News and Events: The Pipeline to Prison

Justice Department Pushes New Thinking On Kids And Crime


In a recent interview with National Public Radio (NPR), Robert L. Listenbee, Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, discussed priorities for the Office, which include supporting research and programs that promote the safety and wellbeing of the nation’s youth. He spoke about the importance of adopting a trauma-informed approach for treating children exposed to violence and a developmental approach to juvenile justice. He also discussed federal efforts to staunch the “school-to-prison pipeline.”

Study Bolsters Argument Linking Graduation Rates to Cutting Crime

Las Vegas Sun

Nevada could save $215 million annually in crime-fighting costs if it could raise its male high school graduation rate by 5 percentage points, according to a new report released today. The report reaffirms the concept of the “school-to-prison pipeline,” a cycle where disadvantaged students drop out of low-performing schools, turn to a life of crime and end up behind bars.

Program to Address Disparities in School Discipline Policies that Fuel “School to Prison Pipeline” in Four U.S. Cities

Annenberg Institute for School Reform

Brown University’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR) announced today a $1 million, two-year grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies, a limited-life foundation, to engage community and school-district partners in four major U.S. cities with the goal of addressing school discipline practices and policies that contribute to a disproportionate number of low-income students of color leaving school and entering the criminal justice system – what is commonly called the “school-to-prison pipeline.” 

Communities Around The Country Stand Their Ground Against Racial Profiling and the School to Prison Pipeline

Dignity in Schools

The Dream Defenders succeeded in drawing national attention to unjust policies that disproportionately impact young people of color like Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, racial profiling, the criminalization of youth and the harsh discipline policies that feed the school-to-prison pipeline. 

Attorney General Holder, Secretary Duncan Announce Effort to Respond to School-to-Prison Pipeline by Supporting Good Discipline Practices

The United States Department of Justice

Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced the launch of the Supportive School Discipline Initiative, a collaborative project between the Departments of Justice and Education that will address the “school-to-prison pipeline” and the disciplinary policies and practices that can push students out of school and into the justice system. The initiative aims to support good discipline practices to foster safe and productive learning environments in every classroom.

School-to-Prison Pipeline ActionCamp 2.0

Following the success of the 2012 ActionCamps, the project will continue in 2013 with at least 2 more trainings taking place in April and June. The camps, dubbed ‘ActionCamp 2.0,’ will be the next step from 2012 Regional ActionCamps and will offer a deeper dive into the skills and strategies necessary to run effective campaigns to dismantle the School-to-Prison Pipeline. As a result, ActionCamp 2.0 will feature less introductory level training and will include a focus on helping organizations currently involved in such efforts to develop plans of action for moving their work forward.


School Discipline Changes Urged In Federal Complaint Against Dallas Truancy System

Huffington Post

In 2012, Texas adult courts prosecuted 113,000 truancy cases, more than twice the number pursued in the other 49 states combined. That statistic, and the penalties children and parents face because of Dallas County's Truancy Court, is why three law centers -- Texas Appleseed, Disability Rights Texas, and the National Center for Youth Law -- are filing a federal complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice Wednesday on behalf of seven children. 

Zero Tolerance Discipline Policies: A Failing Idea

The Council of State Governments Justice Center

New research analyzing the data from the 2009 – 2010 school year in Massachusetts found nearly 60,000 school expulsions and suspensions. Just more than half of them were for “unassigned offenses” – nonviolent, noncriminal offenses that can include behavioral issues such as swearing, talking back to a teacher, and truancy.

The School-to-Prison Pipeline Works!

The American Prospect

Criminal justice reform activists have long argued that the “school-to-prison” pipeline—the process that places children in the criminal-justice system for misbehavior in school—has a destructive effect on future outcomes. A recent working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research gives a sense of just how destructive. According to economists Anna Aizer and Joseph Doyle Jr., juvenile incarceration—one result of getting caught in the pipeline—drastically reduces the probability of completing high school, and substantially increases the odds of adult incarceration.