Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Celeste Hawkins and Dr. Sarah Van Zoeren

Second Advisor

Dr. Angie Mann-WIlliams

Third Advisor

Dr. Lynn Nybell


Zero tolerance policies in schools have led to substantial financial, personal, and social costs. These policies are widely criticized for being discriminatory, particularly among youth from minority backgrounds. The ways we have responded to behaviors in school has changed dramatically over the years. Today, harsh discipline measures result in lengthy out of school suspensions for minor infractions. This literature review examines the school-to-prison pipeline is and how zero tolerance policies have contributed to this social justice issue. Strategies designed to interrupt the school-to-prison pipeline are also discussed.

Included in

Social Work Commons