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Report on Ar Juvenile Facility - Cornell - 2006

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It’s Not Punishment,
It’s Rehabilitation
A Report on the Conditions at the
Alexander Youth Services Center
This report is based on Disability Rights Center’s (DRC) investigation of
allegations of abuse/neglect or rights violations of children with disabilities
confined at Alexander Youth Services Center. On Friday, November 3, 2006,
DRC was informed the State had cancelled its contract with Cornell
Interventions Inc., a national private for-profit provider responsible for
services to juveniles confined at the Alexander Youth Services Center.
While we applaud this action, it does not go far enough. DRC encourages
the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services and the General
Assembly to close Alexander Youth Services Center and take this as an
opportunity to reform the entire juvenile justice system by providing
services to juveniles in the least restrictive setting appropriate to their

A report by:
Disability Rights Center, Inc.,
The Protection and Advocacy system for people with disabilities in Arkansas

November 2006


One of these is for rehab… but which?

Summary of Report
This is the first in a series of reports which the Disability Rights Center, Inc. (DRC) will
publish over the next few months as we continue to investigate the various components of
Arkansas’ juvenile justice system. In this report, we examine the quality of programs
created to address the needs of juveniles placed in the custody of the Department of
Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Youth Services (DYS) who are
confined at the Alexander Youth Services Center (AYSC). This report covers the period
DRC advocates monitored AYSC from March 2006 through September 2006.
Key findings of this report include:
o AYSC has a disproportionate number of juveniles with disabilities confined.1
o AYSC fails to provide appropriate child find under Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act (IDEA), 34 C.F.R. § 300.1 et seq.
o AYSC fails to provide appropriate evaluations as required under IDEA.
o AYSC fails to ensure the acquisition of juveniles’ educational records in a timely

Approximately 40% of the juveniles were identified with disabilities.


o AYSC fails to accept educational records from parents.
o AYSC fails to take referrals for special education services in a timely manner as
required under IDEA.
o AYSC fails to provide special education services in the Least Restrictive
Setting as required under IDEA.
o AYSC fails to provide notice of conferences as required under IDEA.
o AYSC fails to hold meetings or timely develop Individualized Education
Programs (IEPs) when a juvenile is committed to AYSC.
o AYSC fails to provide appropriate behavior plans/programs to address behaviors
associated with juvenile’s disabilities.
o AYSC fails to provide adequate library services.
o AYSC has inadequate means of determining credits given.
o AYSC fails to issue diplomas or certificates of completion as agreed to in an
agreement with the Department of Justice and the State signed and approved
by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Webber Wright on March 12, 2003.
o AYSC fails to provide appropriate related services as required under IDEA.
o AYSC fails to provide transition plans or services as required under IDEA.
o AYSC fails to provide notice to juveniles of their rights under IDEA when they
are 17 or 18 as required under IDEA.
o AYSC fails to provide due process procedures as mandated under IDEA.
o AYSC fails to provide any reading programs, even though it is estimated that
between fifty and seventy percent of juveniles committed to AYSC read on a very
low level or don’t read at all.
o AYSC fails to provide access to curriculum that is required in public school
in Arkansas.
o AYSC fails to provide adequate vocational opportunities.
o AYSC fails to provide access to adequate educational materials. AYSC
library has very few books that provide information about the twenty-first
o AYSC has a high number of juvenile sex offenders who are also mentally
retarded/developmentally delayed. AYSC places these juveniles in a “regular”
sex offender program in which they are expected to read and understand the
literature provided and participate in group therapy with juveniles of “average”
o AYSC fails to properly evaluate juveniles for mental health issues.
o AYSC fails to properly medicate juveniles with previous diagnoses and
medication, whether the juvenile is stable or not upon entry into their facility.
o AYSC fails to provide appropriate mental health treatment depending upon
juveniles’ diagnoses.
o AYSC fails to provide appropriate training to its staff regarding different mental
health diagnoses and how to manage behaviors associated with those disabilities.
o AYSC fails to provide an adequate number of mental health professionals.
o AYSC fails to properly document juveniles’ mental health treatment.


