Abstract

https://ssrn.com/abstract=2577333
 


 



Students, Police, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline


Jason P. Nance


University of Florida Levin College of Law

November 2, 2015

93 Washington University Law Review 919 (2016)
University of Florida Levin College of Law Research Paper No. 15-20

Abstract:     
Since the terrible shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, lawmakers and school officials continue to deliberate over new laws and policies to keep students safe, including putting more police officers in schools. Yet these decisionmakers have not given enough attention to the potential negative consequences that such laws and policies may have, such as creating a pathway from school to prison for many students. Traditionally, only educators, not law enforcement, handled certain lower-level offenses that students committed, such as fighting or making threats without using a weapon. Drawing on recent restricted data from the US Department of Education, this Article presents an original empirical analysis revealing that a police officer’s regular presence at a school is predictive of greater odds that school officials refer students to law enforcement for committing various offenses, including these lower-level offenses. This trend holds true even after controlling for: (1) state statutes that require schools to report certain incidents to law enforcement; (2) general levels of criminal activity and disorder that occur at schools; (3) neighborhood crime; and (4) other demographic variables. The consequences of involving students in the criminal justice system are severe, especially for students of color, and may negatively affect the trajectory of students’ lives. Therefore, lawmakers and school officials should consider alternative methods to create safer learning environments

Number of Pages in PDF File: 70

Keywords: School to Prison Pipeline, Education Law, School Law, SRO

JEL Classification: K00


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Date posted: March 14, 2015 ; Last revised: August 30, 2016

Suggested Citation

Nance, Jason P., Students, Police, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline (November 2, 2015). 93 Washington University Law Review 919 (2016); University of Florida Levin College of Law Research Paper No. 15-20. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2577333

Contact Information

Jason P. Nance (Contact Author)
University of Florida Levin College of Law ( email )
P.O. Box 117625
Gainesville, FL 32611-7625
United States
352-273-0992 (Phone)

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