The School-to-Prison Pipeline

The School-to-Prison Pipeline

“The obligation of anyone who thinks of himself as responsible is to examine society and try to change it and to fight it — at no matter what risk,” (Baldwin, 1961). School institutions have the power to create, shape and regulate social identities and they are an important agent of social reproduction, they socially reproduce social inequalities that maintain social reproduction. The School-to-Prison Pipeline is a term used to describe the journey children of color take from getting expelled from school (for weak means of punishment) to getting caught up in the streets and eventually locked up in the Criminal Justice System. Understanding the School-to-Prison Pipeline will allow us to transpire alternative forms of punishment in school while understanding the root cause of The School-to-Prison Pipeline, it will also guide us to alternative options in occasions of rule breaking in the criminal justice system. It is necessary to understand the pipeline so that we could dismantle it, decrease the prison population and most importantly, change the school discipline system to prevent further inequalities. The racial bias in the school punishing systems reflect the practices of the criminal justice system. It is necessary to decrease the prison population and to erase the school to prison pipeline. These readings discuss issues contributing to The School-to-Prison Pipeline such as social control, responsibility, social reproduction, social criminalization, teacher control and prevention.

In Preparing for Prison, Hirschfield, argues that the moral panic and school accountability reports give insufficient attention to the wider social, legal cultural, political, and economic contexts that frame how schools respond to moral panics about youth and to school accountability reforms (Hirchfield, 2008). School labeling practices and the exercises of rules operates as part of a hidden curriculum. The hidden curriculum isolates black male students and brands them as animals. The students who do not fit into the school norm are labeled “dangerous” or “troublemakers”. These students are removed from school through nonviolent infractions. These children are often identified by their inability to acknowledge and follow the hidden curriculum and their inability to acquire the skills necessary to be successful in the school environment. The teacher’s perception of loss of control determines whether he misdeed will be handled within the classroom or deteriorates into a heated exchange between student and teacher, leading to the student’s removal from the classroom.

The school to Prison Pipeline is an American health crisis. We need to recognize this and get rid of the cradle to prison pipeline as soon as possible. The youth today deserves free medical care to recognize these serious issues and treat them immediately. The youth is today’s future. Once drawn in the school to prison pipeline, it is almost impossible to get out. It is similar to an infectious disease, once infected, you have to fight and fight until you’re cured, or until you’ve made it in the economic ladder. This problem is affecting more and more minority youth. The odds are reduced for minority youth to become successful adults. Factors such as limited access to healthcare, underperforming schools, and child welfare and juvenile systems.

Underperforming schools are a huge influence when it comes to children’s success in schools. Attention deficit disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder or hyperactivity disorder all affect performance in school and underperforming schools rarely have the resources to recognize these disorders. When these disorders are left untreated, they can produce worse disorders or result in violence. Currently, these disorders affect many youth and are just seen as disruptive and unacceptable behavior. These underperforming schools end up expelling these minority youths and they eventually expel out of the school district and result to other non-productive activity. As a result, they end up in the cradle to prison pipeline.