Restoring Justice for All

Addressing the School to Prison Pipeline

AIA Continuing Education Provider

1 LU / HSW

Pending Acceptance and Subject to Change

In recent decades there has been an increasing intersection of public preK-12 schools with the juvenile and criminal justice systems involving increasing numbers of students being pushed out of schools and into the justice system. This practice – known as the School-to-Prison-Pipeline (STPP) – disproportionately affects students of color, LGBTQ+, and those with challenges of cognition, emotion, physicality, poverty, trauma, abuse, or neglect. Once a student is expelled or put into the criminal justice system, future options for careers, higher education – or simply returning to school —largely disappear. When students are labeled “bad” or “deviant,” they become stigmatized and socialized to fit that role, and become more likely to drop out enter the justice system. This session will explore the underlying policies that create the STPP and practices to reverse it. Nationally recognized educator, consultant, and public speaker Erin Jones will provide deeper insights into the STPP, impacts on students, and how the system seemingly targets students frequently on the margins of “mainstream” society. Contributing factors – implicit bias, zero-tolerance/suspension/expulsion policies, police in schools, school disturbance laws, and how over-burdened staff increasingly respond to common misbehavior by removing students from school – will be explored. Youth advocate and attorney Rosey Thurman will lead a discussion on restorative justice practices, including a case study of Spokane Public Schools’ Family Community Engage Program, which worked to keep students in schools and create mutual understanding through harm reduction and inclusion. Deeper insights and specific examples designed to stop or even reverse the STPP will be provided by a former leader of that program. During the session, participants will break into small discussion groups to share their own insights and experiences, and to explore what restorative justice practices mean and how they impact the design of learning environments from operational, educational, and physical design perspectives. The session will be facilitated by a co-chair of the A4LE JEDI Committee, Ross Parker ALEP.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Develop awareness of the current situation and policies that create and foster the STPP and how it disproportionally affects students not fitting societal “norms” for perfect student behavior.
  2. Develop awareness of the impacts of students on pushing them out of the public school system and how it can have catastrophic impacts on students’ futures, their families, and society.
  3. Develop awareness of inclusive, harm-reducing practices such as Restorative Justice.
  4. Learn how the STPP can be addressed and transformed through action of individuals, parents, and many professions who interact with the educational systems.

Erin Jones, Independent Education and Systems Consultant, Erin Jones LLC,
Erin is a nationally-recognized educator, author, public speaker, and independent education and systems consultant who has been involved in and around schools for over 26 years. In 2016 she made history as the first Black woman to run for statewide elected office in Washington (for Superintendent of Public Instruction, which she narrowly lost). She has taught middle school, worked at the school district level, and served as an executive for State Superintendents of Public Instruction. She has two inspiring TEDx Talks, has recently published the book Bridges to Heal Us, and is an independent public speaker and an education and systems consultant.

Rosey Thurman, Attorney and Youth Advocate, TeamChild,
Rosey has been a longtime advocate and lawyer with TeamChild. She represented youth and their families in ensuring that they receive an education. She worked with the Spokane Communities of Color and Disability to found the Every Student Counts Alliance, seeking changes to systemic racism in Spokane schools and upholding the rights of disabled students.

Ross Parker, AIA, ALEP, A4LE JEDI Committee Co-chair, IBI Group,
Ross is the Education Studio Lead for IBI Group in Seattle, WA. He has a passion for culturally relevant experiential design of educational facilities. His 3-decade architectural portfolio spans from northern Canada to the US West Coast and South, and includes three James D. MacConnell Awards projects – award recipient in 2010 and finalists in 2004 and 2020. Ross is also the proud parent of a teenager who enriches his life through daily experiences and insights into the human condition as experienced by a young Black male.

Track: The Learners’ Experience

What is the learners’ experience? Who are they? How do they differ? How do they respond differently from one another to similar environments? Is there a one-size-fits-all solution? Or is a custom solution composed of aggregate parts more appropriate?

Primary Core Competency
Community Engagement: Leads the internal and external communities through a discovery process that articulates and communicates a community-based foundational vision, forming the basis of a plan for the design of the learning environment. The vision is achieved through a combination of rigorous research, group facilitation, strategic conversations, qualitative and quantitative surveys and workshops. Demonstrates the skill to resolve stakeholder issues while embedding a community's unique vision into the vision for its schools.

Learning Units/Health, Safety, Welfare (LU/HSW)
The topic specifically focuses on issues of safety, social-emotional-mental health, and welfare of all students. Those who are routinely pushed out for common childhood misbehavior suffer increasingly as they become trapped in the school-to-prison-pipeline, and the resulting trauma impacts their families, other students, and educators. Restorative justice practices and programs bring all involved together to minimize and reduce harm and to nurture healthier school environments, relationships, and students.      


Marriott Rivercenter
San Antonio, TX

October 5-9, 2022


+1 480.391.0840