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School to Prison Pipeline


If you don't believe this is real, you need to do your research. Yes, the school to prison pipeline is a real thing. Juvenile crime rates are plummeting, and the number of Americans in juvenile detention has dropped. One report shows the juvenile incarceration rate dropped 41 percent between 1995 and 2010. But school discipline policies are moving in the opposite direction: out-of-school suspensions have increased about 10 percent since 2000. They have more than doubled since the 1970s. Black students are three times more likely to be suspended or expelled than white students, according to the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights, and research in Texas found students who have been suspended are more likely to be held back a grade and drop out of school entirely. Those facts have led to concern among some people, including the Obama administration, that schools are suspending students too much and need to find other ways to discipline them. The reason the difference between juvenile detention and school discipline is so surprising — and the reason school discipline is seen as a growing concern — is that the two are connected, leading civil-rights advocates to talk about a "school-to-prison pipeline." Especially for older students, trouble at school can lead to their first contact with the criminal justice system. And in many cases, schools themselves are the ones pushing students into the juvenile justice system — often by having students arrested at school. Here's how the current state of school discipline developed and why some districts and federal officials are working to change the status quo. School to Prison Pipeline Here is a report from analysis of Education Department data by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Be the change. Heidi Nord