Again and again the data show that people of color in the U.S. are disproportionately, and systematically, stopped, frisked, arrested, and exposed to the use of force by police. Police departments and communities across the U.S. are struggling with these realities and with what has become a glaring divide in how Americans experience and relate to policing. This special collection includes research from nonprofits, foundations, and university based research centers, who have not only described and documented the issue but who also provide much-needed recommendations for addressing this chronic and tragic problem.

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Arrested Learning: A Survey of Youth Experiences of Police and Security at School

April 12, 2021

To uncover critical information about students' experiences, interactions, and feelings about police and security at school, four community-based organizations across the country fielded in-depth surveys of their youth membership: Latinos Unidos Siempre (LUS), Make the Road Nevada (MRNV), Make the Road New Jersey (MRNJ), and the Urban Youth Collaborative (UYC). The results of this national survey, which reached 630 young people in Nevada, New Jersey, New York, and Oregon, clearly reinforce what young people have already made known: police and security at school do not make them safe. The survey also explored young people's vision for supportive and well-resourced schools.

From Failure to Freedom: Dismantling Milwaukee's School-to-Prison Pipeline with the Youth Power Agenda

April 1, 2018

The systemic criminalization of youth of color, youth with disabilities, and youth of color with disabilities in schools is one of the most blatant and egregious examples of structural racism and violence in this country. The presence of police officers, guns, handcuffs, and metal detectors in schools creates hostile teaching and learning environments that are reinforced by harsh, punitive, and exclusionaryii school discipline policies. Together these practices constitute what is widely referred to as the school-to-prison pipeline. As this report demonstrates, Milwaukee's reliance on punitive approaches to discipline is ineffective, costly, and, most troublingly, racially biased.

Policing Youth of Color; School-to-Prison Pipeline

Freedom to Thrive: Reimagining Safety & Security in Our Communities

July 4, 2017

Over the last 30 years, at both the national and local levels, governments have dramatically increased their spending on criminalization, policing, and mass incarceration while drastically cutting investments in basic infrastructure and slowing investment in social safety net programs.

The $746 Million A Year School-to-Prison Pipeline: The Ineffective, Discriminatory, and Costly Process of Criminalizing New York City Students

April 20, 2017

This report, released by the Center for Popular Democracy and Urban Youth Collaborative, reveals the staggering yearly economic impact of the school-to-prison pipeline in New York City, $746.8 million. In addition, it presents a bold "Young People's School Justice Agenda," which calls on the City to divest from over-policing young people, and invest in supportive programs and opportunities for students to thrive. New evidence of the astronomical fiscal and social costs of New York's school-to-prison pipeline demand urgent action by policymakers. The young people who are most at risk of harm due to harsh policing and disciplinary policies are uniquely situated to lead the dialogue about developing truly safe and equitable learning environments. This report highlights the vision for safe, supportive, and inclusive schools developed by these youth leaders.

Building Momentum from the Ground Up: A Toolkit for Promoting Justice in Policing

June 1, 2015

A toolkit for organizers, elected officials, and community members seeking to enact local law enforcement policy reforms. The report outlines fifteen reforms in five areas -- ending mass criminalization, safe and just police interactions, community control, independent oversight, and improving police practices -- ranging from the application of a racial impact tool for all criminal justice legislation and bans on bias-based policing, to the use of body cameras and special or independent prosecutors, to improved training for police officers. The report also provides resources and questions for those working to develop campaigns around specific policy reforms as well as community-based alternatives to policing.

Reform Strategies