John Lash

Assessing the Cradle-To-School-To-Prison Pipeline

For some time I have read about the “school to prison pipeline,” an idea that links zero tolerance policies, school policing, disproportionate minority contact with disciplinary processes, and other factors to the increased incarceration of minority youth. The basic idea is that the system formed by these practices and structures contributes to putting more kids in prison. Lately, I have come across a similar term, the cradle to prison pipeline. This is the phrase trademarked by the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF). It is daunting to consider that societal structures and policies can have such an affect on a newborn.