Welcome to the home of the “Five Steps to Avoid the School to Prison Pipeline”


About the Workbook

This workbook is a curriculum developed to help warn youth about the systemic barriers designed to give black/brown youth a “helping” hand from school, directly to prison. It is written in an engaging and thought-provoking way, using the true story of a family struggling day by day to avoid many common systemic traps that usher youth into the juvenile system. The curriculum helps to open deep conversations that must be had with youth in order to help them to think differently about their choices. The COVID-19 pandemic is compounding the education gap of many already low performing school districts serving black/brown youth. As a result, if we are to be really honest with ourselves, the only real and true avoidance of the school to prison pipeline lies in the hands and minds of our youth and the choices that they make. The curriculum brings families struggles and challenges with overcoming systemic barriers to the forefront and helps youth begin to think about their own personal real solutions.

The Five Steps…

  1. Become more involved in your own education
  2. Don’t let your environment determine your future
  3. Avoid negative peer pressure
  4. Discover your purpose in life
  5. You must create a plan for yourself

This curriculum is meant to be a diversion program and is recommended for youth as young as the 8th grade – 12th. It has been proven to work well in catching youth long before a first criminal offense is ever made, whereas most diversion programs limit eligibility to youth who have already committed a first offense and are already in the juvenile system.

It was written by Quisha Brown, a previous public school teacher in Detroit, MI, with input from other school staff and students.

Here is what some have said:

In over 40 years of working with Youth, I have never used a resource that captures the interests and imagination of every person in the group. Practical, thought provoking, and real! ~ Bishop Tony Russell and Pastor Valerie Russell, MAN Network

Every school with high-risk populations should consider implementing this curriculum. ~ Sylvia Santana, Michigan State Senator, District 3, Member of the Governor’s Jail & Pre-Trial Incarceration Task Force

The Five Steps to Avoid the School to Prison Pipeline is both innovative and relatable to youth and their families. ~ Jared Davis, Principal, Cornerstone Health & Technology High School

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