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A Multiple Perspectives Analysis of the Influences on the School to Prison Pipeline in Virginia

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $914,241)

We propose a systematic analysis of existing data in Virginia to explore how the school to prison pipeline is activated, and to conduct qualitative research to explore in-depth case studies of how the pipeline has been avoided. A recent study by the Center for Public Integrity highlighted the number of students who are referred to law enforcement from schools, and found that 15.8 students per 1,000 in Virginia were referred to law enforcement. Our partners, the Virginia Departments of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), Juvenile Justice (DJJ), and Education (DOE) have existing data sets that directly address characteristics and influences on the STPP. DCJS has statewide, building-level data on threat assessment, a secondary-school climate survey, and a School Safety Audit; DOE has Discipline, Crime and Violence (DCV) data; and DJJ has juvenile court referral information. The DCV dataset has never been systematically analyzed, and there has been no analysis across the datasets to establish linkages among them. We propose systematic analysis of all the data that has been collected, in an effort to understand how the school to prison pipeline is activated. This will involve multiple regressions and path analyses to determine influences. Further, we believe that a comprehensive understanding of the school to prison pipeline in Virginia requires analysis of qualitative information. We propose conducting interviews, case studies, and document analysis as part of this research. This qualitative component will help us understand how successful schools have avoided facilitating entry into the school to prison pipeline. It will also help us to identify factors that contribute to decision-making at settings that are less successful and serve as pipeline pathways. Our expectation is that this analysis of existing data and of schools practices, policies and procedures will contribute significantly to the knowledge base on better alternatives for supporting students and managing problematic behavior in schools. We anticipate publishing the findings in scholarly journal and practitioner outlets, leading training workshops, and giving professional presentations. Consistent with the RFP, we will prepare a draft and final summary overview of research results, as well as interim and final progress and financial reports. We will archive the research data with National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD) in accordance with our Data Archiving Plan. We would welcome an opportunity to present finding from the research projects through one of the NIJ's dissemination vehicles, such as a webinar, on-site presentation, and/or NIJ publication. Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law. ca/ncf
Date Created: September 29, 2015