Deconstructing the Pipeline: Evaluating School-to-Prison Pipeline Equal Protection Cases Through a Structural Racism Framework

42 Pages Posted: 20 May 2013 Last revised: 5 Mar 2014

Chauncee D. Smith

Fordham University School of Law

Date Written: November 1, 2009

Abstract

This article posits that a wide range of U.S. education and criminal justice policies and practices -- such as zero tolerance regimes, academic sorting, and school district financing methods -- collectively result in students of color being disparately pushed out of school and into prison. Vast empirical and qualitative research indicates that this dynamic process, known as the "school-to-prison pipeline", wreaks havoc upon today's minority population. Both anti-pipeline legal scholarship and equal protection caselaw tend to examine school-to-prison pipeline issues through an isolated, or perhaps overly-restricted, lens which inhibits the development of a jurisprudence that allows the pipeline's systemic invidiousness to be meaningfully redressed. This article attempts to advance normative viewpoints and legal doctrine by deconstructing the pipeline through a structural racism framework.

Keywords: school-to-prison pipeline, equal protection, antidiscrimination, education, criminal justice, juvenile justice, race, racism, structrual racism, structrualism, civil rights, punishment, zero tolerance, criminal law, imprisonment, incarceration, racial justice, school exclusion, jurisprudence

JEL Classification: K1, K10, K14, K3, K30, K4, I2, I20, I21, I22, I28, I29, I3, I30, I31, J7, J70, J71, J78

Suggested Citation

Smith, Chauncee D., Deconstructing the Pipeline: Evaluating School-to-Prison Pipeline Equal Protection Cases Through a Structural Racism Framework (November 1, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2267133 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2267133

Chauncee D. Smith (Contact Author)

Fordham University School of Law ( email )

140 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023
United States

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