Utah's School-to-Prison Pipeline

May 20, 2015

Something changed in America’s schools after the tragedy at Columbine High School. Worried about child safety, administrators, parents, and teachers teamed up with police to crack down on discipline. Trouble that once landed kids in detention is now punished with out-of-school suspension, expulsion, even arrest. The result is a pipeline that funnels children from school straight to prison. Wednesday, we’re talking about the school-to-prison pipeline in Utah and asking whom it affects and what can be done to stem its flow.

RadioWest is hosting this conversation in partnership with the Salt Lake County Bar Association.

On today's show, we mentioned a story on the radio program This American Life called "Is This Working?" You can listen to it HERE.


  • Emily Chiang is an associate professor at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law. She oversaw the research and analysis of a report, “From Fingerpaint to Fingerprints: The School-to-Prison Pipeline in Utah.”
  • Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh is president of the Utah Education Association. She has taught in Utah’s schools more than three and a half decades and she’s a National Board Certified Teacher.
  • Capt. Justin Chapman is a student resource officer with the Sandy City Police Department. He has more than a decade of experience as a Student Resource Officer (SRO), has supervised Sandy's Police Youth Unit of nine SROs and 26 schools, and has taught SRO certification classes since 2007.