Thursday, May 1, 2014

Texas Slowing the School to Prison Pipeline?

A new report, Kids Doing Time for What’s Not a Crime: The Over-Incarceration of Status Offenders, by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a group focused on liberty, personal Texas youth1responsibility, and free enterprise, suggests that Texas may be slowly backing away from its punitive approach to juvenile behavior. The report focuses on the juvenile justice system and, thus, does not directly tell us of school discipline.  But given that so many juvenile justice interactions have originated in the schools over the past decade, the data would suggest that either schools are referring students more infrequently or law enforcement is refusing to prosecute the
referrals.  Either way, the data is good news for students.  The layout of the graph is not entirely intituitive (or the title misleading), but the blue line represents the number of youth committed by offense in 2001.  The red line shows the numbers for 2011.  As you will notice, the rate of commitment in 2011 was nearly half of the rate from 2001.  The chart after the jump shows a similar trend in regard to detentions.

Texas youth 2

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