Cathy Harris News Updates

Cathy Harris News Updates
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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Georgia's School-To-Prison Pipeline Problem

From ACLU:
Nov. 19, 2015
Dear ACLU Supporter,
President Obama recently took serious steps to address our failing criminal justice system by addressing our overly crowded prisons. One quarter of the world's entire prison population is sitting in American prisons and jails. The school-to-prison pipeline is one of many pathways into this expansive system.
Share this infographic on Facebook and Twitter showing how the school-to-prison pipeline is feeding America's deplorable prison system.
School-to-prison pipeline infographic
The fact of the matter is, a lot of young people who end up in the justice system don't belong there. When it comes to youth arrests, there are cases of students being handcuffed for simply being loud or walking out of class without permission.
We can all agree that this behavior is disruptive to the learning environment and requires intervention. But forcibly removing young people from the secure and productive classroom environment and sending them to court and possibly even to jail or prison won’t help anyone. It won’t fix the reasons for the young person’s acting out, and it won’t make schools feel safer.
We cannot expect our students to learn about good behavior, positive communication and how to cope with frustration in the destructive environment of police cars and detention facilities.
School is one of the greatest buffers to poverty, joblessness and jail time for many young people. Share this infographic to raise awareness on the school-to-prison pipeline.
In reality, locking up so many people for low-level, non-violent crimes does not improve public safety — it destabilizes families and communities, and does so at enormous cost to the state.
On the other hand, using restorative justice instead of draconian zero tolerance in schools leads to better outcomes for everyone. Instead of slapping students with suspensions, expulsions, and even arrests at the first sign of misconduct, these programs focus on building positive relationships between teachers and students, and to righting wrongs through mediation, counseling, and community service.
It's time we take steps in Georgia to prevent the flood of young people into our overflowing justice system.

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