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Prison SchoolEducational Inequality and School Discipline in the Age of Mass Incarceration$
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Lizbet Simmons

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520281455

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520281455.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

The Prison School

The Prison School

(p.102) Chapter 4 The Prison School
Prison School

Lizbet Simmons

University of California Press

This chapter investigates the New Orleans Prison School—a public school in a prison—where African American male students were sent as punishment for nonviolent status offenses. Through the voices of local residents, including students and their families, teachers, local activists, and law enforcement officials, it explains what the push-pull factors of punitive schooling mean for their lives and their community. The chapter situates this examination in the historical context of urban school failure, youth criminalization, and mass correctionalization from the post-civil rights era of New Orleans forward. The work is theoretically framed by scholarship in the sociology of punishment, which articulates mass incarceration as a disappearing act playing out on the stage of the postindustrial and neoliberal state. The chapter ends by returning to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. While the city's schools were physically demolished by the tremendous floodwaters, the punitive ideologies of the city's criminal justice system remained intact. These ideologies resurged and were made manifest as the school system was rebuilt.

Keywords:   public schools, New Orleans Prison School, African American youth, youth offenders, Hurricane Katrina, punishment

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