According to a recent report, the Chicago Public School System’s dependence on the Chicago Police Department to control students is pushing a disturbingly high number of juveniles into the criminal justice system.
Oftentimes, students are arrested for fighting or disorderly conduct, offenses that could easily be dealt with through in-house consequences, like a suspension. Instead, waves of students are literally being sent to the big house!
According to Project NIA, the organization behind the study, such oversealous actions on the part of schools and police officers are setting our young people down a dangerous and destructive path of cyclic incarceration.
“‘I think our main purpose with trying to put the study out is that it’s long overdue; the last study focusing on Chicago was released in 2003,’ said Mariame Kaba, director of Project NIA and co-author of the report. ‘We think the most important thing is to operationalize how the schools-to-prison pipeline works. There are a lot of ways that happens, one of which is youths being funneled directly into the system by T
The data shows that Black students, and low-income areas like the South and West Sides, are the most impacted by these policies.
“The vast majority of those affected by the criminalization of in-school behavior in Chicago are black students, who accounted for 74 percent of school-based juvenile arrests in 2010, Project NIA reports. Only 45 percent of the system’s students are African American.
The study also turned up geographical biases. Nearly 40 percent of the city’s school-based juvenile arrests in 2010 came from five police districts: the 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th and 22nd, all on the city’s South and South West sides.”
Are we needlessly arresting young people for in-school offenses?
Is it problematic to have such a heavy police presence in our nation’s high schools?
Sound off below!