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Literacy Development for Juvenile Offenders: A Project of Hope (Video and Report)

NCJ Number
Date Published
7 pages
This video and report provides both a description and an impact evaluation of the Lindamood-Bell Center in a School Project established in San Diego County, CA, and designed to provide incarcerated youth with literacy training.
Statistics show that 85 percent of America’s juvenile offenders have reading difficulties. Statistics show that approximately 40 percent of America’s juvenile offenders at a 10th grade level read below a 4th grade level, and between 30 and 50 percent have learning disabilities. In 2002, a coalition was formed in San Diego County, CA, consisting of the juvenile court, probation department, County Office of Education, and the district attorney’s office to address the local literacy crisis among male youth incarcerated in probation department rehabilitation facilities. During this same year, Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes established a learning center at two San Diego juvenile facilities. These centers provided intensive instruction in accordance with the Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes programs. Participants in the program receive a total of 94 hours or 7-weeks of instruction. The results are extremely positive with participants averaging a reading level gain of 2 years. The results of an impact evaluation study for the Lindamood-Bell Center in a School Project revealed that treatment students showed significant gains in all areas, in terms of juvenile justice contact, and were less likely to recidivate than a comparison group. However, the difference was not significant. This videotape and report provide a brief description of the Lindamood-Bell CIS project operated in San Diego County and summarize results of an impact evaluation on the project.