Education After Juvenile Detention
Every year, tens of thousands of children are incarcerated in juvenile-detention facilities. The vast majority are Black, Latino, and indigenous boys. Much attention has been paid to the “school-to-prison pipeline,” but less has been devoted to the successful reentry of children from detention centers to mainstream schooling. These students experience exceedingly high rates of school dropout and recidivism. The Stanford Lifting the Bar Project is building on promising pilot research to work with country and district leaders to implement and evaluate a novel procedure to strengthen student-educator relationships. Students identify respected adults at their school and write them a letter outlining their goals for the future and their requests for support. Their work is centered around building positive and supportive relationships between students and educators, and elevating the voice of students so that both the student and educator may pursue these goals together.
The Lifting the Bar Project was awarded $500,000 in start-up impact lab funding from Stanford Impact Labs to support and accelerate their work between 2021 and 2023.
Dr. Greg Walton, the Michael Forman University Fellow in Undergraduate Education and Associate Professor of Psychology at Stanford; Principal Investigator.
Alysse Castro (Partner, SFUSD), Executive Director for Alternative Schools at SFUSD;
Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond (Senior Advisor) is the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus at Stanford, CEO of the Learning Policy Institute, and President of the California State Board of Education
Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt (Co-I), Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Psychology at Stanford
Dr. Jason Okonofua (Co-I), Assistant Professor of Psychology at U-C, Berkeley
Dr. Chandra Muller (Co-I), Professor of Sociology at U-T, Austin
Jackie White (Partner, Sacramento County), Assistant Superintendent of Court and Community Schools for the Sacramento County Office of Education
Dr. Jorge Ruiz de Velasco (Senior Advisor), Associate Director of the Gardner Center at Stanford
Hattie Tate (Partner, OUSD), Administrator/Coordinator at the Juvenile Justice Center for OUSD and Oakland Unite and former teacher and principal
Dr. Elizabeth Tipton (Co-I), Associate Professor of Statistics, Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Policy Research, and Co-Director of the Statistics for Evidence-Based Policy and Practice (STEPP) Center at Northwestern; David W. Gordon (Partner, Sacramento County), Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools.
Oakland Unified School District
San Francisco Unified Public School District
Sacramento County Office of Education
The One-Page Letter that Keeps Kids Out of Jail, Greg Walton writes in Psychology Today
Lifting the Bar: A Relationship-Orienting Intervention Reduces Recidivism Among Children Reentering School from Juvenile Detention, published by the Association for Psychological Science