New research from Leeds Associate Professor Stephen Billings and coauthors from Harvard’s Kennedy School finds that students attending stricter middle schools are more likely to end up incarcerated later in life. Their paper “The School to Prison Pipeline: Long-Run Impacts of School Suspensions on Adult Crime” estimates the net impact of school discipline on student achievement, educational attainment and adult criminal activity. The negative impacts are most substantial for males and minorities.
According to Billings, “School suspensions are not an effective policy to handle misbehavior among kids in the long-run even if it may provide immediate relief for disruptive kids in the classroom. We need other policies that better assist struggling kids.”