Court Alternative Program of Education (CAPE School-Detention) provides educational services for juveniles held in the Detention Center. These services are provided by CAPE to fulfill the state requirement that county juvenile courts work in cooperation with their county school superintendent to establish an educational program for minors held in juvenile detention facilities. CAPE is one of three schools operated by the Pima Accommodation School District #00 and the only nationally accredited school held in a Detention Center.
If you have questions or concerns regarding CAPE, please call 740-4724.
The CAPE Mission
CAPE’s mission is to create a challenging and rewarding curriculum for all students transiting through the Juvenile Court Detention facility. The mission encompasses fostering positive choices, problem solving, critical thinking skills, accountability, respectful boundaries, communication, socialization, and personal growth in a safe, secure environment.
CAPE encourages ideas and opportunities for personal growth, as well as assisting students in achieving success in the world of school and work. CAPE is dedicated to providing an education for all of their students so they will have a strong foundation for success. As a local education agency, CAPE complies with the Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and state requirements for special education. This includes Child Find, Psycho-Ed evaluations, Individualized Education Program development, and other related services such as speech/language therapy, sign language interpretation, and counseling.
CAPE requires core subjects be taught on a daily basis. Instructors are an integral part of curriculum development, and materials are aligned with all state standards. Much of the curriculum is based on twelve individual weeks where Life Skills are taught. Each week begins with a pre-test and ends with a post-test. Students have the opportunity to earn certificates at the end of each week and gain a quarter-credit with the completion of four individual weeks. Physical Education is also a part of daily curriculum and ensures every student is receiving adequate and meaningful exercise.
CAPE classes are conducted within each living unit of the Detention Center. The school programs are individually focused. All students are assessed academically and placed in individualized education curriculum tailored to meet their needs and ensure the continuation of their educational services with minimum interruption. All entering students are administered the Test for Adult Basic Education (TABE) within 48 hours of their detainment in the Detention Center. The TABE is utilized primarily to determine the student’s educational level and ensure CAPE is in compliance with state correctional assessment procedures. The TABE gives grade equivalents ranging from kindergarten to twelfth grade.
CAPE offers a low student-to-staff ratio (12 to 1) to ensure every student receives tutoring and individualized assistance. Due to the constantly changing population of the Detention Center, CAPE is an open entry/open exit program.
GED and PASS Degree Services
For those students who qualify, General Education Degree (GED) preparation and testing is available. To qualify, a student must have parental and Court permission to take the GED exam. With an authorized GED examiner on staff, CAPE administers a Pre-GED examination to determine eligibility and offers preparation for the exam.
For other students, PASS Packets are also available. To qualify, students must be at a secondary academic level (as determined by the TABE), must have permission from their probation officer, and must be here for a minimum of three weeks. The district director for the CAPE educational program can be contacted at 740-4724.
Juvenile educational programs, provided by the Detention Center and CAPE, are enhanced by services provided by the Tucson-Pima Public Library. The library makes available materials that meet the educational, recreational, informational, and cultural needs of detained juveniles. This valuable service aids in the rehabilitation, social development, educational competence, school completion and successful re-entry of youth into the community.
Through the exceptional efforts of the librarians assigned to the Detention Center, a collection of more than 7000 paperback books are available for use by the detainees. Juveniles eagerly anticipate the library staff’s twice monthly visits to each living unit. During these visits, minors can request specific books on appropriate topics and check out newly arrived books.
The Detention Library staff also conducts:
● Monthly Library Card Clinics: youth receive public library cards.
● Monthly Public Library Orientations: youth learn about services offered by their public library.
● Weekly Homework Help Tutoring: the library tutor works one-on-one with youth four hours per week.
● Summer Reading Program: youth earn prizes for reaching reading goals.
● Mask and Poetry workshops: youth write poetry and create masks introducing them to positive and productive methods of expression.
● Bookmaking classes: youth compose and construct their own book of fables.Other special library programs have included a presentation by a Holocaust survivor, an Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum presentation, an Old Tucson Studios production, and One Book/One Community book discussions.