A 2014 report titled Finger Paint to Fingerprints: The School-to-Prison Pipeline in Utah from the Public Policy Clinic at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at University of Utah found that discipline handed down to some students was diverting them out of public schools and into the criminal justice system "through a combination of overly harsh zero-tolerance school policies and the increased involvement of law enforcement in schools."
According to the Deseret News, the report noted that suspension and expulsion rates are closely correlated with dropout and delinquency rates, and found that students who were suspended even once were more likely to drop out of school, and that nearly 70% of the U.S. prison population consisted of high school dropouts. The report concluded that nonwhite students and students with mental disabilities received a disproportionate share of the discipline handed out.
On Thursday’s Access Utah we’ll examine this School-to-Prison Pipeline. Our guests include Rep. Sandra Hollins, D-Salt Lake City, who is planning to introduce a bill to address the problem in this legislative session; University of Utah law school student Vanessa Walsh, who is one of the authors of the Public Policy Clinic’s report; Luis Garza, Executive Director of Communities United; Nubia Pena, Coordinator for Racially Just Utah; and Leah Farrell, Staff Attorney at ACLU Utah.