About The “Five Steps Course”


This course aims to transform the country’s approach to youth diversion from the Juvenile Justice System by educating youth on what the school to prison pipeline is so that they can avoid it. This curriculum is recommended for youth as young as the 8th grade in hopes of catching them 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 system. We all know that the school to prison pipeline is very real and growing for black and brown youth. There is a great need to educate youth about the school to prison pipeline in a way in which they can understand? This course helps to do just that.

The course is highly recommended starting in middle school and helps to equip youth with critical thinking skills that can prevent poor decision-making during high school and beyond.

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

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

The Course: Five Steps to Avoid the School to Prison Pipeline

This course is geared towards youth ages 11-17 who read through and role play real life stories and questions contained in the 5 Steps Workbook together (with a facilitator). The workbook uses real life stories to help youth and their parents conceptualize the “school to prison pipeline” and helps to open critical conversations that must be had in order to move youth from school to career rather than prison. The workbook is a story of one family’s journey through the 5 Steps as they try to avoid the traps which await them in an invisible pipeline, accompanied by thought provoking questions and activities at every turn. The characters are 15 year old Jaleesa, 16 year old Robert, their Mom Latonia and their Dad Robert Sr. All scenes in the workbook are based on real events.

Difference between 1st and 2nd Editions

Use of the 1st Edition of this workbook is recommended for churches since it references the Bible in Step 4. The 2nd Edition of the workbook is recommended for use in schools, which replaces references of the Bible in Step 4 with discussions on the benefits of meditation. The 2nd Edition was developed per request of schools who saw great benefits in the use of the workbook, but were concerned about separation of church and state laws.

Are you interested in Facilitators Training for your staff? CLICK HERE to learn more.

One thought on “About The “Five Steps Course”

  1. Toledo Public Schools actively participates in the School to Prison Pipeline through Practices, Policies, and Procedures. Individuals, just doing their jobs, have been identified, and have admitted to causing harm to many, generationally, through suspension.

    Suspension from school arrests ones intellectual development, and denies ones RIGHT to be educated. Discipline should defer privileges, not a person right. Criminalization of behavior, via the 13th Amendment, starts in Kindergarten. I can send my research of this microcosm that represents education practices at large.

    Liked by 1 person

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