Concerned teachers, parents, and advocates have highlighted the growing reality of a "school-to-prison" pipeline in Richmond and across the country, revealing that students who are disciplined as criminals in school are more likely to end up in prison.
Justice is out of reach for many who find themselves in poverty, have mental illness, or suffer from substance abuse. These individuals work to halt the cycle of poverty and injustice; many of them have experienced that cycle themselves.
On the front lines of the criminal justice system, these individuals are tasked with arresting, charging, and sentencing. They work inside the system as teachers, advocates, administrators, chaplains, and law enforcers. One is presently serving a life sentence.
Increasingly, government agencies and nonprofits talk about the importance of "reentry": the process of formerly incarcerated people returning to society and finding housing, employment, and stability. But stigma, policies, and personal hardship often make reentry a fraught and complex challenge.