As Reentry Week comes to a close, we must pay tribute to the important work being accomplished toward helping juvenile justice-involved children return to their communities following assignment to out-of-home residential placements in Juvenile Justice facilities. Two exciting initiatives related to reentry began in April.
The first example of the reentry work taking place in our juvenile justice system comes from the partnership between Juvenile Education Services and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. This partnership – focused on the rehabilitation and education of at-risk youth – initiated the PETS (Pre-Employment Transition Services) program at Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Center in Concord. The PETS program enables juvenile justice-involved students with disabilities, substance abuse and/or mental health diagnoses to enhance their educational opportunities through access to job exploration/counseling, work-based learning experiences, workplace readiness training and instruction in self advocacy.