o AYSC fails to provide a mechanism by which parents/juveniles may
challenge the mental health/medication decision.
o AYSC fails to provide timely access to a medical specialist when a juvenile’s
condition warrants such specialist.
o AYSC fails to provide parental involvement in non-emergency medical
o AYSC fails to provide appropriate information regarding medical treatment a
juvenile will be receiving.
o AYSC fails to provide a mechanism by which the parent/juvenile may
challenge a particular medical decision.
o AYSC fails to provide private/confidential access to a juvenile’s family members.
o AYSC fails to provide a mechanism for the family to visit the juvenile if the
family is unavailable for visitation because of illness/work schedule. Instead,
juveniles simply do not have family visitation.
o AYSC fails to provide adequate contact between female juveniles who have given
birth while at AYSC and their babies.
o AYSC case managers fail to provide parents/juveniles about juvenile’s status,
programs the parent may want to participate in, and other services available
to the juvenile and family.
o AYSC fails to provide case manager oversight to ensure adequate communication
with the family on the progress of the juvenile.
o DYS has an administrative building on the AYSC campus. This building is
approximately fifty yards from the AYSC administrative building, yet failure
of communication between AYSC and DYS creates an environment in which
both entities attempt to evaluate, program, and treat juveniles with only part
of the information because they both refuse to communicate effectively with
each other.
o DYS fails to share documents necessary for AYSC to properly program for the
o DYS fails to share diagnostic or discharge summaries for juveniles who
require residential care while at AYSC.
o AYSC fails to remove a staff member from direct care should a juvenile make an
allegation of abuse against the staff member. The only time the staff member is
removed from direct care is if the DHHS abuse hotline takes the complaint. If the


DHHS abuse hotline decides not to take the complaint, then there is no
investigation of the staff member.
o AYSC fails to provide an environment in which juveniles are not fearful of
retaliation should he/she make a complaint involving staff on juvenile abuse.
o AYSC fails to allow timely and confidential access to the Arkansas Protection and
Advocacy System (DRC).
o AYSC fails to provide an atmosphere where juveniles are welcomed to
practice the religion of his/her choice. Instead, Christianity is subtly
encouraged as the religion of choice.
o AYSC fails to provide adequate materials on different types of religious beliefs.

For over 100 years, Arkansans have struggled with how to address the needs of children
involved with our State’s juvenile justice system.2 The Alexander Youth Services Center
has a long history of problems, beginning most recently in June 1998 with a series of
articles published in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette on the condition of facilities for
juvenile delinquents, including allegations of abuse and mismanagement at the Alexander
Youth Services Center and continuing into 2001 when the United States Department of
Justice (DOJ) issued a findings letter to Governor Huckabee pursuant to the Civil Rights
of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997(a)(1) in which DOJ
concluded that certain conditions at Alexander Youth Services Center violate the
constitutional and/or statutory rights of juveniles confined at that facility.
After issuing its letter to Governor Huckabee, in 2003 DOJ and state defendants entered
into an agreement, United States of America vs. State of Arkansas, the Arkansas Division
of Youth Services, and the Arkansas Department Of Human Services, which was
approved by the Court. While not named in this action, the parties recognized that the
cooperation and assistance of the Arkansas Department of Education, the Arkansas
Department of Workforce Education, and other state agencies would be required to
ensure compliance with the settlement agreement. The State of Arkansas agreed to ensure
that the Arkansas Department of Education, the Arkansas Department of Workforce
Education, and all other state agencies take any actions required to comply with the
provisions of this settlement agreement. The Defendants entered into this Court
enforceable settlement agreement because, while admitting that the State, through certain

Act 199 of 1905 - The Arkansas General Assembly ventured into the realm of juvenile law in 1905 – six
years after the first juvenile court was established in Cook County, Illinois. That year, Arkansas’ legislature
established, not a juvenile court, but their first reform school. Thereafter, juveniles charged with crimes
were tried in adult court, and, if convicted, were sent with judicial discretion to reform school or adult


state agencies, had violated federal rights of juveniles housed at Alexander, they were
firmly committed to remedying these violations and providing legally adequate
conditions by instituting the remedial measures required by the Court enforceable
settlement agreement.

