YES TO COUNSELORS, NO TO COPS

Fact Sheet: Police in Schools is Counterproductive

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From the Sentencing Project:

There have been growing concerns about the disproportionate impact of the presence of police in schools in creating a “school-to-prison pipeline” that funnels minority youth into the criminal justice system. Information compiled by The Sentencing Project also shows that adding police to schools is a counterproductive violence prevention strategy. Memphis, Tennessee has been experiencing success in closing down the “school-to-prison-pipeline.”

The city began the School House Adjustment Program Enterprise, or SHAPE, during the 2007-2008 school year. SHAPE operates in 21 of Memphis’ 200 schools that referred the most students to juvenile court.  During the 2007-2008 school year, SHAPE schools sent nearly 1,000 students to juvenile courts. Four years later, that number was down to 264. According to John Hall of the Memphis school system, SHAPE “replaces a police record with a 90-day program of mentoring, tutoring, counseling, community service, victim restitution and other services for infractions like disorderly conduct, simple assault without injuries and gambling.”

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