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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 Fourteen: Back on the Block: Community Reentry and Reintegration of Formerly Incarcerated Youth

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← 226 | 227 → CHAPTERFOURTEEN

A few years ago while serving as a facilitator of an alternative summer school program I, Don, became increasingly interested in researching the experiences of Black boys in urban schools. I wanted to understand how these students navigated hostile educational spaces and underserved neighborhoods and how they made sense of their lives. During the summer I was able to work with Black boys who were sent to summer school. Through a partnership with a university professor and a male mentoring and manhood training program, we were approved to run an alternative summer school program that focused on writing and mathematics.

In this chapter we engage in a critical analysis of the systemic problems that increasingly push Black males toward the criminal justice system. There has been an exponential increase in the number of Black men and boys entering the prison industrial complex. Faulty policies and practices have pushed Black males out of school and have created an environment in which they are overrepresented in school suspensions, special education, and prison (Howard, 2008). Through the analysis of three case studies, we deconstruct the practices of systems that oppress and repress populations of color in educational settings that in the end lead to ← 227 | 228 → students being imprisoned and having to struggle with reentry into society. We track these experiences through the broader discourse of society related to males of color, schools’ educational and disciplinary practices, otherwise referred to as the “school to prison pipeline...

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