What could fix 'school-to-prison pipeline?'

Posted at 7:00 AM, Sep 27, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-27 07:00:23-04

CINCINNATI — President Barack Obama recently became the first sitting U.S. president to visit with inmates at a federal penitentiary.

The reason for his visit?

He wants to know how he can fix America’s faltering and overworked prison system.

That’s according to a special report by VICE that will air on HBO Sunday night.

In the report, VICE founder and correspondent Shane Smith follows the president's historic visit to Oklahoma’s El Reno Federal Correctional Institution and interviews prison reform advocates about how American culture deals with crime and punishment, and how we can do better.

The Tri-State is not immune to this struggle — particularly when it comes to juvenile minority cases.

As WCPO reported last year, numerous legal experts believe Greater Cincinnati is entrenched in what has become known as a school-to-prison pipeline, one in which minority — particularly black and Hispanic students — are far more likely than their white classmates to be removed from schools through suspensions and expulsions or referrals to juvenile court.

The degree to which juvenile court looms over minority students in the Tri-State is what one attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio called “the civil rights issue of today,” in an interview with WCPO.

Read WCPO's full report on discipline in Tri-State schools and the so-called school-to-prison pipeline here.