Law and Order and School
Daily Life in an Educational Program for Juvenile Delinquents
5.5 x 8.25
A powerful look at the state of a juvenile justice agency and its effect on the students it servesRead an excerpt from Chapter 1 (pdf).
"It was hard in the beginning; I didn't think I was going to like it."student
"This ain't even a real school, man. This is for discipline."student
"I want to go to college and become a paramedic."student
"Know what you learn in this program? You learn to suck up."student
"The school district would not like what I'm doing here, but I think these kids need it."history teacher
"This is my real ministry."community liaison
These are only some of the voices in Law and Order and School, Shira Birnbaum's riveting study of an education and rehabilitation program for troubled teenagers in a Southern city. Locally acclaimed as one of the better programs of its kind in the region, "Academy" exemplifies a new kind of institution, providing transitional school services under contract with both educational and juvenile justice agencies.
Birnbaum's narrative focuses on curriculum, teaching, behavior management, and the social organization and culture of the program, offering a close-up view of the everyday classroom interactions that frame student achievement and, ultimately, program outcomes. What do students learn? What do teachers teach? What educational and rehabilitative goals are embedded in official and unofficial policy? What processes inside and outside the building help or hinder the attainment of those goals?
As educational and justice agencies look increasingly to private subcontractors to deliver an array of services and growing numbers of young people are channeled into non-traditional educational settings and correctional institutions, it is imperative that educators and the general public understand how these institutions work and what problems their students and staffs encounter. This on-the-ground examination of education within the juvenile justice system will open your eyes to how we educate some of our neediest children.
Table of Contents
2. Students and Teachers
3. The Market System of Merit
4. Curriculum Units of Exchange
5. Student Reaction to the Market System
6. Teachers and the Market System