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Cradle to Prison Pipeline

After No Child Left Behind, The Struggle For Education Equality Continues

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 12.12.2015 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

The new Every Student Succeeds Act begins a new era, but it is one without needed federal accountability and with the hopes that states will fulfill their crucial responsibility to educate all their children fairly and prepare them for work and life.

Adults Are the Problem

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 11.01.2015 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

We tell our children to control themselves while slapping and spanking and ejecting them violently in our homes, child care centers, schools, detention facilities and prisons. Adults tell children to be honest while lying and cheating and not to be violent while marketing and glorifying violence.

Young Black Males: Pushed Out and Away

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 09.18.2016 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

I'm deeply concerned about America's young black generation, because if it were not for people who gave me support to be okay with an identity that has nothing to do with looking like or imitating a destructive life, I might mimicked negative stereotypes of violence shown in the media.

Bishop Tutu's Dream

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 09.04.2016 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

We must wake up, open our eyes and ears, avoid convenient ignorance, seek the truth, speak up, stand up, and never give up fighting for justice for all. How long?

The Unthinkable Lives of So Many Black Boys: Where Are the Caring Adults?!

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 08.14.2016 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

Where are the neighbors? Where are the schools and community organizations? Who reaches out to see what the problem is? Does anyone see this child/youth desperately in need of help and hope? Who listens or offers a helping hand amidst the violence and despair they face daily?

Hanging On to Hope to Keep Black Men and Boys Alive

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 07.31.2016 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, one of the world's leading peace and justice advocates, has called Bryan Stevenson "America's Nelson Mandela." He has gotten innocent men off death row, successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court multiple times, including to ban "death sentences."

How to Keep Our Black Boys Alive: Channeling the Rage

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 07.17.2016 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

The recent spotlight on systematic racial profiling and police brutality against Black boys and men has exposed a painful truth long known in the Black community: just about every Black youth and man seems to have a story about being stopped by the police.

Redlined for Failure and the Prison Pipeline

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 07.10.2016 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

Ndume Olatushani is an artist, organizer, and a passionate advocate for justice who works with the Children's Defense Fund's Nashville organizing team. He helps us fight to keep children and people of color, especially Black boys, out of the Cradle to Prison Pipeline™.

America, What Do We Do After Charleston?

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 07.02.2016 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

I am a native South Carolinian. Charleston is my maternal ancestral home. My great grandmother was born during slavery. My great grandfather I have been told was a plantation overseer. Never have I been more proud and more ashamed of my dueling ancestral heritages than right now.

End All Youth Detention and Torture at Rikers Island Now

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 06.12.2016 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

Nobody of any age should be held in jail without a trial for three years. No child or adolescent should be held in an adult jail. Yet, a 16-year-old accused of stealing a backpack was kept in one of the most violent adult jails in the United States, Rikers Island in New York City, for three years without a trial. This was morally scandalous and inhumane. Even worse, he spent more than two years of that time in solitary confinement, locked up alone except to go to the shower, the recreation area, the visit room or the medical clinic. This was torture. The suicide of 22-year-old Kalief Browder on June 6, barely two years after his release and return home, was the final horror in his tragic and brutal journey into the depths of the adult criminal justice system in New York.

Time for Justice for Children in New York

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 05.27.2015 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

Under New York's juvenile justice system a child as young as 7 can be arrested for a crime, and a 16-year-old is automatically charged as an adult. These laws are shockingly behind the times -- bad for children and bad for public safety.

Girls in Justice

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 04.15.2015 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

Why are so many girls, especially girls of color, confined in our nation's detention facilities, and what are we as a society going to do about it? We must all work tirelessly to give hope and a fair chance to these girls and all children by promoting policies, programs, and supports that help them and their families, especially those most at risk.

Is America a Sheep or a Goat?

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 03.25.2015 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

The national holiday celebrating Dr. King's birthday is over, but I hope we will heed and act on his 1967 declaration and work to win the first victory right here at home in the biggest economy on earth and end the shame of 14.7 million children being the poorest Americans by ending child poverty now.

