Whereas, SB716 (2019, Mitchell) requires county probation departments across California to ensure that incarcerated youth with a high school diploma who are detained in a juvenile hall have access to public postsecondary academic and career technical courses and programs, and community colleges are the best equipped to offer the courses and provide programming on site at the juvenile detention facilities and on campus once students are released to continue their educational pathways;
Whereas, Implementing and sustaining programs serving current and formerly incarcerated youth in the community colleges is currently a challenge because this population is not presently identified as a special population under the California Community College State Chancellor’s Office Equity Plan and incarcerated youth are currently aggregated within the incarcerated student population and data, making it difficult to assess this population’s student success data and to identify potential opportunity gaps;
Whereas, Without designated special population status, advocacy for resources and funding at the local community college level can be a significant hurdle to create buy-in for allocating staff, courses, and materials needed to support one of the most vulnerable populations of students the community colleges serve, as current and formerly incarcerated youth are an umbrella population primarily comprised of all of the special populations listed under the current equity plan such as foster youth, students with disabilities, low income, African American, or Latinx; and
Whereas, Current and formerly incarcerated students face significant barriers to pursue their higher education as a result of unique factors impacting this population: disjointed educational experiences, significant trauma, economic and social stigma, legal policies and prejudice for current and formerly incarcerated individuals related to the inability to use Pell Grants, and challenges participating in Federal Work Study positions without intentional direct support and outreach;
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges work with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to include current and formerly incarcerated youth as a special population in the system’s equity plans;
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges work with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to disaggregate incarcerated youth from the incarcerated student population in California community colleges’ management information systems and in the colleges’ equity plans; and
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges recommend that local senates work with their college administrators to include current and formerly incarcerated youth in their college equity plans.