The School-to-Prison Pipeline: Structuring Legal Reform

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NYU Press, Apr 1, 2012 - Law - 229 pages
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The "school-to-prison pipeline" is an emerging trend that pushes large numbers of at-risk youth - particularly children of colour - out of classrooms and into the juvenile justice system. The policies and practices that contribute to this trend can be seen as a pipeline with many entry points, from under-resourced public schools, to the over-use of zero-tolerance suspensions and expulsions and to the explosion of policing and arrests in public schools. The confluence of these practices threatens to prepare an entire generation of children for a future of incarceration.
In this comprehensive study of the relationship between American law and the school-to-prison pipeline, co-authors Catherine Y. Kim, Daniel J. Losen, and Damon T. Hewitt - all civil rights attorneys specializing in juvenile justice - analyze the current state of the law for each entry point on the pipeline and propose legal theories and remedies to challenge them. Using specific state-based examples and case studies, the authors assert that law can be an effective weapon in the struggle to reduce the number of children caught in the pipeline, address the devastating consequences of the pipeline on families and communities, and ensure that our public schools and juvenile justice system further the goals for which they were created: to provide meaningful, safe opportunities for all the nation's children.

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Unlawful Discrimination
Students with Disabilities
Challenging Suspensions and Expulsions
Disciplinary Alternative Schools and Programs
Criminalizing School Misconduct
CourtInvolved Youth and the Juvenile Justice System
About the Authors

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About the author (2012)

Catherine Y. Kim is a former attorney for the Racial Justice Program of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, National Legal Department. She currently teaches at the University of North Carolina School of Law at Chapel Hill.

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