School-to-Prison Pipeline; Its Creation, Effects, and How It Can Be Diminished
University of Wisconsin--Stout. Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
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The school-to-prison pipeline is a term that refers to a system of policies and practices that pushes students out of the classroom and into the criminal justice system and mainly affects children of color, children with disabilities, and children who identify in the LGBTQIA+ community. There are three main reasons for this system of oppression and its continuation: zero-tolerance disciplinary policies, discrimination practices, and policing in schools (nea.org). Instead of providing mediation and counseling to figure out why students act out, schools increasingly resort to punishment pushing more children towards incarceration. This system has been proven to have a greater impact and prevalence in southern schools because of the large population of African American students and the harsh racial history of this region. After looking at existing research about the school-to-prison pipeline, how it operates, and its effects, this paper examines four potential policy changes that could be made to decrease the prevalence of the system. I conclude that instead of increasing the use of school resource officers, schools should look to increasing the use of restorative justice and hiring more professionals to help children rather than punish them. Restorative justice could help diminish the school-to-prison pipeline.
Criminal justice, Administration of