Disrupting the School-To-Prison Pipeline: A Project-Based Grant Proposal Thesis to Provide Community-Based Health Educational Opportunities as Prevention and Diversion from the Juvenile Justice System for Middle School Students in Fulton County, Georgia Restricted; Files Only

Bell, Donielle (Fall 2017)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/2514nk499?locale=en


Adolescents who are justice-involved experience a significant disruption in a key transitional period of their lives. In addition to poor physical and mental health outcomes, justice-involved youth often suffer the long-term consequences of interruptions in their educational attainment, including health factors correlated to their socioeconomic position. Several factors may contribute to an adolescent’s risk for justice involvement, including adverse childhood experiences, mental health and substance abuse. Addressing these factors themselves is key to both prevention of justice involvement as well as reducing recidivism. School related risk factors for justice involvement include exclusionary discipline and juvenile court referral.  These disciplinary practices have been used, in some cases excessively, when other effective means of addressing behavior may be underutilized.  Alternatives to exclusionary discipline may help reduce exposure to the juvenile justice system and correlated poor outcomes.

Recent attention has been given to both the disproportionality of suspensions, expulsions, and court referrals for students of color, and to the elevated rates of suspensions and expulsions in certain schools within Atlanta, Georgia metropolitan area school districts, including Fulton County Schools. Given the poor outcomes associated with justice-involved youth and the elevated risk for justice involvement among suspended and expelled students, the need for intervention is apparent.

This thesis project describes the development of a grant proposal to acquire funding for the support of development of interventions aimed at preventing and/or diverting at-risk middle school students in Fulton County Schools from involvement in disciplinary actions that include suspension, expulsion, or referral to the juvenile justice system, thus reducing the likelihood of correlated poor health outcomes.  Such interventions would provide educational opportunities for at-risk students in the areas of individual and community health issues that potentially affect them and their communities. The proposal is in response to a request for proposals by the Fulton County Housing and Community Development Community Services Program (CSP) whose funding priorities include programs that address unhealthy behaviors in children and youth residents.  The proposed program will be piloted at two middle schools within Fulton County with elevated rates of exclusionary discipline and/or referrals to the juvenile justice system. 

Table of Contents

Abstract iv Acknowledgements. vi Table of Contents. vii List of Figures and Tables. viii List of Acronyms. ix Chapter I: Introduction. 1 Problem Statement 2 Purpose Statement 3 Objectives for Proposed Program.. 3 Proposed Program Description. 4 Significance. 5 Definition of Terms 6 Chapter II: Review of Literature. 8 Introduction. 8 Adolescence. 8 Demographics 8 Development 9 Adolescent behavior and future well-being. 12 The Juvenile Justice System.. 13 Overview.. 13 Justice involvement and future health outcomes 18 Contributing factors to justice involvement 20 School discipline and juvenile justice. 24 Reform, Prevention, and Intervention. 27 Juvenile justice reform.. 27 Reform in the State of Georgia. 30 Prevention and intervention. 32 Types of interventions 33 Funding and support 39 Conclusion. 43 Chapter III: Methodology. 45 Funding Agencies that Address Proposal Topic. 45 Description of Request for Proposals 46 Grant Review Process 49 Protection for Human Subjects 52 Human Subjects Involvement, Characteristics, and Design. 53 Human Subjects Materials Collected. 55 Recruitment and Informing Subjects of Program.. 57 Potential Risks to Human Subjects 58 Benefits of Program to Human Subjects and Society. 59 Chapter IV: Incorporation of Reviewer Comments. 61 Introduction. 61 Reviewer Scoring of RFP Evaluation Criteria. 61 Response to Reviewers’ Scoring of RFP Evaluation Criteria. 61 Reviewer Comments from Evaluation of Proposal 63 Chapter V: Grant Proposal 73 References. 95 Appendix A: RFP for 2017 Community Services Program Appendix B: Grant Reviewer Evaluation Form    

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