This unprecedented summit will mark a critical step forward in bringing meaningful change to the issues of school discipline and involvement in the juvenile and criminal justice systems.
This summit in New York City on March 11-13, 2012, brings together justice system and school system leaders from across the nation, with the objective of working collaboratively to find ways to keep kids in school and out of courts. School-justice partnerships will help improve outcomes for students through policies and practices to:
- Provide safe, respectful, supportive learning environments and promote positive student behavior;
- Detect and reroute at-risk kids early and provide appropriate supports to enable them to achieve; and
- Develop standards that hold children accountable for misbehaviors yet reserve extreme measures such as school expulsion and mandatory arrest for the most egregious cases.
The goal of the Summit is that the teams each become a catalyst in their state for effective cross-systems services that prevent children's involvement in the justice system in the first instance and, for children who do get involved, provide off ramps from successive, worsening encounters.
As the statistics and research have amply established, kids disconnected from their familiar school environments (whether by suspension, expulsion, arrest, or dropping out) are undeniably at greater risk of following a path to crime and prison. The positive values of continuing education and decreasing crime are of incalculable benefit for our children, families, communities and our nation's future.
This initiative is in accord with efforts that are emerging across the nation at the local, state and federal levels, including the federal Supportive School Discipline initiative recently announced by Secretary of Education Duncan and Attorney General Holder.
Judith S. Kaye, former Chief Judge of the State of New York and Chair of the New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children, convened the National Leadership Summit on School-Justice Partnerships: Keeping Kids In School and Out of Court with the encouragement and assistance from a diverse group of partners and supporters.