The school-to-prison pipeline is a disturbing national trend wherein children are funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Many of these children have learning disabilities or histories of poverty, abuse, or neglect, and would benefit from additional educational and counseling services. Instead, they are isolated, punished, and pushed out.
“Zero-tolerance” policies criminalize minor infractions of school rules, while cops in schools lead to students being criminalized for behavior that should be handled inside the school. Students of color are especially vulnerable to push-out trends and the discriminatory application of discipline.
The sexual abuse-to-prison pipeline is a related trend focusing on ways in which we criminalize girls, especially girls of color. This includes when common responses to trauma – often by sexual abuse victims – are criminalized within the school system, causing children to enter the juvenile and criminal justice systems.
If you'd like more information on this topic, please contact Ian Henderson, Associate Director.
- Colorlines: Race, Disability and the School-to-Prison Pipeline
- Teaching Tolerance: The School-to-Prison Pipeline
- The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The Girls’ Story (report)
- MSNBC: Addressing Juvenile Justice Reform (news story)
- Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline Report: A Native Perspective
- From Fingerpaint to Fingerprints: The School-To-Prison Pipeline in Utah
- Disciplined Too Young & Too Often (presentation by From Nubia Peña, Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault, NSAC 2015)
- School-to-Prison Pipeline (American Civil Liberties Union)