The ACLU of New Jersey filed a class action lawsuit against the Department of Corrections and Department of Education for failing to provide a free, appropriate, public education, in violation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to students in their custody under the age of 21 who are entitled to special education services. While advocating to ensure special education services are provided to young people in juvenile facilities, we learned that the Department of Corrections facilities also houses students eligible for special education services and are routinely failing to provide young people access to special education in the adult system. The lawsuit seeks a comprehensive remedial plan and monitoring to ensure that eligible students are identified and appropriate services are provided.
In 2017, the court appointed a neutral expert to evaluate the provision of educational services. A report is pending.