Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $392,453)
The Knox County Public Defender’s Community Law Office’s Juvenile Education Advocacy Program will employ an Education Law Attorney and a dedicated Program Coordinator to implement appropriate evidence-based practices that ensure effective, lasting outcomes for youth in a variety of educational platforms. The Program will provide direct representation to court-involved youth with education-related needs; offer direction to parents and students requesting, establishing, and managing special education plans, and advise them how to engage school administrators in effectuating those plans and addressing school disciplinary issues; and develop informational resources for parents and juvenile defense attorneys about education-related collateral consequences these youth face. The Program will monitor students’ educational progress during confinement and collaborate with various reentry resources to successfully reintegrate students into community schools upon release. Through an integrated legal and social services model, the Community Law Office will partner with youth to address their education services needs to help them achieve maximum self-sufficiency and avoid future court involvement.