Misbehavior or Misdemeaner? A Report on Utah's School to Prison Pipeline

35 Pages Posted: 31 May 2017 Last revised: 8 Jun 2017

Date Written: May 1, 2017


The school to prison pipeline is a national trend where children are funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. This trend is exacerbated by zero tolerance policies and criminalizing behavior that should be handled inside schools instead of resorting to law enforcement action. Students who are suspended, expelled, referred to law enforcement, or have a school related arrest are more likely to not finish high school than their peers.

Within this pipeline are major issues that need to be addressed. There are unacceptably high racial disparities. We are suspending too many kids. Despite common belief, Utah is not doing any better than the nation at large. The U.S. Department of Education Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) has provided data on key education and civil rights issues in our nation’s public schools since 1968. The following report uses this data to explore these areas and how they apply to Utah specifically.

Suggested Citation

Walsh, Vanessa and Nehring, Lincoln, Misbehavior or Misdemeaner? A Report on Utah's School to Prison Pipeline (May 1, 2017). University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 218, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2972646 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2972646

Lincoln Nehring

Voices for Utah Children ( email )

United States

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