When youth who leave custody can find and maintain employment, they are much more likely to become crime-free, productive members of their communities.
To help them reach that goal, OYA encourages all youth in our custody to pursue educational degrees, learn job skills, and earn professional certifications.
Research shows that incarcerated people who participate in educational and vocational training programs while in custody are:
- 43% less likely to be arrested for another crime than those who do not; and
- more likely to find jobs when they leave custody.
Youth on OYA Parole or Probation
Whenever possible, OYA requires youth who are in community placements to attend school if they haven’t already finished their high school diploma or GED.
- Residential programs: Some residential programs have their own schools on site. Others send students to local public schools.
- OYA foster care: Youth attend a public school near their foster home.
- Living with family or independently: We encourage these youth to attend their local schools.
- College and vocational training: Youth interested in these services should talk with their juvenile parole/probation officer (JPPO). The JPPO can connect them with resources, help with applications, and assist with filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Youth in OYA's Secure Facilities
All youth in OYA’s facilities who do not yet have a high school diploma or GED are required to attend school.
The schools inside our facilities provide the same education services students get in regular public schools, including:
- Middle or high school education
- High school diplomas
- Individualized Education Program (IEP) for special education services