Rehabilitation is beginning to look a lot like

Alexander Youth Services Center is a staff-secure, 143-bed residential facility
for male and female adjudicated Arkansas juveniles ages 10 to 17. If the youth
received his/her adjudication prior to his/her 18th birthday, he or she can be
retained in the Juvenile Justice System until age 21. The AYSC campus consists
of six living units, a cafeteria, gymnasium, chapel, medical, administration, and
educational buildings. AYSC provides a central intake and assessment unit for
juveniles throughout Arkansas.


This is an aerial view
of Alexander Youth
Services Center.
Arkansas law says
“To protect society
more effectively by
substituting for
whenever possible,
methods of offender
rehabilitation and

Cornell Interventions, Inc. In 2001, responsibility for AYSC was turned over to
Cornell Intervention, Inc., a for-profit corporation, to provide on-site management
and operation of the AYSC and the DYS maximum-security facility, known as
JUMP (Juvenile Upward Mobility Program).3 “Under the initial two-year
contract, the state was to pay Cornell about $13 million to do a better job,
presumably, than the state could do at almost twice the cost. Although no sound
estimate of the projected cost-savings exists, since the state will continue to pick
up the costs for medical insurance associated with Alexander's young inmates,
DHS officials anticipate a minor windfall that they say they'll use to build still
more juvenile detention facilities.” [June 17, 2001, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette].
Cornell Interventions, Inc., contract amount 07/01/06 through 06/30/07 for
AYSC and the JUMP is $10,135,502.00.
Total $ amount paid on this contract from 7/01/02 thru 06/30/07 will be
Cornell Interventions, Inc., and DYS are supposed to work in partnership to complete
client assessments and treatment plans. The program goals are:
• To create a safe and secure environment and climate in which juveniles can grow
and develop;

October 09, 2006 09:26 AM ET HOUSTON (AP) - Cornell Companies Inc., an operator of private
prisons, said Monday it agreed to be bought by investment firm Veritas Capital for about $245 million
cash. The deal also includes the assumption of $273.6 million in debt. Under the terms, Veritas will pay
Cornell holders $18.25 per share, which represents a 2 percent premium over the stock's Friday closing
price of $17.88. Cornell, which operates 78 facilities used for prisons, juvenile detention centers and
rehabilitation centers, said its board unanimously approved the deal and will recommend that shareholders
also back the bid. The company said it expects the deal to close by the end of the first quarter. Cornell
shares were unchanged in electronic premarket trading on INET. The stock recently surged to within
striking distance of its 52-week high of $18.83 on news that California may send some inmates out of state
-- and potentially to private-run prisons -- to alleviate overcrowding. [© 2006 The Associated Press].



To create a physical environment that is conducive to treatment;
To implement an integrated program of education, therapy, and recreation with a
high degree of structure and supervision;
To provide an effective, individualized education program for each resident so
that upon completion, each juvenile has acquired the basic skills necessary to
secure and keep gainful employment as an adult;
To provide an effective therapeutic program so that, upon completion, each
juvenile has learned or developed the cognitive behavior and life skills necessary
to reintegrate successfully into mainstream society and live successfully as a lawabiding citizen. To achieve both therapeutic program success for juveniles and
successful financial and administrative management of the facility.

