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From Education to Incarceration

Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline

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Anthony J. Nocella II, Priya Parmar and David Stovall

The school-to-prison pipeline is a national concern, from the federal to local governments, and a leading topic in conversations in the field of urban education and juvenile justice. From Education to Incarceration: Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline is a ground-breaking book that exposes the school system’s direct relationship to the juvenile justice system. The book reveals various tenets contributing to unnecessary expulsions, leaving youth vulnerable to the streets and, ultimately, behind bars. From Education to Incarceration is a must-read for parents, teachers, law enforcement, judges, lawyers, administrators, and activists concerned with and involved in the juvenile justice and school system. The contributors are leading scholars in their fields and experts on the school-to-prison pipeline.
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Chapter Four: Punishment Creep and the Crisis of Youth in the Age of Disposability

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← 68 | 69 → CHAPTERFOUR

In spite of being discredited by the economic recession of 2008, market fundamentalism has once again become a dominant force for producing a corrupt financial service industry, runaway environmental devastation, egregious amounts of human suffering, and the rise of what has been called the emergence of “finance as a criminalized, rogue industry” (Ferguson, 2012, p. 21). The Gilded Age is back with huge profits for the ultra-rich, banks, and other large financial service institutions while at the same time increasing impoverishment and misery for the middle and working classes. The American dream of economic and social mobility for all has been transformed into not just an influential myth but also a poisonous piece of propaganda.

America not only “has the highest level of inequality of any of the advanced countries” (Stiglitz, 2012), but the gap between the rich and poor is increasing along with the widespread suffering and political corruption it creates, especially among young people. Money now dominates politics and has undermined any viable notion of democratic representational politics. Bankruptcy laws are now written to favor the rich and mega corporations while punishing students by preventing them from discharging their debts. American society is increasingly dominated by gated communities with luxury hideaways for the rich and foreclosure, homelessness, and incarceration for the remainder of the population. One measure of the upward shift in wealth is evident in Joseph E. Stiglitz’s (2012) claim that ← 69 | 70 → “in the ‘recovery’ of 2009–2010, the...

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