school-to-prison pipeline

The School-to-Prison Pipeline: The Criminalization of Kids

By Isabelle Pierre, age 13 and IndyKids staff

Kids face so many challenges while growing up, from concentrating in class to dealing with confusing emotions, bullying from peers and a huge amount of stress. It’s hard to imagine, but for many, these struggles may not just earn you detention, they may result in your arrest and ultimately land you in prison.

Restoring Justice in Schools

Restorative justice shifts the way that a school community treats and views student behavioral issues. When students misbehave, their peers, teachers, parents and the school administrators address it as a community rather than strictly punishing students through suspension or expulsion. A culture of restorative justice helps students to find out what they are doing wrong, why, how it affects others, and how they can fix it.

More Than a Score: Opting Out of High Stakes Tests

Come standardized testing season this spring, some students are planning to stay home. Students and parents across the country, in greater numbers than ever before, are choosing to opt out of the annual assessments, saying that they are too stressful for students, teachers and schools alike, and that they don’t actually reflect how well a student is doing.

Kids for Cash

In 2009, judges Michael Conahan and Mark Ciavarella pled guilty to sending children ages 10 to 18 to juvenile detention centers in exchange for kickbacks from these privately run facilities.

Civil Rights THEN and NOW

Today in 2014, 50 years after the passage of the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964, much is still left to be done. In many ways, the battles fought in the past share similar themes with challenges we face today.

The School-to-Prison Pipeline

Children with learning disabilities, African Americans and Latinos are more likely to be subjected to harsh disciplinary actions and to “zero-tolerance” policies, starting in elementary school, thus setting the stage for higher rates of incarceration (detention in prison) among them when they get older.