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
Date Written: November 1, 2009
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: Suggested Citation