It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
If you can read this message, please contact us immediately at the following email address:
We'd like to communicate.
The United States school-to-prison link or school-to-prison pipeline
is a metaphor used to describe the increasing patterns of contact
students have with the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems as a
result of the recent practices implemented by educational institutions,
specifically zero tolerance policies and the use of police in schools.
The metaphor is currently a hot topic of debate in discussions
surrounding educational disciplinary policies as media coverage of youth
violence and mass incarceration has grown over the past decade or so.
The current sociopolitical climate, relating to mass incarceration, existent in the United States serves as a critical component in increasing the contact the incarceration system has with the United States education system, as patterns of criminalization translate into the school context. Specific practices implemented in United States schools over the past ten years to reduce violence in schools, including zero tolerance policies and an increase in School Resource Officers have created the environment for criminalization of youth in schools. This results from patterns of discipline in schools mirroring law enforcement models.
The disciplinary policies and practices that create an environment for the United States school-to-prison link to occur disproportionately affect Latino and Black students which is later reflected in the rates of incarceration. Between 1999 and 2007, the percentage of black students being suspended has increased by twelve percent, while the percentage of white students being suspended has declined since the implementation of zero tolerance policies. Relating this statistic to patterns of overall incarceration in the U.S., from 1980 to 2008, the number of people incarcerated in America quadrupled from roughly 500,000 to 2.3 million people. The graphic to the right shows the uniqueness of this practice in comparison to other countries across the globe, with the United States incarcerating a larger portion of its population than any other country in 2008. The United States holds 25% of the world’s prisoners, but only has 5% of the world’s population. Of the total incarcerated population in the United States, 61% are Black or Latino.
Some additional non-Wikipedia reading on the subject: