Education not Incarceration Program Description
Jovenes Unidos found that youth of color in Denver are being pushed into jail cells instead of being put behind school desks. Nationwide, youth of color are targeted for more and harsher discipline than their white counterparts. Colorado students proposed solutions to their school boards and city council, including changing city policy, changing district policy, creating alternative discipline measures and a community oversight board.
Based on Jovenes' research for the Education on Lockdown report and recommendations to end the school to jail track in Denver, Padres & Jovenes and Denver Public Schools (DPS) have jointly developed an alternative restorative justice discipline model for the entire district. The program is being piloted in three North High feeder middle schools and at Montbello. Padres & Jovenes and the District (with assistance from the Advancement Project) have rewritten DPS discipline code to end racial disparities in discipline.
Objectives of the program include:
Establish restorative justice-based prevention and intervention programs in every middle and high school in Denver Public Schools by 2008-2009.
Rewrite the Intergovernmental Agreement between Denver Public Schools and the Denver Police Department to reduce the number of tickets and arrests for minor incidents issued at schools by 60%.
Gain Denver Public Schools Board approval of revised discipline code and policy by May 2007. Create rubric to evaluate pilot restorative justice program in northwest Denver.