This blog recently took issue with the widening privatization of prisons in the US and the pressure on States to maintain a maximum occupancy rate.
The many failings of the US justice system have their roots in ideas such as the 'zero tolerance' policies which fuel the school-to-prison-pipeline. These 'intolerant' approaches clearly result in a higher rate of offending.
However, in recent years more and more of those who have to manage school systems are turning their backs on such intolerance and exploring other, more humane, approaches.
In the 1930s my mother attended Warwick High School for Girls in Warwickshire, England. They had a somewhat eccentric head mistress, Aunt Do (Miss Doorly), who wandered around the school with her Labrador dog. Riding on the back of the dog was a small monkey!
This school provided an excellent education, but what was unusual was that Aunt Do introduced form and school councils so that the girls were involved in the running of the school. It is heartening to see stories such as that of Federal Hocking Middle and High school in south-east Ohio which has been doing the same thing for a couple of decades.
As the headmaster says, beyond educational achievements ... "Our students continue to display the characteristics we value—tolerance, engagement, lifelong learning—after they leave our walls."
It is heartening to see that, beneath the mainstream media's noisy and hysterical headlines about youth crime and the blinkered addiction to harsh punishment, sanity is returning.
Humanity is more enduring than we might sometimes be led to believe.
Posted by Nicholas Moore 6:57:26 pm