Giving Compass’ Take:
· In order to address the root cause of misbehavior and reduce the number of in-school arrests, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx proposes linking students to social services instead of rushing to punish them.
· Why is it important to understand why students misbehave rather than jumping to punishments? How will linking these students to social services affect the number of arrests?
As Chicago Public Schools and the police department develop a framework for officers in schools, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office is proposing a diversion program, in which school officers could refer students to a social service agency for support, instead of arresting them.
This week Foxx presented the idea to the school district, the police department, and the city’s department of family services. She hopes that these groups will soon sign an agreement to run the diversion program collaboratively.
“The school environment should be a place where our young people develop and learn, and not where they acquire a criminal record unnecessarily,” said Michelle Mbekeani-Wiley, juvenile policy adviser for the state’s attorney’s office, who said that in-school arrests in the affluent Chicago suburb where she grew up were rare. “This diversion program addresses behavioral issues without the collateral consequences of having an arrest on your record.”
Chicago’s program would be modeled on a school arrest diversion program in Philadelphia that officers say decreased student arrests by 71% in its first four years, to 456 arrests, down from 1,580.
Read the full article about linking students to social services by Yana Kunichoff at Chalkbeat.
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