When studying the link between U.S. prisons and schools, educational research widely relies on the school-to-prison pipeline (STTP) to understand how students are funneled from the schoolhouse to the jailhouse. However, this track critiques the STTP framework for its limitations in understanding how schools operate like prisons for Black students. Further, this track applies a prison abolitionist perspective to analyze the function of schooling for Black students and suggests that Black educational justice and liberation exist outside of the modern-day schoolhouse. Thus, this track begins by specifying the connections between U.S. schools and prison abolition. It goes on to explicate the shortcomings of the STTP and clarifies the carceral logic that underlies school policies and procedures. Next, it describes the prison–industrial complex and its accompanying political vision, prison–industrial complex abolition, as a useful model for both understanding how schools exacerbate social inequities for Black students and in working toward Black educational justice and liberation. The track concludes by inviting educators and critical researchers to grapple with questions that move toward liberatory Black education outside of the formal structures of schooling.



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