skip navigation


Abstract Database

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

To download this abstract, check the box next to the NCJ number then click the "Back To Search Results" link. Then, click the "Download" button on the Search Results page. Also see the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 204329 Find in a Library
Title: Defining and Redirecting a School-to-Prison Pipeline
Journal: New Directions for Youth Development  Volume:2003  Issue:99  Dated:Fall 2003  Pages:9-15
Author(s): Johanna Wald; Daniel F. Losen
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 7
Document: PDF
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the disparities in the public school and criminal justice systems and the concept of the school-to-prison pipeline.
Abstract: The public school system in this country is plagued by vast inequalities that are frequently defined along lines of race and class, and recent policy trends appear to be intensifying these inequalities. Students in high-poverty, high-minority schools are routinely provided fewer resources, qualified teachers, and advanced-level courses than their more affluent White peers, which can lead to lower rates of high school graduation, lower levels of academic achievement, and higher rates of college attrition. A related trend is also seen in school discipline and the criminal justice system, with minority youth being overly represented and subjected to more severe sanctions. The racial disparities within the two systems are so similar that educators, advocates, and observers have begun describing these dual trends as the prison track or the school-to-prison pipeline. Despite the strong relationship between troubled educational histories and subsequent arrest and incarceration, the specific ways in which schools may either contribute to or prevent the flow of students into the criminal justice system remains largely unexplored. In May 2003, the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University and the Institute on Race and Justice at Northeastern University sponsored a conference on the concept of the school-to-prison pipeline. The major findings from these studies include: the failure to provide appropriate behavioral interventions may be contributing to delinquency among students with disabilities; following removal from school, many students experience enormous difficulty in reentering school; and effective interventions and programs that reduce risk and enhance protective factors for youth at risk for delinquency exist. These studies clearly suggest that the school-to-prison pipeline is preventable, but harnessing the political will to do so is difficult. Notes
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency prevention
Index Term(s): Correlation of delinquency to adult crime; Education; Equal opportunity education; Juvenile offenders; Minority overrepresentation; Racial discrimination; Schools
Note: Downloaded February 24, 2004.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.