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PBIS in Restrictive Settings: The Time is Now

From: Education and Treatment of Children
Volume 36, Number 3, August 2013
pp. 161-174 | 10.1353/etc.2013.0023



One of the main purposes of alternative education, residential facilities and our nation's juvenile justice restrictive settings is to provide the youth who find themselves in these settings an opportunity to redirect their lives and receive the supports and skills they need to have successful and productive futures. While this has not always been the mindset or approach within restrictive settings, there has been a notable turn away from punitive approaches to rehabilitation and a push toward positive approaches in the juvenile justice field. This article highlights how the positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS) framework can promote the goals within restrictive settings and meet the needs of the youth residing within them, including: (1) safety for staff and youth; (2) social, behavioral, educational, vocational, and other skill acquisition; and (3) youth responsibility and a desire to connect with their communities. The discussion explores the different agencies and organizations that are promoting the use of PBIS in the juvenile justice system. The authors suggest the benefits of PBIS for juvenile justice-involved youth lay not only in its further expansion within restrictive settings but in the powerful support it could provide for transition if it were implemented across juvenile justice and community schools district- or community-wide.

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