The national trend of criminalizing, rather than educating, our nation’s children

The pipeline encompasses the growing use of zero-tolerance discipline, school-based arrests, disciplinary alternative schools, and secured detention to marginalize our most at-risk youth and deny them access to education. This happens within the school system both directly and indirectly.The United States is an outlier in the world when it comes to detaining and sentencing juvenile offenders as adults. At Flawless we are determined to change this through our advocacy, educational trainings, Holistic Programs and support of organizations such as The Lineage Project, The Empowered Youth Initiative and Street Yoga.


Lantern with a heart on it

Direct Causes

  • Zero tolerance policies
  • Involving the police in minor discipline incidents
  • Schools pressured to raise graduation and testing numbers can sometimes artificially achieve this by pushing out low-performing students into GED programs and the juvenile justice system
    Indirect Causes

  • Excluding students from the learning environment and isolating them from their peer groups through suspension

    Quick Facts

  • According to the NIMH 65% of boys and 75% of girls in juvenile detention have at least one mental illness
  • Approximately 50% of students age 14 and older who are living with a mental illness drop out of high school (this is the highest dropout rate for any disability group)
  • 8.6% of public school children have been identified as having disabilities that impact their ability to learn—32% of children in correctional facilities have been identified as having disabilities that impact their ability to learn
  • A child who has been suspended is more likely to fall behind in school, be retained a grade, drop out of high school, commit a crime, and become incarcerated as an adult

    According to Human Rights Watch (HRW) The US currently imprisons 2,270 people who have life sentences without parole for crimes committed as minors. There are only 12 other prisoners in the world with this sentence.