With Liberty and Justice for All
Today we're discussing the school to prison pipeline, wherein students are pushed into the criminal justice system – disproportionally students of color, students with disabilities, or students struggling with difficult circumstances at home.
How did you get to where you are today? Kind of a big question for a Tuesday morning, but one worth considering in the context of today's topic.
I grew up white, male, and middle class. My mom was an early childhood education teacher which definitely had an impact on my learning. My dad worked hard, and we moved a few times to support his career – something that taught me the value of hard work and the impermanence of relationships. Coming out as gay in Boise, ID was a threat, so I invested all of my effort into hiding who I was and pursuing work as the primary end to a life well-lived.
This is not, of course, an exhaustive list of all the influences on my life. Your list is similarly full of circumstances you created yourself and simply happened into by chance.
And so we come to our discussion today of the school to prison pipeline, wherein students are pushed into the criminal justice system – disproportionally students of color, students with disabilities, or students struggling with difficult circumstances at home.
One reflex we need to train if we want to be effective change agents is "what looks like a people problem is often a situation problem." We aren't born delinquent. If we grow into delinquent behavior, we ought to allow that people can grow out of it. We are responsible for our behaviors, but we are influenced.
This week's reads show what happens when a system creates incentives that drive bad behavior, whether it's corporate profits that benefit from mass incarceration or youths who commit self-harm to get attention in a juvenile prison system that fails to support them. Conversely, NPR's story about historically black colleges and universities show how someone's life can change when we approach our systemic challenges with a growth mindset.
Check out meaningful career opportunities in justice and equity below if this week's stories resonate with you. Know of other organizations doing great work in these areas? Share them with us at email@example.com.
Have a great week!
- Greg (@gregrancourt)
This week's reads
HBCUs are building a new prison-to-college pipeline
Historically black colleges and universities are developing new pathways for formerly incarcerated people to earn a degree and transition.
Almost 600 Texas youths are trapped in a juvenile prison system on the brink of collapse
The agency is so understaffed that teens have reported spending up to 23 hours locked in their cells, using water bottles to go to the bathroom. A staggering number have hurt themselves or been placed on suicide watch.
Former judges who sent kids to jail for money must pay more than $200 million
The two former Pennsylvania judges who orchestrated the scheme have been ordered to pay hundreds of people they victimized in one of the worst judicial scandals in U.S. history.
Florida’s School to Prison Pipeline
Want a better understanding of the scale of the challenge? Check out this fact sheet summarizing key statistics in Florida's school to prison pipeline.
Back to School: A Common-Sense Strategy to Lower Recidivism
Few evidence-based reforms have as much untapped potential as postsecondary education in prison. Incarcerated people who participate in such programs are 48 percent less likely to recidivate than those who do not.
John Legend speaks to his work on our criminal justice system at this TED talk focused on shifting our perceptions of those who have been incarcerated.
Find a meaningful career
Vera Institute of Justice
Vera works closely with government and civic leaders to urgently build and improve justice systems that ensure fairness, promote safety, and strengthen communities.
Senior Data Scientist, Acacia Center for Justice - Remote
Research and Evaluation Associate - Remote
Data Scientist, Unaccompanied Children Program - Remote
Associate Director, Information Technology and Security - Remote
The Marshall Project
The Marshall Project is a nonprofit news organization covering the U.S. criminal justice system.
Major Gifts Officer - New York, NY or San Francisco, CA
Senior Development Writer - Remote
Brennan Center for Justice
The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law works to build an America that is democratic, just, and free.
Editorial Director - New York, NY
Media Assistant - New York, NY
Research Associate, Justice Program - New York, NY
Director, Voting Rights - New York, NY
The Bail Project
The Bail Project is a national nonprofit organization that pays bail for people in need, reuniting families and restoring the presumption of innocence.
Director of Data Infrastructure - Remote
Operations Manager II - Los Angeles, CA
Senior Business Analyst, Salesforce - Remote
National Legal and Policy Director - Marina Del Ray, CA
Edovo's platform makes staying in touch with loved ones more affordable, improves safety within correctional environments, and increases opportunities for rehabilitation.
Sr. Software Engineer - Remote
American Civil Liberties Union
Whether in the courts, statehouses, Congress or communities, the ACLU fights to defend the rights that the Constitution guarantees to all of us.
Assistant Controller - New York, NY
Senior Director, Human Resources - New York, NY
Digital Ad Manager - New York, NY
Thanks for reading!
Join us on Twitter to continue the conversation – what steps would you take to break the school to prison pipeline?