† Criminal InJustice is a weekly series devoted to taking action against inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Nancy A. Heitzeg, Professor of Sociology and Race/Ethnicity, is the Editor of CI. Kay Whitlock, co-author of Queer (In)Justice, is contributing editor of CI. Criminal Injustice is published every Wednesday at 6 pm.
Words and Action Against Youth Incarceration
by nancy a heitzeg
This week we would like to bring your attention a forthcoming publication that may be of interest. With the growing national attention to the school to prison pipeline, it is certainly timely. Due out May 15th :
From Education to Incarceration: Dismantling the School-to-prison Pipeline (Counterpoints: Studies in the Postmodern Theory of Education)
This anthology features pieces by Nekima Levy-Pounds, Annette Fuentes, Henry Giroux, Mumia Abu-Jamal, yours truly and more (See Table of Contents). Excerpts from the foreword and afterword respectively:
This book maps in devastating detail the treacherous path constructed by the powerful for the children of formerly enslaved human beings, recent immigrants, first-nation people, and the poor—a path that’s earned the colorful metaphoric phrase “the school to prison pipeline.” A pipeline runs in a single direction, and once entered into the mouth, destiny sweeps everything before it to the bottom; a pipeline offers no exits, no deviations or departures, no way out—unless it fractures. From Education to Incarceration is not focused on prison reform or tinkering with the mechanisms of the pipeline to make it “fairer” or more efficient; it’s aimed, rather, at ripping open the pipeline, upending the assumptions that got us where we are, and then throwing every section of pipe and all the braces and supports into the dustbin of history. (Forward by William Ayers)
Mardia Cooper, “My World”
Most parents, communities, teachers, and principals reject this unfair, castigating, crushing set of policies and practices. Zero tolerance is not inevitable. As this powerfully evocative book shows us, schools, principals, teachers, and communities can opt out, can employ restorative and transformative justice principles for infractions and rule-breaking, and can create school environments that are imaginative, creative, inclusive, challenging, and engaging for all students.
Change requires us to take another path, to dismantle the school to prison pipeline and its lockstep role in the domestic national security state. As we forge more school environments of cooperation and understanding, of listening and participation, equality and innovation, art and humor, the discipline issues will take their (minor) place. Dismantle and create! (Afterword by Bernadine Dohrn)
If you are in the Twin Cities, you are invited to attend the Book Release and Signing Party: “From Education to Incarceration: Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline”, 5:30pm to 7:30pm May 21, 2014 at the Brotherhood Inc Offices.
Nationally, join us for the National Week of Action Against Incarcerating Youth, May 19-25