Disability Rights Center’s Investigation
Disability Rights Center, Inc. (DRC) is the federally authorized and funded Protection
and Advocacy System (P&A) and Client Assistance Program (CAP) for people with
disabilities in Arkansas. DRC is authorized to protect human, civil, and legal rights of all
Arkansans with disabilities consistent with federal law.4
DRC began monitoring AYSC in response to calls received from several parents of
children confined at AYSC. These parents questioned whether their children were
receiving special education services at AYSC. In response to these parents’ concerns,
three members of DRC’s Quality Assurance Team (QA Team), 1 member of DRC’s
Education Team and one DRC attorney toured the campus of AYSC in March 2006.
After that initial tour, DRC’s QA Team began conducting regular monitoring visits to
AYSC, focusing initially on the educational services or lack thereof by reviewing Cornell
and DYS policies.
After reviewing the policies, it became evident that Cornell/DYS policies were woefully
lacking with respect to special education. Particularly, there were no policies which
explained or described how neither Cornell nor DYS implemented the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Instead there were a set of generic policies which
said they would provide services consistent with IDEA but failed to explain how the
services would actually occur. There was nothing in the policies that described the
process for referral, evaluation, identification, or FAPE for children with disabilities.
During DRC’s investigation, DRC attempted to refer a child for special education
services per IDEA and was told to just wait until the student’s records were received by
AYSC. There was no timeline discussed as to how long AYSC would wait for records

Pursuant to the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §§15001, 15043
and 45 C.F.R. §1385 et seq.; the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act, 42
U.S.C. § 10801 et seq. and 42 C.F.R.§ 51 et seq.; and the Protection and Advocacy of Individual Rights, 29
U.S.C. § 794e, the P&A System may use any appropriate technique and pursue administrative, legal or
other appropriate remedy to protect and advocate on behalf of individuals with disabilities to address abuse,
neglect or other violation of law.


prior to accepting the special education referral. It was DRC’s experience while on the
AYSC campus that often the special education records were never received. AYSC also
failed to provide basic policies describing the due process procedures or how they
operated. Not once during DRC’s investigation did DRC discover evidence that parental
rights under IDEA were ever mentioned or discussed. Parental participation is the
cornerstone of IDEA and is required for the law to effectively work the way it was
envisioned. It was the intent of Congress under IDEA to cover children with disabilities
who were committed to juvenile detention facilities. Education must be one of the main
components of rehabilitating juveniles.
Seventy percent of children in the juvenile justice system have an educational disability
— the vast majority are children with Emotional Disturbance (ED) and children with
Specific Learning Disabilities. Children with ED fail more courses, earn lower
grade point averages, miss more days of school, and are retained more often than other
students with disabilities.
DRC provided a list of concerns to both Cornell and DYS in order to assist in creating
policies which complied with the law.
In addition to reviewing the policies, the QA Team provided rights training to the
juveniles confined at AYSC and in the JUMP and, during these trainings and afterwards,
the QA Team had the opportunity to talk with the juveniles
It often appeared that
about the conditions at AYSC. It was during these one-onDYS and Cornell
one discussions that we were informed of numerous
made a concerted
allegations of abuse and neglect and/or rights violations,
effort to move the
which we investigated. At one point, during the 7 months
juveniles who were
DRC monitored AYSC, we had as many as 44 juveniles as
our clients to other

Many of our clients had similar issues. Some examples of the kinds of issues we
investigated are listed below:
Juvenile 1, a 16 year old female, was committed to AYSC in January 2006
because she took her father’s car without permission. Juvenile 1 had been
diagnosed with Bi-polar disorder by four different doctors prior to her
commitment to AYSC. However, the contract psychiatrist at AYSC refused to
treat Juvenile 1 for bi-polar disorder, stating:
Have reviewed records. There is no consistent dx of Bipolar. She has strong
evidence of situationally driven mood disorder that is more consistent with
Cluster “B” personality. She feels she needs anger management relative to
Family problems. Not suicidal. Not homicidal. Not psychotic. She takes Elavil
for migraines. Staff see her as immature, not manic. She does not think she
needs additional meds, and I agree. Best tx is psychotherapy.


