Retributive Punishment and Young People
We know that school suspensions, zero tolerance policies, isolating or grouping the so-called “bad” kids, and prison-like discipline are bad for students, interfering with their learning and healthy social development. In general, punishment does not reduce the targeted behavior and promotes avoidance rather than change in young people. Although some schools are ignoring these realities and ramping up punishment to unbelievable degrees, sometimes due to exaggerated security concerns, others are fighting to end the “school to prison pipeline.”
Punitive practices also impact the more than 1.7 million children of incarcerated parents facing secondary punishment through no actions of their own.