ASU law symposium to focus on 'school-to-prison pipeline'

Arizona State University's Indian Legal Program and the Center for Indian Education present the School-To-Prison Pipeline in Indian Country Symposium and Town Hall Meeting, March 27, at the Great Hall in the Armstrong Building on ASU's Tempe campus.

Considered to be one of the most serious civil rights issues today, the “school-to-prison pipeline” is a systematic method of siphoning children from the public school system to the juvenile and criminal justice systems.

“The school-to-prison pipeline is a vital concern for us all,” said Bryan Brayboy, special advisor to ASU’s President Michael Crow, President’s Professor and director of the Center for Indian Education. “Removing our children from school and placing them into the criminal system limits their futures and the future of our communities. It is vital that we open up a dialogue on this issue, examine it, and work toward ending this destructive process. We owe it to our communities and our children.”

The event is part of an ongoing nationwide series and will include a symposium, town hall, and reflections panel. The symposium will explore pipeline issues, programs, and projects created to further address these topics. The town hall will include presentations by professionals who work in this field witnessing the issues first hand and working to develop solutions. It will also allow for discussion by the community. The reflections panel will discuss how civil rights has shaped the educational landscape in Indian Country, where it is now and what work still needs to be done.

"The Indian Legal Program is committed to addressing important issues impacting our communities,” said Patty Ferguson-Bohnee, faculty director of the Indian Legal Program. “These scholars and practitioners represent the very best of individuals involved in this issue. Their presence and engagement allows us to move from talking about this topic, to addressing both the day-to-day practices and policy solutions that will ameliorate this challenge.”

Registration is free and open to the public. To register or learn more about the meeting, please visit

Established in 1988, the Indian Legal Program at ASU is one of the largest and most renowned programs of its kind in the nation. Its mission to improve the legal systems that affect tribal governments is being advanced by graduates who have gone on to work at all levels of tribal, state, and federal government, as well as private practice. The program is part of ASU's Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law