DRC decided to have an extensive independent evaluation performed on juvenile
1 to determine what her diagnosis was and what treatment was mandated because
of the diagnosis. This evaluation was performed over a two day period and
required our psychiatrist to conduct interviews with Juvenile 1 as well as with her
family. The diagnosis at this time was a textbook bipolar disorder, along with
other diagnoses and medication was prescribed. However, after providing the
evaluation results to DYS and to AYSC and having our psychiatrist participate in
a staffing by phone (the AYSC Dr. does not participate in staffings), DYS refused
to provide the appropriate mental health treatment. DRC was informed that AYSC
would follow the treatment prescribed by the attending physician at AYSC, who
had refused to recognize Juvenile 1’s bipolar diagnosis.
Juvenile 1 appears to do quite well in school. However, at an AYSC staffing
Juvenile 1, family, and DRC advocate, were informed that after almost a year in
DYS custody, Juvenile 1 had only managed to receive three and a half credits
toward graduation, which she received from another juvenile detention facility. It
appeared that Juvenile 1 had attended school regularly and done well according to
AYSC staff; yet, AYSC had failed to provide juvenile 1 any educational credits
for the work she had done.
Juvenile 2 is a seventeen year old male who has mental retardation and
borderline intellectual functioning. DRC reviewed records and attended a
staffing for Juvenile 2. Juvenile 2 is an adjudicated sex offender. When DRC
asked how the sex offender curriculum/program would be modified to
accommodate Juvenile 2’s cognitive deficits, DRC was told that the program
wouldn’t be, “as reading intensive”, and juvenile 2 would be in a smaller group.
Juvenile 2 cannot read, yet he will be in a sex offender program which will
require him to not only read, but also understand and be able to describe his
When DRC asked AYSC and DYS if they had a separate therapy program for
children who were developmentally delayed, AYSC and DYS responded with a
definitive no.
Juvenile 3 is a thirteen year old female whose mother informed AYSC that
Juvenile 3 had not had a menstrual cycle in three months. Mom voiced her
concern and asked AYSC to make an appointment for Juvenile 3 with a
gynecologist. According to mom, staff response was to ask Juvenile 3 if she had
sex and was pregnant.
DRC asked that Juvenile 3 be referred out to a gynecologist for diagnosis and
treatment. AYSC staff said they preferred that their pediatrician see Juvenile 3
first to see what could be done. An appointment for the gynecologist was
scheduled for two months later. In the meantime DRC wanted to see what had


been done by the AYSC pediatrician. DRC requested this information and was
shown a thyroid panel performed almost a month after Juvenile 3’s dysmennorhea
was brought to AYSC’s attention. The panel was within normal limits and DRC
was informed that was all that had been done. In the meantime Juvenile 3 still
had no menstrual cycle, and did not have an appointment for another month.
Juvenile 4 is a 15 year old male with mental retardation who is in the custody
of Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS), and was set for
release from AYSC on May 8, 2006, and who, as of October 13, 2006 remains
confined at AYSC. DRC was contacted by staff at AYSC because Juvenile 4
completed his program before his scheduled release date of May 8, 2006, yet he
continued to languish at AYSC. DRC reviewed documents and met with Juvenile
4 and could find no evidence that there was an attempt by either DCFS or DYS to
secure placement for Juvenile 4 prior to his scheduled release date of May 8,
2006. Juvenile 4 is the responsibility of the State of Arkansas and appropriate
placement is mandated.
AYSC claims that the average stay at their facility is ninety days. This may be
true for some juveniles, but through our investigation and review of documents,
many of the juveniles with developmental disabilities were at AYSC for years
with very little hope of leaving. DRC believes the reason for this is AYSC’s
failure to modify its program and provide appropriate treatment so that juveniles
with developmental delays can achieve success.

