Juvenile Justice Standardized Report

What are the educational and workforce outcomes of those who participate in the juvenile justice program in the State of Washington?
Published: 
December, 2016
Updated: 
February, 2017

Success in early and secondary education sets the groundwork for later success in postsecondary education and the workforce. Having contact with the juvenile justice system can potentially disrupt forward progression within this crucial early and secondary education time frame, and can considerably affect a youth’s educational and workforce success later in life. This report looks at the education and workforce outcomes of youth who were enrolled in eighth grade in a Washington state public school at any point during the 2004–05 academic year and who have had one or more contacts with the juvenile justice system between the years 1989 and 2011. The three cohorts (status offender youth, juvenile offender youth and nonjuvenile justice-involved involved youth) were then matched to unemployment insurance records to examine earnings during the years 2009 through 2014. The cohorts were followed for seven years (through the 2011–12 academic year) to allow for examination of both high school outcomes and postsecondary enrollment.

The report addresses whether the education and workforce outcomes of Washington state youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system are disproportionate to those youth not involved in the juvenile justice system. Specifically, does involvement in the Washington state juvenile justice system affect high school graduation? Are enrollment rates in a Washington state postsecondary institution lower for those who have been involved in the juvenile justice system than those who have not? Does being involved in the Washington state juvenile justice system affect employment?

Based on the findings in this report, nonjuvenile justice-involved youth were more likely to graduate (66 percent) than youth in the status offender cohort (21 percent) or juvenile offender cohort (28 percent). Of those youth who enrolled in postsecondary education, nonjuvenile justice-involved youth were more likely to enroll in a community and technical college (CTC) program (45 percent) than status offender youth (39 percent) and juvenile offender youth (42 percent). Of those youth enrolled in a CTC program, nonjuvenile justice-involved youth were more likely to earn Associate of Arts direct transfer degree, Associate Degree for transfer, workforce or certificate degree (24 percent) than youth in the status offender cohort (7 percent) and youth in the juvenile offender cohort (17 percent).

Nonjuvenile justice-involved youth were more likely to enroll in a four-year postsecondary institution (23 percent) than youth in the status offender cohort (2 percent) and juvenile offender cohort (4 percent). Comparing average annual earnings across cohorts, nonjuvenile justice-involved youth ended 2014 making on average $3,608 more than status offender youth and $4,246 more than juvenile offender youth. Lastly, youth in the juvenile offender cohort were more likely to have an adult contact with Washington Department of Corrections (6 percent) than youth in the status offender cohort (1 percent) and youth in the nonjuvenile justice-involved cohort (less than 1 percent).

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