Decriminalizing School Discipline

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 11.26.2014 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

It is critically important that public schools entrusted with educating and preparing children for college, work and life stop feeding them into the juvenile and criminal justice systems with zero tolerance policies. Denying a child an education is hardly in the child or society's best interest.

I Am My Brother's Keeper: Why We Must Change the Code

William Lynch III | Posted 05.03.2014 | Education
William Lynch III

A cornerstone of the school-to-prison pipeline has been overly punitive school discipline codes, with disciplinary action applied disproportionately to people of color.

Steps Forward on School Discipline

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 03.19.2014 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

The holiday celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday is used as an opportunity to teach children about his legacy. But in too many of those same schools, Black and other nonwhite children's extraordinary talents are still being wasted.

Celebrating Forty Years for Children

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 11.13.2013 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

On September 30th friends and supporters of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) will gather at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. to celebrate CDF's 40th anniversary and honor our best known alum, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Education Under Arrest: Taking America Out of Its Comfort Zone

Tavis Smiley | Posted 05.25.2013 | Media
Tavis Smiley

Schools have literally become gateways to prison, instead of gateways to learning. When we wrapped filming, I kept thinking to myself, "There has to be a better way." Thankfully, there is.

Task Force to Host Historic Restorative Justice Conference at Harvard Law School

Pierre R. Berastaín | Posted 12.26.2012 | Education
Pierre R. Berastaín

The initiative comes at a particularly important time given the alarming statistics that reflect the inefficiency of the criminal justice system, mainstream domestic violence and sexual violence programs, and the inimical zero tolerance policies implemented in school districts nation-wide.

The Racial Divide: Will It Widen Or Close?

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 10.31.2012 | Education
Marian Wright Edelman

We are once again at a critical turning point for our children and nation. Despite all the harsh lessons of the past and all the lofty rhetoric about who we want and need to be as a 21st century multicultural nation in a multiracial and multicultural world, we’re heading in the wrong direction.

Ending the Cradle to Prison PipelineTM and Mass Incarceration -- the New American Jim Crow

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 09.05.2012 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

A black boy born in 2001 has a one in three chance of going to prison in his lifetime and a Latino boy a one in six chance of the same fate. The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world: 7.1 million adult residents -- one in 33 -- are under some form of correctional supervision including prison, jail, probation, or parole. Michelle Alexander writes in her bestselling book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness that there are more adult African Americans under correctional control today than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began. In 2011, our state and federal prison population exceeded that of the top 35 European nations combined. Something's very wrong with this picture.

See Something, Say Something

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 08.29.2012 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

On June 25th, the U.S. Supreme Court in Miller v. Alabama banned mandatory sentences of life in prison without parole for juveniles. This is a major victory for children and for America and a giant step forward for justice for children. Until this week, America was the only country in the world to routinely condemn children as young as 13 and 14 to die in prison. Now about two thousand people who were sentenced to die in prison as juveniles have hope for a new hearing and a new sentence. While it is disappointing that the Court did not ban the practice outright, we must keep working toward justice for children and end the devastating Cradle to Prison Pipeline crisis that leads to marginalized lives, imprisonment, and premature death.

Real Family Values: 9 Ways to Support Families in Hard Times

Sarah van Gelder | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Sarah van Gelder

For years, the Right dominated the dialogue on "family values." But what does it really mean to support families, especially in a time of economic har...

Expanding the Promise: Will the Cradle-to-Career Model Overtake the Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline?

Andrew Wilkes | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Andrew Wilkes

Let us take this weekend to remind our houses of worship -- to remind America -- that the itinerary of impoverishment and incarceration is not the last word for our children.

Children Drop Out and Into Lives of Poverty and Imprisonment

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Marian Wright Edelman

Youths who drop out of school represent a colossal loss to our communities and nation. The dropout crisis is too costly to our children, communities, and nation to let it persist.