If a juvenile is found to be
delinquent at an adjudication
hearing, the court may
commit the juvenile to a
youth services center (DYS)
per a risk assessment.
A.C.A. § 9-27-330


Other disposition options available if juvenile found delinquent:
1. The Court may transfer custody of the juvenile to a relative or licensed agency.
2. If the juvenile is committed to a youth services center, the risk assessment may be modified by DYS.
3. The court may recommend placement of a juvenile in a community-based program & make specific findings to
support its recommendations. The division shall consider the recommendations of the committing court.
4. The Court may place the juvenile on probation & require the juvenile to follow the terms of probation.
5. Order the juvenile or members of juvenile’s family to submit to physical, psychiatric or psychological evaluations.
6. Grant permanent custody to an individual upon proof the parent or guardian from whom the juvenile was
removed has not complied with the court’s orders & no further services and reviews are required.
7. Order probation fee of no more than $20.00 per month.
8. Assess a court cost of no more than $35.00 to be paid by the juvenile, his parent(s), guardian or custodian.
9. Order the juvenile to pay restitution.
10. Order the juvenile to pay a fine of no more than $500.00.
11. Order the juvenile, his parent(s), or guardian to perform community service.
12. Order parents to attend parental responsibility training program.
13. Order the juvenile to remain in detention for no more than 90 days.
14. Place the juvenile on house-arrest/detention with electronic monitoring.
15. Hold parents liable for the cost of commitment, detention, or electronic monitoring.
16. Suspend the driving privileges of the juvenile.
17. Judgment of the court may be discharged by a settlement between the parties ordered to pay restitution and the
beneficiaries of the judgment.
A.C.A. § 9-27-330

Detention hearing is held
within 72 hours of the
juvenile being taken into
A.C.A. § 9-27-326


If there is no probable cause
that the juvenile committed a
crime, then he/she is released.
If probable cause exists, then
the juvenile is held in
detention or released until
next hearing.
A.C.A. § 9-27-326

The juvenile may be sent home to his
parent(s) if the juvenile committed
an act that would be a felony if
committed by an adult; OR the
juvenile commits an act that is a
misdemeanor if committed by adult.
The intake officer makes this
decision in accordance with A.C.A. §
9-27-322. A.C.A. § 9-27313(d)(2)(A) & (d)(3)(A)




When a juvenile is
initially taken into
custody, will the
juvenile be sent to
detention or returned

A juvenile is sent to detention
immediately (pending a probable
cause hearing) if the juvenile
unlawfully possesses a handgun; takes
a gun to school; fires a gun from a car;
commits a felony with a gun; OR
criminally uses a prohibited weapon.
A.C.A. § 9-27-313 (d)(1)(A)

The constitutional and/or statutory rights violations identified at AYSC by the DOJ
that the defendants agreed to remedy are identical in many respects to the findings
of DRC set forth in this report. The state has failed to take the remedial action
agreed to and rights of juveniles confined at AYSC continue to be violated.5
Provide state funding and access other funding sources for new, additional
community-based services, assure a comprehensive, coordinated approach
for all troubled youth, avoiding duplicity among interrelated programs and
The inter-institutional transferring of some youth between less to more restrictive
settings should be reviewed.
Review programs similar to JRAP in Garland County which focuses on
providing intensive services/treatment to the juvenile in the community
which enables the juvenile in many instances to remain at home.
Provide adequate mental health care to all juveniles who require such
Develop and implement an effective protocol to ensure that direct staff has all
relevant mental health information about juveniles, including instructions
regarding any required suicide precautions and information about critical
incidents in which the juveniles were involved.
Ensure that a qualified mental health professional has sufficient daily
interaction with juveniles and sufficient weekly interaction with any juvenile
who needs such treatment.
Ensure that all mental health services provided to a juvenile, including
individual mental health treatment, are properly documented.
Institute an appropriate case management system that assigns a case manager to
be responsible for each and every juvenile. The case manager shall, on a
systematic, routine and timely basis, provide information to the juvenile about
his/her status at AYSC; facilitate the juvenile’s entry into specialized treatment
programs, keep in contact with the juvenile’s parent(s) or guardian; interact with
all outside agencies and entities on the juvenile’s behalf; and be responsible for
the juvenile’s transition upon his/her release from AYSC.
Provide all case managers at AYSC with adequate additional training
(including both initial training for new employees and ongoing training for
experienced employees), and support to ensure that they effectively fulfill
their case management and other responsibilities;


