Research #2 The “Cradle to Prison Pipeline”


On September 14, 2012, Diana Millner posted to the Huffington Post blog, “Dismantling the Cradle to Prison Pipeline.” The article is an analysis of the Children’s Defense Fund’s theory that black youth are put on a path to prison from the time that they are conceived. Black babies are often born without receiving any prenatal care due to the incapability of low-income families. Once they grow up, they are often put on an educational path of less value than their peers, leading almost 40% to drop out of high school. Dropping out leads to low-income jobs and living in dangerous areas, which eventually lead them to the prison cell. At the end of Millner’s article, she encourages everyone to take action in their community.

The Source

Diana Aubourg Millner is the senior program officer of the Stoneleigh foundation based out of Philadelphia, PA. Millner’s work focuses on eliminating the “school-to-prison pipeline” within minority youth communities. More specifically, the foundation awards fellowships to researchers and policy makers who are looking to reform the juvenile justice system.

I believe that Millner is a legitimate source because of her history of working with nonprofits and studying the issues of youth incarceration. Unfortunately, Millner passed away in 2015, however, her work is still relevant in changing the lives of black youth in Philadelphia and across the US.


I believe that this article argues the fact that mass incarceration did not start from a black person making a wrong turn in their life. Many blacks live in a system that is not for them: opportunities for success are scarce and opportunities for failure are plentiful. The data from the Children’s Defense Fund study shows that this issue stems much deeper than one may believe on the surface. Millner opens the conversation to new ways to combat the problem, mainly by targeting reform in the quality of life of black children socially, educationally, and economically.


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