Earlier this year, the Arts Education Partnership published an analysis of the benefits of arts education in the juvenile justice system. Since then, AEP convened 11 experts from across the country to discuss policy opportunities for creating sustainable, arts-based programming along the continuum of juvenile justice — from prevention to transition.

Despite these aspirations, youth involved in the juvenile justice system encounter educational barriers before they enter the system: Nearly one third are diagnosed with a learning disability, nearly half demonstrate academic proficiency below their grade level and close to a quarter are not enrolled in school. A disruption in their academic trajectory because of involvement with the juvenile justice system may prevent a student from continuing their education upon reentry. Sixty-six percent of youths do not return to school after leaving placement.