Policing and the School-to-Prison Pipeline

  • Deanna N. Devlin
  • Denise C. Gottfredson


Schools are increasingly shifting to a ‘get tough’ disciplinary approach which often coincides with the deployment of police officers in schools. Some scholars speculate that this approach may contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline and the criminalization of minor offenses. Deployment of police in schools may increase use of exclusionary discipline responses such as suspensions, expulsions, arrests, and referrals to law enforcement. These responses may have negative long-term consequences, and it is therefore important to empirically examine the effects of using police in schools. Additionally, there is concern that certain groups of students (i.e. students with disabilities and students of color) are disproportionately impacted by ‘get tough’ approaches. However, the existing research is limited and the findings thus far are mixed. Future directions for research and policy recommendations are discussed.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deanna N. Devlin
    • 1
  • Denise C. Gottfredson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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