Police Officers in Schools

How youth feel about police in their schools has an interesting outlook in Connecticut. Based on the article Report: School Officers Don’t Make Students, the risk of arrest is five times higher for Black and Latino students in schools with police officers. This shows another way police in schools are used to build on the school-to-prison pipeline system.

A research and policy fellow at Connecticut Voices for Children, Samailla Adelaiye, states having school police officers “defeats that purpose” of building an environment for children to raise their academic performance and build emotionally sound young people. This can be further seen when looking into school financial resources and programs that use the school’s expenses. It takes away the funds to create a program for offenders who commit similar crimes. Some counselors may be hired to replace the police officers that may be better for developing the child rather than the actions that police take when a child is breaking a rule in school. To switch the policy to aim funds to go towards counselors, social workers, and psychology will better aid the children. Additionally, acts of recidivism are more likely to occur when the children are not being properly rehabilitated if a criminal act occurs. The goal of the juvenile justice system should be aimed to support children who have bad practices that hurt the community or themselves. Many of these situations are better handled by having children rehabilitated with positive practices rather than arresting them and treating them like adult offenders.

Having police officers in schools may improperly intimidate children at times and can be unfair. If a police officer is in school, children should be taught their rights. It is unfair to have an officer in a school building when students do not know what rights they have when they are confronted by the officer. As Adelaiye stated in the article, “We recommend that policymakers should pass laws to ensure that parents are present any time a student is questioned about potentially criminal activity, even if it’s not a criminal activity involving that student,” parents should be the first alerted in these moments. Too much history shows where Black and Latino children have been mistreated during routine police practices. If there is a system in place to allow the police officers to question children for an alleged crime, there should also be a system when allowing the child to exercise their constitutional rights.

Harris County Juvenile Centers 2021 Winter Holiday Surprise

Image of some of the gifts that were donated for the Juvenile Centers in Harris County.

The holidays should be a wonderous time for children. But this year, thousands of children across the United States will spend the holidays behind bars and in residential facilities away from their families and loved ones. With the Covid pandemic continuing to rage on, it has become even more difficult for families to connect with their kids currently housed behind bars.

While we know it’s no replacement for enjoying the holiday season with loved ones outside of the confines of these facility walls, the students at the University of Houston Law Center have continued their tradition of collecting gifts to donate to the kids with the hope of making their holiday season a little brighter. This year, we’re pleased to report that with the help of many generous donations, we were able to meet out fundraising goal. This coming week, we will be delivering donations to the over 200 children housed at the Harris County Detention Center, Leadership Academy, and Youth Village. Notably, we were able to donate stockings that the kids will be able to decorate and which the staff will fill with goodies (this was a big hit last year). Some of the stocking stuffers will include body wash, deodorant, playing cards, candy, granola bars and other snacks, combs, hand sanitizers, lip balm, and holiday socks. Additionally, we’ve assembled toiletry kits for some of the kids that will be released and sent home as well as board games that can be played to help pass the time.

We couldn’t have done this without the help of our extended community of generous donors. Happy Holidays to all!

Holiday Gift Drive for Harris County Juvenile Facilities

Roughly 200 children will spend this holiday season in juvenile facilities across Houston. Law students at the University of Houston Law Center are inviting you to make their time a little brighter by helping them reach their fundraising goal and by directly purchasing items off their Wishlist. Gifts will be distributed at the Harris County Juvenile Detention Center, Leadership Academy, and Youth Village.

Items to be purchased include:

  • Snacks
  • Journals
  • Toiletries
  • Candy
  • Games
  • And more!

Please visit https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1BNR8TQGKYDNM?ref_=wl_share to purchase directly from the Wishlist or visit https://gofund.me/bf274ce6 to make a contribution towards the purchase of gifts. Donations will be accepted through Dec. 10, 2022.

We appreciate your generosity!