workbooks and worksheets. Films and record players were widely used, but television received little attention although it might have considerable impact on juveniles. Miscellaneous activities including art, music, and sports were usually permitted. Youths were grouped according to achievement, interests, or intelligence scores, and most teachers evaluated pupils through letter grades. Almost three-quarters of the institutions surveyed had vocational education programs, while 22 percent offered bilingual services. Special education programs were reported by 55 percent, but most focused on mentally retarded inmates. The survey's findings indicate that institutional educational programs are modeled after traditional public schools which have already failed the delinquent. More remedial programs are needed to handle the educational handicaps, and student groupings should be based on several factors, such as age, interests, and career goals. Teaching staff should be certified in instructing learning disabled and behaviorally disordered youth. Other curriculum suggestions include career simulation centers and individualized education plans. In order to prevent delinquency, all schools should include a specific program to teach children self-control. A bibliography of 18 references is provided.
Index Term(s): Curriculum; Inmate Programs; Juvenile correctional facilities; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Learning disabilities
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