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School suspension and the school-to-prison pipeline

Alison Evans Cuellar and Sara Markowitz ()

International Review of Law and Economics, 2015, vol. 43, issue C, 98-106

Abstract: Schools have many available strategies to address problem behavior among students. One option increasingly used by schools is to suspend problem youth and remove them for defined periods. The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether this type of disciplinary policy has unintended consequences by giving problem youth greater opportunity to commit crimes outside of school. Previous studies have looked at the “incapacitation” effect of school holidays and teacher strike days, but these studies do not directly address the relevant school policy decisions. The current study relies on administrative data from a school district and a juvenile justice system. The results indicate that out-of-school suspension may increase criminal offending behavior by problem youth, more than doubling the probability of arrest. The effect is particularly large among African American youth, relative to Whites.

Keywords: School discipline; Crime; Juveniles (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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International Review of Law and Economics is currently edited by C. Ott, A. W. Katz and H-B. Schäfer

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