Preventing the "Cradle to Prison Pipeline" - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Preventing the "Cradle to Prison Pipeline"

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Are fights in school hallways and on school buses preventable?

Can suspensions and expulsions be prevented?

Cargin Madison, a 16-year old student at Jim Hill High School in Jackson, says they can.

Madison is part of a peer remediation program at the school, called "Tap".

"Younger kids or people my age, we feel comfortable talking to our peers," Madison said. "Two who are in a conflict come to the trained mediators. We talk about the problem. You come to a formal agreement, the climax, you sign the resolution. I vow to do this, vow to stay away from this person."

Madison is a member of the Youth Council of the Children's Defense Fund, which helped to put on a "Cradle to Prison" Summit Saturday at the Mississippi E-Center.

Hundreds came come out from across the state to hear about peer remediation programs as possible alternatives to suspension or expulsion.

Charles Perry with the Perrico Institute says a joint study is being conducted between the Institute and the Children's Defense Fund.

They're studying infractions among students, and the punishments they receive.

"Briefly, what we are finding is that schools are suspending students at a greater rate than talking to them," Perry said.

Organizers say, as communities are educated about the true results of zero tolerance, alternative solutions can be implemented that don't result in fights, expulsions, and hopelessness. 

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