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Authors

Lisa A. Rich

Abstract

In the last year of his presidency, President Barack Obama and his administration have undertaken many initiatives to ensure that formerly incarcerated individuals have more opportunities to successfully reenter society. At the same time, the administration has been working on education policy that closes the achievement gap and slows the endless flow of juveniles into the school-to-prison pipeline. While certainly laudable, there is much more that can be undertaken collaboratively among executive branch agencies to end the school-to-prison pipeline and the endless cycle of people re-entering the criminal justice system.

This paper examines the rise of the school-to-prison pipeline through the international lens of the United Nations Committee to End All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which has repeatedly raised humanitarian concerns about the criminal justice system in the United States and its detrimental impact on underserved communities. The paper examines recommendations made by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights to the Committee and recommends that policymakers work harder to implement those recommendations so that the United States is in compliance with its treaty requirements.