National Center on Education, Disability
and Juvenile Justice
Summary of Class-Action Litigation Involving Special Education
Claims in Juvenile and Adult Correctional Facilities
For best use of the litigation summary,
please read the information below before viewing.
To view the summary now click here
EDJJ prepared the "Summary of Class Action Litigation Involving
Special Education Claims in Juvenile and Adult Correctional Facilities"
to disseminate information to advocates, policy makers, and educators.
The Litigation Chart includes highlighted links to legal briefs,
settlements and other materials for a number of the cases.
The adequacy of special education services for youth incarcerated
in juvenile correctional facilities has frequently been the subject
of class-action litigation in a number of jurisdictions across
the country. More recently, class-action litigation involving
special education services has also involved juveniles incarcerated
in adult correctional facilities. Many class-action correctional
cases are resolved by settlement agreements or consent decrees,
and information about the special education claims involved in
those suits is often not widely available.
Many correctional facilities provide appropriate education and
special education services for incarcerated youth. However, increased
awareness about the entitlements to special education for incarcerated
youth, will contribute to more effective correctional educational
programs. For more information about correctional education and
the needs of incarcerated youth, visit the Prevention, Education
Programming, Transition, Publications, and Links pages on this
EDJJ does not offer legal advice. We have made every effort to
display all relevant class-action cases, and to provide accurate
information about the special education claims in those cases.
We will continue to update this case summary listing. We welcome
your suggestions about the summary and about additional cases
involving special education. You can contact EDJJ at www.edjj.org.
Terms used in the class-action litigation summary chart are defined
When the facts and defendants are similar, courts may certify
a group of different persons as a "class", allowing them to combine
their lawsuits as a class action. This is designed to allow a
judge to hear all the cases at the same time and to make one decision
binding on all parties.
Detention facilities are correctional facilities that confine
juveniles pending court action, or juveniles who are detained
pending other placements or committed for relatively short periods.
Training schools are long-term juvenile correctional facilities
that confine youth after their adjudication by the courts.
Right to treatment
These claims concern the adequacy of treatment provided to incarcerated
individuals, such as mental health and medical care.
These claims concern the adequacy of the conditions of confinement
in correctional facilities.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C., 1400
et seq.; P.L.105-17; originally P.L. 94-142, the Education for
All Handicapped Children's Act of 1975) is federal legislation
requiring that eligible children and youth with disabilities receive
free appropriate public education (FAPE) including special education
and related services. Through the spending power of Congress,
and corresponding state statutes or regulations, IDEA mandates
that states receiving federal support for education of students
with disabilities ensure that all eligible students receive FAPE.
All states and the District of Columbia currently receive funding
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C.; P.L.
93-112), is a federal civil rights statute that prohibits discrimination
against persons with handicaps by any program or activity that
receives federal funds, including public school systems and correctional
facilities. Youth with disabilities who do not meet eligibility
requirements for special education and related services under
the IDEA, may qualify within Section 504 guidelines.
Click here to view the chart.