Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Liberal Studies


All children deserve a quality education, regardless of their life at home, the availability of school resources, or even one’s criminal record. Though most current and aspiring educators would find this statement agreeable, the fact of the matter is that very few educators pursue a career in teaching inside a juvenile detention facility. Whether it is due to lack of comfort in this setting or the pre-fixed opinions about what someone who is convicted of a crime “deserves,” the reality is that educating privileged students is safer and more desirable. The result is that children who have been convicted of a criminal act are often provided educators who can be categorized as “the bottom of the barrel”—teachers who could not find a job elsewhere and are “stuck” working with kids that they do not care about. On the other end of the spectrum, there are also educators who are passionate about helping and educating this population of youth and make this type of work their life-long work. These educators believe that all, especially the most vulnerable and with the greatest of needs, are deserving of a quality education. Moreover, these educators believe their work is not just to “save” youth, but to open up their perspective on different paths available in their life. So, how do we fix this? A search must be made for educators who are passionate about not only educating youth in the criminal justice system, but towards providing them with an education that allows them to decide upon a life trajectory they would like to pursue. Acknowledging that making “better choices” is undoubtedly the more difficult route, but through a sound education, there is this opening up of another route instantly made available.