Part of our goal as human beings is to facilitate the success and development of others, more specifically our children. It’s been said time and time again that children are our future, therefore we need to foster their creativity and development towards the path of success.

Backed by the Children’s Defense Fun, the Massachusetts coalition’s campaign, Cradle to Prison Pipeline, aims to protect children from being deterred from the path of success. It’s frightening to think that children spend time in youth detention centers. Rather than criticize the child and their situation, we should be scrutinizing the system which failed and allowed for them to fall into the vicious cycle of our prison system.  1 in 3 Black and 1 in 6 Latino boys born in 2001 are at risk of imprisonment during their lifetime. The rate of incarceration is endangering children at younger ages. How have we failed so badly at protecting these children from falling into the prison system?

This scary reality has led for the coalition to focus on the role of zero tolerance school discipline policies and how these policies actually funnel children into the prison system in Massachusetts. The Cradle to Prison Pipeline campaign is a statewide campaign interested in dismantling the pipeline of students to prisons and creating an expressway towards college and productive work. The coalition of parents, youth and community leader’s goal is to develop solutions that create positive learning environments for all children. This call comes just in time.

From 2009 to 2010, in Massachusetts alone, there were 60,000 expulsions or suspensions.  National research suggests that a child is three times more likely to drop out of school by 10th grade than a student who has never been suspended; and dropping out triples the likelihood this child will end up incarcerated later in life.

Of those 60,000, about 30,00 were “unassigned offenses” which are defined as nonviolent, noncriminal offensives which can include behavioral issues such as swear, talking back to a teacher and truancy. Two-Thirds of 30,00 recieved school suspension. These “unassigned offenses” are not required to be reported which results in exclusions of up to 10 days for regular students, because of this the actual number of disciplinary exclusions are likely to be two to three times the number reported.

But you are not voiceless, you can help out with individual, familial, communal, and organizational involvement.  Ways of getting involved in this campaign are detailed on their Take Action page.

In addition to the detailed information provided by the Children’s Defense Fund, Saturday,  April 28th, from 12:00pm to 2:30pm at the University of Massachusetts Boston Healey Library, 11th Floor, 100 Morrissey Blvd., Boston MA,  Boston Public Schools parent Azure Parker is leading an effort to hold a community forum for youths and parents directly affected by the Cradle to Prison Pipeline.

-Margo, Future Boston Intern.

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About Future Boston Alliance

Future Boston Alliance is a non-profit organization seeking to revolutionize our city's creative economy. By advocating for new talent and businesses and holding educational events, we aim to make Boston a hub for collaboration, innovation, and culture.

6 responses »

  1. Jake says:

    What’s the difference between “jail” and “prison”?

    • Jails and Prisons refer to seperate levels of incarcertation. Jails hold people awaiting trail, people sentences for a short duration typically less than a year and are county of city administrated institutions. Prisons house convicted felsons serving a term of more than a year and are state and federal run facilities.

      Recently, there has been a trend to privitize prisons. A company runs the prison intending to make profit. They are hirred as contractors by the government to design, build and manage the prison. The government then pays the company per prisoner/per day. In essence, the more people in jail, the more money these companies make. Currently, the Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group own 75% of all private prisons in the United States. Rougly 20% of all U.S inmates are held in private prisons.

      As of 2011, the incarceration rate in the United States is the highest in the world with 760 per 100,000 of the national population.

      -Margo, Future Boston Intern.

  2. kellyinma says:

    Wow, it’s really interesting to consider how poor public schooling can lead to incarceration later on. Most just blame this on poor parenting, but I do see how these people are simply prodcts of our society and their poor circumstances led them to their current situations.

  3. Whole public school system needs reform. If only the rich white guys in Congress could recognize this…

  4. bobloblob says:

    Wow, it’s enough to make me want to pull my kids out of public school. But unfortunately, that solves little. Public education is essential to a successful society, its a pity that it’s devolved into this.

  5. Martin Malone says:

    There should be a greater emphasis on the need for a father in the home. Just saying.

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