Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline, Second Edition
Edited By Anthony J. Nocella II, Priya Parmar and David Stovall
Chapter Fifteen: Youth in Transition and School Reentry: Process, Problems, and Preparation
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Discussion of the harsh realities of the school to prison pipeline in America can obscure the reality of youth living and learning every day in these spaces. Educators and activists rail against the tendency to label and track young people as fixed “criminals” or “delinquents” without acknowledging the nature of identities as ever-shifting. Care must be taken, however, because the same can be said of the image and language of the “pipeline,” which can serve to homogenize the complex trajectories of young people involved in the juvenile justice system. One aspect that gets little attention is the great number of youth who are being released from detention with the expectation that they will return to school. Whether involved in the system for minor infractions, serious offenses, or miscarriages of justice, each young person who leaves the juvenile justice system is expected to return to a school setting or receive a credential indicating that he or she has completed the requirements for a high school diploma (GED), typically as conditions of release. Other chapters in this volume explore the transition of youth from out-of-home placements to work-readiness programs, which might be combined with academic courses (Laura & Stovall, 2013); this chapter is focused on the expectation that youth will return to a school, either the youth’s previous school or an alternative school placement. What characterizes the transition and reentry to school? What are the various supports that are in place for young people through this transition...