How we’re priming some kids for college — and others for prison
Alice Goffman did six years of field work on police-community interaction in Philadelphia. She tells a powerful story of two pathways facing America’s youth: one leading to college and success, the other leading to lifelong misery and stigma. (http://justicenotjails.org/alice-goffman/)
A few days ago, I watched the speech of sociologist Alice Goffman the author of “On the Run”. According to Alice Goffman, In the United States, two institutions guide teenagers on the journey to adulthood: college and prison. She studied the impact of mass incarceration and policing on low-income African-American urban communities. And she speaks up for these young black men who live under constant threat of arrest and cycle in and out of prison. I was surprised how many young black men go to the prison instead of school, and how much they suffered from the endless threat of desperate life. In an impassioned talk she asks, “Why are we offering only handcuffs and jail time?” I was quite inspired by her actions and voice for young black men.
Additionally, after watching her speak, I looked for some datas and news about Juvenile sentencing. One organization that I want to share information about is "Justice Not Jails" (http://justicenotjails.org/) JNJ works on issues such as : drug policy reform, realignment, police practices, jail & prison reform, and youth & justice.
According to JNJ,
A shocking number of youths of color are “pre-criminalized” via their negative experiences at school. Instead of helping these children to succeed, underfunded and overcrowded schools tend to regard them as a threat to discipline. In California tens of thousands are miseducated—marked for failure--then repeatedly suspended and then finally expelled for what is called “defiance.” Breaking the school-to-prison pipeline by preventing dropouts and pushouts is a top priority for everyone seeking to end mass incarceration.
About Alice Goffman
As an undergraduate studying sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, Alice Goffman was inspired to write her senior thesis about the lives of the young people living in the historic African-American neighborhood that surrounded the school. She lived side-by-side with a group of young men in one of the US’s most distressed communities, experiencing a troubling and rarely discussed side of urban policing -- the beatings, late night raids and body searches that systematically pit young men against authority.
Goffman spent six years in the community, the work transforming into her dissertation at Princeton and then into the book, On the Run. In it, Goffman weaves groundbreaking research into a narrative amplifying neglected and often-ignored voices into a stirring, personal indictment of the social, economic and political forces that unwittingly conspire to push entire communities to the margins of society.
Goffman is now an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a vocal advocate for change in America (JNJ).
I want to share these more articles and news about her movements and book.