#2 School to Prison Pipeline: Why Education Matters


My name is MaryKatherine and I am a student at Butler University. I am studying history and Secondary education. Throughout this class we have looked in depth into the criminal justice system and how it affects the lives of those who are a part of the system. This project gave me the opportunity to study the histories of Indiana prisoners and to tell their stories to a larger audience.

Description of the Podcast

This episode of the podcast “Forgotten: Life Histories of Indiana Prisoners” details the relationship between education and the criminal justice system. I include the prisoner life histories of two inmates from the late 1800s who were incarcerated in Indiana. These two men, Anthony McDougal and William Benson, were both tried and convicted for murder. I included these personal history accounts so that their stories can be told and will no longer be forgotten. The episode places the stories of these men into context by describing both the prison system and the education system during the late 19th century.

The podcast also discusses the connection between education and crime in the present day. In this episode I define the school-to-prison pipeline and explain how it negatively affects children; especially how it affects children of color and those from poor families. I do so by diving into reasons why children from low-income families may not have access to education in the same way those of a higher socioeconomic status might. I also discuss research that explores the correlation between low education rates and higher rates of crime. The segment details the rights and opportunities that are taken away once someone becomes incarcerated, and how their life is altered upon release. Finally, I discuss the underlying factor of race in this relationship between education and crime, and how implicit racist policies and actions put people of color at a disadvantage within both the educational and criminal justice systems.

Sources (MLA)

Alexander, Michelle, and Cornel West. The New Jim Crow. New York, The New Press, 2012.

Al-Khatib, Talal. “Doing Time: A History of US Prisons.” Seeker, 21 July 2015, https://www.seeker.com/doing-time-a-history-of-us-prisons-1770031128.html. Accessed 12 Nov. 2018.

BBC Sound Effects. BBC, 2018, http://bbcsfx.acropolis.org.uk. Accessed 7 Dec. 2018.

Boone, Richard G., A.M., Ph D. A History of Education in Indiana. New York, D. Appleton and Company, 1892, https://books.google.com/books?id=078KAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false. Accessed 12 Nov. 2018.

“Crime Rates Linked to Educational Attainment, 2013 Alliance Report Finds.” Alliance for Excellent Education, 12 Sept. 2013, https://all4ed.org/press/crime-rates-linked-to-educational-attainment-new-alliance-report-finds/. Accessed 13 Nov. 2018.

Keivon, James. “The Demon in the Weeds.” Daily News, 6 Feb. 2017, https://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/king-demanding-justice-karina-vetrano-doesn-require-racism-article-1.2965543. Accessed 7 Dec. 2018.

NCES Blog Editor. “Education and Training Opportunities in America’s Prisons.” NCES Blog: National Center for Education Statistics, 11 Jan. 2017, Institute of Education Sciences, https://nces.ed.gov/blogs/nces/2017/01/11/default. Accessed 5 Dec. 2018.

Taylor, John. “African-American Education in Indiana.” Accessed 13 Nov. 2018.

“The Trial of Anthony McDougal, Charged with Murder, in Progress at New Albany—The Testimony Summarized.” The Courier-Journal [Louisville, KY], 04 Dec. 1883, p. 6 https://www.newspapers.com/clip/17644030/trial_of_anthony_mcdougal_04_dec/. Accessed Nov. 2018.

Welch, Kelly. “School to Prison Pipeline.” The Encyclopedia of Juvenile Delinquency and Justice, 20 Nov. 2017, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/9781118524275.ejdj0102. Accessed 12 Nov. 2018.

Yan-Key, Dee. “Dark Days.” Years and years ago, http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Dee_Yan-Key/years_and_years_ago/10–Dee_Yan-Key-Dark_Days  

Prisoner life histories: William Benson #366 and Anthony McDougal #16