Gloria Okere

Document Type


Date of Award



Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs (SOPA)

Degree Name

Ph.D. in Administration of Justice

Committee Chairperson

Declan Onwudiwe

Committee Member 1

David Baker

Committee Member 2

Robert Mupier

Committee Member 3

Andrew Ewoh


• criminal justice • positive behavioral intervention and support • school-to-prison pipeline


The school-to-prison pipeline represents a perspective in the administration of justice, where youths in an educational environment are funneled out of the public school system into the correctional institutions. There is a dearth of knowledge in the literature regarding the net-widening effects on youths brought into the juvenile and the criminal justice system that otherwise would have remained in their educational institutions without the criminal justice intervention. The expansion of the justice system's reach to the youths has become so prevalent, raising concerns that research has yet to illustrate what happens before a youth goes from school disciplinary measures and into the prison system. This dissertation endeavors to close this vital gap in the literature by narrowly examining the school to probation pipeline to illustrate how youths are removed from the public school system and subsequently placed on probation through the juvenile justice system's surveillance. The purpose of this study is to examine the perceptions of individuals who work directly with youth involved in the school-to-probation pipeline using Harris County in Houston, Texas, as the study site. Fundamentally, the current dissertation employs a qualitative methodology that relies on the perceptions of the juvenile justice personnel, including juvenile counselors, teachers, juvenile probation officers, juvenile case workers, and juvenile detention officers’ interviews in Harris County. Purposive sampling technique is used for the interviews. The interviews helped the study to address the research questions in this dissertation and apply positive behavioral intervention and support as a way of addressing the issue of school suspensions that become a gateway to school-to-probation pipeline; utilizing social control and critical race theories found in criminology as the models of explanation. The findings from this research will bring awareness to the existence of the school-to-probation pipeline. It is anticipated that the data generated from this study would highlight the over-criminalization of minority youths within the public-school settings. The justification for this research appropriately would articulate cogent juvenile justice policy-making parameters for the criminal justice administrators and the society.


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