The article reviewed serves as a compliment to the research on school policies and its connection to the juvenile court, and how the school-to-prison pipeline has been created. The research article is “Education or Incarceration: Zero Tolerance Policies and the School to Prison Pipeline”. The theme focuses on the flourishing trend in public schools across America that criminalizes students’ minor disciplinary issues as a part of the emerging “zero tolerance” disciplinary policies and the factors that come along with it. This article separates itself from others by noting the influence of media on today’s youth and adults. The influence of media on youth and adults shines light on violence, stereotypes and provides insight on why mass incarceration is occurring so steadfastly. Throughout the article it is evident that the effects from zero tolerance policies are negative. People continue to question the use because no impact on school safety has been detected from ...view middle of the document...
The author represents a corporation. The source of publication is Forum on Public Policy Online.
The objective of this research is to identify the root of the school to prison pipeline issue, the factors that contribute to the issue and to expose the negative effects of the pipeline. Heitzeg (2009) states “ Rather than creating an atmosphere of learning, engagement and opportunity, current educational practices have increasingly blurred the distinction between school and jail. The underlying facts of the research show who the pipeline targets are effects the most. “The School to Prison Pipeline disproportionately impacts the poor, students with disabilities, and youth of color, especially African Americans, who are suspended and expelled at the highest rates, despite comparable rates of infraction” (Heitzeg, 2009,p. 2).
Through a different lens, the author shows how the media has played a role in this system of discipline and criminalization. The pipeline is fed with media driven fears of crime, a progressively harsh legal system for juveniles as well as adults, and the escalation of the prison industrial complex (Heitzeg 2010). She continues to explain how media heightens fears, creates trends within society and how violence becomes associated with stereotypes etc. “Our perceptions of crimes are shaped to a large extent by the highly publicized crimes featured on the nightly news and sensationalized in newspapers. We read about young African American and Hispanic males who sexually assault, rob and murder whites, and we assume that these crimes are typical. We assume the typical crime is a violent crime, that the typical victim is white, and that the typical offender is African American or Hispanic” (Heitzeg, 2009, p. 3).
In conclusion, this research will greatly contribute to my study. From this research I can set a clear definition for what the school-to-prison pipeline is and what influences exist from our society. I see the negative effects that have occurred because of this policy. The research gives me an advantage by providing information on media as a huge factor and contributor to the continued use of zero-tolerance policies.
Heitzeg, N. A. (2009). Education or Incarceration: Zero Tolerance Policies and the School to Prison Pipeline. Forum On Public Policy Online, 2009(2).