The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges released a bulletin last October that details the importance of data in developing effective school-justice partnerships. In the report, NCJFCJ laments that “poor data collection and management strategies” often hamper the effectiveness of school-justice partnerships aimed at disrupting the school-to-prison-pipeline.
Like it or not, cops in schools are here to stay. The question is: How do we do it right? An important principle for doing it right is driven by this key question: How can we help make sure that law enforcement actually works to keep youth in school and out of justice involvement?
In the aftermath of the deadly shooting last month at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., intense public debate has focused on protecting students – and the role of student resource officers (SROs), in particular – in the event of future shooting sprees. Generally, school resource officers are local law enforcement officers appointed to patrol schools and handle juvenile disciplinary issues. The effectiveness of SROs is highly debated. A National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) report claims the presence of SROs has reduced juvenile arrests in some schools by nearly 50 percent. On the other hand, the Justice Policy Institute issued a report that found SROs had little effect on curbing criminal activity in schools, and may even lead to inflated, and potentially unnecessary, juvenile arrests.