Building a “Prison-to-School Pipeline” in Philadelphia and Beyond: Leveraging Research-Practice Partnerships to Successfully Reintegrate Justice-involved Youth into Schools

By Juvenile Justice Research & Reform Lab, Angela Pollard, Rena Kreimer, | June 28, 2021

Emerging Leader Fellow Leah Brogan, former Stoneleigh Fellow Naomi Goldstein, and other Juvenile Justice Research & Reform Lab personnel recently held a convening to develop a best-practice model for supporting the educational success of youth leaving confinement.

In Philadelphia, only 36% of students involved in the juvenile justice system graduate from high school. Unfortunately, this collateral consequence of juvenile justice system involvement is not limited to students in Philadelphia—successful reenrollment and reengagement of students in school following discharge from a juvenile justice facility is a nationwide challenge, and disproportionately impacts youth of color.[1],[2] Confinement in juvenile justice facilities can create high barriers for students to overcome to re-engage with school, such as inadequate educational programming offered in juvenile justice facilities that leaves students ill-prepared for the academic rigors of mainstream school settings, school re-entry policies that segregate students returning from confinement into disciplinary alternative education programs, and delays in transferring academic records between facilities and schools that result in students being barred from re-entry completely (for more details on these barriers, see Beebe & Rynders [2020]Carter [2018], and Southern Education Foundation [2014]).

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