The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice lays out its vision in a report released last week called “Bring Our Children Home: A Prison-to-School Pipeline” that calls for the closing of both Hayes and the nearby Juvenile Medium Security Facility, which is considered the state’s most secure youth detention facility for boys, and the reopening of the Bordentown School. It also calls for a statewide study of disciplinary actions and policies in schools, and how they may contribute to the racial disparity among black and white students in youth prisons.
According to the report, black students in New Jersey are four times more likely than white students to receive out-of-school suspensions and are twice as likely to receive expulsions, even though white and black students commit most offenses at similar rates.
Similarly, the report found that while black students make up about 16 percent of the total enrollment in New Jersey schools, they make up about 34 percent of school-related arrests and just over 31 percent of law enforcement referrals.
The racial disparity was even greater among girls, with black girls accounting for over 50 percent of out-of-school suspensions by female students, 30 percent of expulsions and nearly 38 percent of in-school arrests.