Student groups challenge school-to-prison pipeline
U.S. student groups say they’re raising awareness about the high number of high-risk students in detention centers.
The advocacy group CASA launched a new initiative Monday to educate high-school students about the consequences of being incarcerated.
CASA has been working for years to help students who have been detained by the U. S. Department of Education.
In January, CASA teamed up with students at three public schools in Pennsylvania to teach them how to get out of detention.
The group hopes the effort will help educate high school students about their rights and help them to get help when they are incarcerated.
“It’s really important to be able to learn from these kids because they’re a lot of them in detention and they’re being locked up in a lot different places, from a mental health institution to an immigration detention facility to prison,” CASA CEO Mary Louise Miller said.
“We want to be sure that we’re learning from their experience and that we don’t repeat the same mistakes that we did in the past.”
Miller said that during the past year, her organization has helped a total of 18 students leave detention, and it will help those students find their way back to school.
In addition to providing information about the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) program, the CASA initiative aims to give students and their families the tools to stay in school.
“If they’re in a classroom or are in a detention center, we can help them get out,” Miller said of the program.
“If they have a parent or guardian that’s not participating, we’re able to connect them to CASA and provide resources and help to them get through the process of getting out.”
Students who have already graduated from high school can sign up to take the CASa online portal to find information about CASA, and CASA will also provide students with an opportunity to learn about the agency’s work and the CASAA’s work.
“When they graduate high school, they’re going to be on their own,” Miller added.
“They’re going see their own school, which is where they’re most likely to get hurt.
So, it’s important that they understand what’s going on and how to stay safe and how important it is to stay connected with CASA.”