See Exhibit 1, United States of America v. State of Arkansas et al, Civil No. 4-09 Court Entered
Settlement, 2003


Develop and implement a procedure, consistent with all applicable Federal and
State privacy laws, to obtain all relevant mental health and medical information
about juveniles on a routine, systemic and prompt basis from outside sources.
Cornell/DYS shall develop and implement an effective quality assurance system
regarding this procedure.
Keep all relevant mental health and medical information about juveniles in
one centralized location available to all appropriate facility employees.
Develop and implement a procedure to ensure that the facility psychiatrist
adequately documents the diagnosis and the basis for the diagnosis for each
juvenile requiring such a diagnosis.
Ensure that appropriate plans to provide mental health services to those
juveniles who require such services are developed and implemented in a
timely fashion.
Develop and implement an adequate protocol for reviewing, at required intervals,
the appropriateness of all medication prescribed for juveniles.
Develop and implement an adequate protocol for ensuring that all juveniles
receive any necessary medical screening or tests before and during
prescription of all medication.
Ensure that when a facility psychiatrist meets with a juvenile, he/she has
appropriate access to relevant information from the direct care staff regarding the

all juveniles with adequate education services; and
adequate special education services to all juveniles who require such
Ensure that all students receive reasonable and appropriate education
instruction within two school days of their arrival at the facility. To satisfy
this requirement, Cornell/DYS may operate an adequately staffed intake
classroom, taught by licensed teachers that focus on basic education skills
such as literacy, understanding current events, and math skills. Juveniles
may remain in this classroom while waiting to be transferred to a more
permanent educational setting, for up to 30 days.
Provide all teachers with effective and appropriate monitoring, professional
development, and mentoring.
Ensure that students have access to reading materials at school and in
housing units.
Develop and effectively implement a policy to: a) require that students be
provided with appropriate homework assignments; b) mandate that teachers and
direct care staff monitor students’ progress in completing such assignments and
assist and encourage students in performing their assignments; and c) ensure that
students have access to any materials (pencils, paper, etc.) required to complete
such assignments.


Employ a qualified full time (or full time equivalent) school counselor for
Alexander to aid students in education, personal, social, and career
Continue to employ a qualified full time school principal for AYSC.
Ensure that all academic credits earned at AYSC are accepted by other
public schools in the State of Arkansas in the same way as the credits earned
at any other school in the State.
Ensure that all teachers at the school at AYSC are appropriately licensed and
certified in the subjects that they teach.
Obtain the ability to issue high school diplomas to juveniles at AYSC.
Provide all juveniles (whether or not they have already received a GED) with
an adequate and appropriate vocational program that satisfies the
requirements for vocational education found in the Standards for
Accreditation of Arkansas Pubic Schools.
Provide prompt and adequate screening of juveniles of special education needs,
including obtaining prior education records from school systems in a timely
fashion, conducting adequate testing of juveniles substantive educational
knowledge and performing necessary vision and hearing tests.
Create and/or implement an adequate Individual Education Plan (“IEP”), as
defined in 34 C.F.R. & 300.340, for each juvenile who qualifies for an IEP. As
part of satisfying this requirement, Cornell/DYS must conduct required
reevaluations of IEPs, adequately document special education services, and
comply with requirements regarding parent, surrogate and student
participation in the IEP process.
Hire sufficient additional special education instructors to enable the facility to
provide adequate special education services to both boys and girls. To satisfy this
requirement the Cornell/DYS needs to:

employ at least 6 appropriately qualified full time (or full time equivalent)
special education teachers at AYSC. This number of additional positions
assumes that the AYSC census remains approximately 140 juveniles. If
the average daily census for any three consecutive months is greater than
170 or less than 110 juveniles, or if the population’s need for special
education services changes significantly, either party to this agreement can
seek an adjustment to this figure. If the parties cannot agree on an
adjustment, the issue shall be submitted to the Court for resolution;


develop a plan , subject to the review and approval by DRC, for allocating
and utilizing these teachers.

