Mark your calendars! The CHRO is proud to announce our first Conference on the School to Prison Pipeline on Tuesday, August 11, 2015. This special event will bring together students, teachers, administrators, activists, and law enforcement officials to discuss the School-to-Prison Pipeline, an important issue facing Connecticut and the nation.
The School to Prison Pipeline refers to the harsh policies and practices that push the nation’s schoolchildren out of the classroom and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. This disturbing phenomenon disproportionally impacts students of color and students with history of poverty, abuse, neglect, and emotional disabilities. This especially concerns under-resourced schools, as well as schools that use zero-tolerance policies to criminalize minor infractions of school rules and utilize police enforcement to discipline and punish students.
Here are some key facts and figures on the issue for you to consider:
- Black and Latino students account for 70% of police referrals, despite statistics showing that black students are no more likely to act out in class than their fellow white classmates.
- Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) shows that minority youth are more likely to encounter the juvenile justice system, and are treated more harshly than their white peers.
- Under-resourced schools become pipeline gateways by relying on police rather than teachers and administrators to maintain discipline.
- Students with disabilities make up 32% of youth in juvenile detention centers, even though they only account for 8.6% of public school children.
- Zero-tolerance policies have led to the expulsion of students who have brought nail clippers into school.
- Suspensions have increased from 1.7 million in 1974 to 3.1 million in 2000.
- Once in the criminal justice system, many do not return to school and live a life constantly in and out of prison.
Please join us on Tuesday, August 11th, at the Old Judiciary Room in the State Capitol from 9:00am to 1:00pm, with Registration starting at 8:30am. It will feature a keynote speaker and two separate panels comprised of lawyers, educators, and advocates involved in the School to Prison Pipeline issue. So far, we have four exciting and experienced panelists confirmed:
- Christine Perra Rapillo – Director of Delinquency Defense and Child Protection in the CT Division of Public Defender Services/Member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice/Member of the CT Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee
- Mike Lawlor – Under Secretary for Criminal Policy and Planning Division in the CT Office of Public Management/Chair of the Criminal Justice Policy Advisory Commission
- David McGuire – Legislative and Policy Director at the Connecticut American Civil Liberties Union (CT-ACLU)
- Ken Antony – Director of Professional Development at the Connecticut After School Network
- Feng An – Director of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Boston
We hope to see you there!