The School-to-Prison Pipeline, Youth From Diverse Families, and The Politics of Educational Policy and Practice: A Call to Educate, Not Incarcerate

Main Article Content

Suniti Sharma


Abstract: In this article, I present a theoretical analysis of the school-to-prison pipeline in relation to youth from diverse families and the politics of educational policy and practice and call for equitable education without recourse to incarceration. First, by deconstructing historical documents, I highlight the philosophical and discursive production of the criminalization of youth from diverse families who do not conform to dominant norms of Western European tradition. Second, I juxtapose historical documents with contemporary events showing how current educational policies normalize the school-to-prison pipeline and subjugate youth from diverse families to exclude them from equitable education. Third, bearing witness to the ways youth resist socialization and exclusion, I recommend an interdisciplinary, multilevel socio-eco-pol-edu approach calling upon policy makers, teacher educators and researchers to develop new theoretical frameworks, policies and practices for equitable education and social justice.

Article Details

Perspectives on Practice
Author Biography

Suniti Sharma, Saint Joseph's University

Bio: Suniti Sharma is an Associate Professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia. She teaches Literacy and Learning across the Curriculum, Instructional Techniques for Social Studies and ESL Pedagogy at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her research interests include at-risk youth and curriculum change, multicultural teacher education and autoethnographic studies in identity, culture, and curriculum. Her published scholarship includes a book, Girls Behind Bars: Reclaiming Education in Transformative Spaces, a co-edited collection, Internationalizing Teacher Education: Theory, Research and Practice, and in Race Ethnicity and Education, Teachers College Record, and Journal of Curriculum Theorizing.