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Examining the Correlates of Effective Schools in Short-Term Juvenile Hall Schools

NCJ Number
Journal of Correctional Education Volume: 65 Issue: 2 Dated: May 2014 Pages: 40-58
Helen Mozia; Ron Oliver
Date Published
May 2014
19 pages
This qualitative study used a case study methodology in determining the correlates of effective short-term juvenile hall schools (detention facilities), with attention to three juvenile halls (JHSs) in Southern California.
The specific purpose of this research was to identify the degree to which five of Lezotte's (1986) seven correlates of effective schools were present in the three JHSs, as well as the strength of their presence. These five correlates of effective schools measured for the three JHSs are a safe and orderly environment, a climate of high expectations for success, a clear and focused mission, strong instructional leadership, and frequent monitoring of students. The study found that only two of the five correlates were present in all three JHSs, i.e., safe and orderly environment and strong instructional leadership. One or two of the JHSs displayed high expectations for student success, clear and focused mission, and frequent monitoring of student progress. Recommendations are offered in the areas of public policy, educational practice, and hiring practices. Regarding public policy, it is recommended that at the Federal level the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) assessment and accountability provisions be modified to accommodate the contextual limitations of short-term JHSs and the unique student population that they serve. Regarding educational practice, it is recommended that JHS administrators provide professional-development activities to engender the correlates identified as not present and strengthen those that are weak, while sustaining correlates that are strong. Regarding hiring practices, it is recommended that experiences acquired from working in various capacities within a JHS weigh heavily in the choice and selection of the administrators. 6 tables and 23 references