Develop a policy and protocol that clarifies the proper role that religious
activities can play at the facility.


Provide adequate training (including both initial training for new employees and
ongoing training for experienced employees) on the policy and protocol described
After the implementation of the policy and protocol described above,
monitor facility programs to ensure that the policy and protocol is being

DRC has seen little change at AYSC during the seven months we have been monitoring.
It is our hope that the State of Arkansas will address each of our findings and create an
environment for juveniles confined at AYSC that actually provides the rehabilitative
services which will enable the juveniles confined there to grow into productive members
of society.

Are we spending $10.5 million per year to prepare our
children for this rehabilitation opportunity?



Arkansas Constitution, Statutory Provisions and Olmstead
Constitution of Arkansas:
Art. 14 § 1 Free school system.
Intelligence and virtue being the safeguards of liberty and the bulwark of a free and good
government, the State shall ever maintain a general, suitable and efficient system of free
public schools and shall adopt all suitable means to secure to the people the advantages
and opportunities of education. The specific intention of this amendment is to authorize
that in addition to existing constitutional or statutory provisions the General Assembly
and/or public school districts may spend public funds for the education of persons over
twenty-one (21) years of age and under six (6) years of age, as may be provided by law,
and no other interpretation shall be given to it. [As amended by Const. Amend. 53].
Art. 19 § 19. Deaf and dumb and blind and insane persons.
It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to Provide by law for the support of
institutions for the education of the deaf and dumb, and of the blind, and also for the
treatment of the insane.
Statutory Provisions:
Arkansas Code Annotated § 9-27-302. Purposes - Construction.
This subchapter shall be liberally construed to the end that its purposes may be carried
(1) To assure that all juveniles brought to the attention of the courts receive the
guidance, care, and control, preferably in each juvenile's own home when the juvenile's
health and safety are not at risk, which will best serve the emotional, mental and physical
welfare of the juvenile and the best interest of the state;
(2)(A) To preserve and strengthen the juvenile's family ties when it is in the best
interest of the juvenile;
(B) To protect a juvenile by considering the juvenile's health and safety as the
paramount concerns in determining whether or not to remove the juvenile from the
custody of his or her parents or custodians, removing the juvenile only when the safety
and protection of the public cannot adequately be safeguarded without such removal;
(C) When a juvenile is removed from his or her own family, to secure for him or her
custody, care, and discipline as nearly as possible equivalent to that which should have
been given by his or her parents, with primary emphasis on ensuring the health and safety
of the juvenile while in the out-of-home placement; and
(D) To assure, in all cases in which a juvenile must be permanently removed from
the custody of his or her parents, that the juvenile be placed in an approved family home
and be made a member of the family by adoption;


(3) To protect society more effectively by substituting for retributive punishment,
whenever possible, methods of offender rehabilitation and rehabilitative restitution,
recognizing that the application of sanctions which are consistent with the seriousness of
the offense is appropriate in all cases; and
(4) To provide means through which the provisions of this subchapter are executed
and enforced and in which the parties are assured a fair hearing and their constitutional
and other legal rights recognized and enforced.
Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999):
The Supreme Court held that undue institutionalization of persons with mental
disabilities qualifies as “discrimination” by reason of disability under the public services
portion of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the same action of the
ADA as interpreted in Olmstead, states are required to provide community-based
treatment for persons with mental disabilities when 1) the state’s treatment professionals
determine that such placement is appropriate; 2) the affected persons do not oppose such
treatment; and 3) the suggested placement can be reasonably accommodated, taking into
account the resources available to the state and the needs of others with mental

This report was made possible by funding support from Centers for Mental Health
Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the United
States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental
Disabilities. The contents are solely the responsibility of the grantee (Disability Rights
Center) and do not necessarily represent the official views of the grantors.

This report is available online at
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Disability Rights Center, Inc.
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