Turning Off the Faucet: The Role of Schools in the School-to-Prison Pipeline

April 2021

The School-to-Prison Pipeline refers to “policies and practices, especially with respect to school discipline, in the public schools and juvenile justice system that decrease the probability of school success for children and youth, and increase the probability of negative life outcomes, particularly through involvement in the juvenile justice system” (Skiba et al., 2014, p. 546). In particular, the School-to-Prison Pipeline often involves exclusionary discipline practices that lead to both negative short- and long-term student outcomes. This paper will explore the role that schools play in the School-to-Prison Pipeline system (hereafter STPP). It will investigate the relationships between the STPP and school quality, exclusionary disciplinary practices, and other school risk factors that may exacerbate negative outcomes. Ultimately, identifying how schools function as the source of the STPP will elucidate the interventions that schools can take to turn off the metaphorical faucet by enacting policies and practices that best prepare students for success both in and out of school.