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Mapping Decisions Points from School Based Incidents to Exclusionary Discipline, Arrest and Referral to the Juvenile Justice System

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $240,000)

The Statement of the Problem: Schools across the nation are facing problems and challenges associated with the consequences of “zero tolerance” and exclusionary discipline policies. For instance, zero tolerance policies have the unintended consequence of potentially causing harm and leading to behaviors that increase the likelihood students will become involved in the juvenile justice system. Moreover, research has provided conflicting results on whether school resource officers (SROs) prevent, or increase, a juvenile’s involvement in the justice system. This proposal was designed to assess the sequence of events and decisions that lead from a school-related incident to exclusionary discipline, arrest, and/or referral to the juvenile court system. This proposal further seeks to identify which factors might be most predictive of specific actions. The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), in partnership with the National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ), will outreach to 19 different sites across the United States that currently receive technical assistance from NCJFCJ through the School-Justice Partnership work. These sites will allow researchers to map processes and decision points that might lead a juvenile to the justice system. Of these 19 sites, 3 (Fulton County, Georgia; Clark County, Nevada; and Mahoning County, Ohio) have agreed to allow NCJFCJ to collect school and court data related to the interaction between school safety and the juvenile justice system. Thus, these three sites will allow NCJFCJ to explore the practices associated with attempting to increase school safety. This research will provide descriptive information to many in the field, and fill a gap in the literature by providing insight to the processes and decision points within schools that lead to exclusionary discipline and referral to the juvenile justice system. ca/ncf
Date Created: September 14, 2016