Theses Doctoral

Punishing Promise: School Discipline and Carceral Expansion during the Era of Desegregation

Erickson, Ansley T.

This dissertation historicizes the formation of the school-prison nexus and its impact within the nation’s broader carceral landscape in the decades following the Supreme Court's ruling in Brown. It uses Boston as a case study to examine the fusion of law enforcement and educational policy during the postwar period.

Through the legal contest over Boston Public School’s Code of Discipline in the early years of court-ordered desegregation, the project analyzes how these policies and the statistical discourses they perpetuated about Black criminality furthered the expansion of law enforcement, promoted punitive education reforms, diminished the democratic functions of schools, and facilitated untold numbers of students into under- and unemployment as well as the criminal justice system. In doing so, the work makes explicit the role of schools in spurring mass incarceration by implementing policies that unjustly targeted and punished Black youth.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Erickson, Ansley T.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 4, 2022