In May 2015, AJ+ posted a series of YouTube videos on the School to Prison Pipeline. I decided to shift the focus of my research to how mass incarceration is affecting students of color who are still in the process of receiving their high school and college educations.
The school to prison pipeline is a term used to describe the institutionalized pathway that many students of color take from the classroom to the prison cell. It all starts with students being sent to detention, being suspended, and being expelled. The first video explains that black students are three times more likely to be expelled than their white peers.
Once a student is out of school for large amounts of time, their grades fall. This can lead to them getting held back or dropping out of school. Once a student drops out of school, their chances of being arrested increases 3 times.
The videos explain that it is up to schools and educators to combat this pipeline. Students of color and students with disabilities receive much harsher punishments for the same incidents as white students. Pushing towards equality within the classroom can help remedy this unfortunate reality.
AJ+ publishes news on art, culture and social justice issues. They have dozens of videos on their YouTube channel about mass incarceration and the US prison system. AJ+ was adamant on reporting the political views on incarceration during the presidential campaign as well.
The second video profiles the CARE (Center for Academic Re-Entry and Empowerment) program. I believe that the CARE program serves precedent for what many schools can implement into their student’s lives. I believe that using tactics like on campus police for disciplinary actions on petty incidents is harmful and ineffective. Teenagers are bound to make mistakes and they need a strong support system at home and within their school so that they can succeed. Some students of color already feel as though they have the world against them, there is no reason for them to not feel safe in their own public school.