Project NIA (www.project-nia.org) has released a new report titled “Policing Chicago Public Schools 2: School-Based Arrests 2011 and 2012.” The report relies on data from the Chicago Police Department (CPD) to show the types of offenses and the demographics (gender, age and race) of the youth arrested on CPS properties in calendar years 2011 & 2012.  The report builds upon the 2010 data that we presented in January 2012.

by Rachel Marie-Crane Williams (2011)

by Rachel Marie-Crane Williams (2011)

CPD reports its data by police district rather than by individual school so this year we also worked with students from Loyola University to create an interactive application that allows individuals to search for crime and arrest data by school for the 2011-2012 school year too.

The key data points in the report are that:

  1. Overall youth school-based arrests have been decreasing. In 2010, over 5,500 arrests of young people under 18 years old took place on CPS properties. In 2011, the number of youth school-based arrests (18 & under) was 4,959 and in 2012, it was 4,287.
  2. Black youth are still disproportionately targeted by these arrests. While they represent about 42% of CPS students, black youth accounted for 75.5% percent of school-based arrests in 2012.  This mirrors the general trend of disproportionate minority contact within the juvenile legal system.
  3. In 2012, young men were more likely to be arrested on CPS properties than were their female counterparts [68% vs. 32%].
  4. Most youth school-based arrests are for misdemeanor offenses (84%) as opposed to felonies (16%).
  5. In 2012, 86% of youth school-based arrests happened in school buildings while 14% took place on school grounds.
  6. In 2012, the top three aggregate numbers of youth school-based arrests are in the 8th, 5th, and 4th police districts.  Together these three districts account for 30% of total youth school-based arrests on CPS properties.

This report was developed and written by Mariame Kaba and Eva Nagao. To access the full report, visit the Policing Chicago Public Schools 2 site HERE.

print by Sarah Atlas for Black & Blue Exhibition (3/13)

print by Sarah Atlas for Black & Blue Exhibition (3/13)

Last January (2012), we published “Policing Chicago Public Schools.” We are currently working to update the report by publishing data from the Chicago Police Department about youth arrests (18 and under) on CPS properties in calendar years 2011 and 2012.

In the meantime, we are pleased to share a preview of that report today through the following FACT SHEET (PDF). The fact sheet offers preliminary data including the gender, age, and race of the youth (18 and under) arrested on CPS properties in 2011 and 2012. New this year, we have broken the data out according to arrests on school grounds and in school buildings.

Our final report will be available in late summer.

Additionally, we are excited to share a wonderful interactive map that was created by Chris Skrable featuring information about crimes and arrests on CPS properties for the 2011-2012 academic year. This map only includes crimes and arrests that took place during the school day between 8 am and 5 pm. The map allows you to search by school by simply typing the name of your school in the search bar at the top right of the page. If searching for Kilmer Elementary for example, type: Kilmer Elementary, Chicago [Don’t forget to include Chicago so that it can direct you to the appropriate location].

Once you find your school on the map, click on it and you will see demographic, crime, and arrest data. Importantly, the data is presented as a ratio per 100 students which allows for comparisons between schools. Finally, you can play around with the zoom feature on the map located on the left side. We thank Chris for his hard work on this terrific resource. Chris created the map as part of a GIS course taught by Dr. Mike Steihl at Loyola University. We are excited to share the other maps created by other students in our upcoming reports about juvenile arrests in Chicago that will be published in late summer and in the fall.

You can find the interactive map HERE.

Let us know what you think about these new resources in the comments section below or by emailing us at chiyouthjustice@gmail.com. We are always happy to get feedback about our work and appreciate hearing how our resources are being used!

Our schools have become almost like satellite police stations.” – Steve Drizin

From Representing the Pipeline (7/31/10)

Policing Chicago Public Schools: A Gateway to the School-to-Prison Pipeline” written by Mariame Kaba & Frank Edwards relies on data from the Chicago Police Department (CPD) to show (for the first time in seven years) the type of offenses and the demographics (gender, age and race) of the juveniles arrested on CPS property in calendar year 2010. We are limited because CPD reports data by police district rather than by individual school.  A FOIA request filed by First Defense Legal Aid to the Chicago Public Schools requesting school-level arrest data has gone unfulfilled even after several months.

In the 2003-2004 academic year, CPS had about 1,700 security staff, nearly tripling in number in five years.  We were unable to obtain the current number of security guards in CPS despite repeated requests.  We are sure that this number exceeds the 1,700 from the 2003-2004 academic year.  The presence of so many security staff and especially police officers in schools means that school discipline issues quickly turn into police records.

In our discussions about the school-to-prison pipeline, we need concrete examples of how the process works. As such, it is important to understand the role that police and security staff play in our schools.  Yet reports about police involvement in CPS have unfortunately not been readily available to the public.  There is no easily accessible citywide or statewide data that illustrate how many students are arrested in schools each year.  The last report that was written about the role of police in Chicago Public Schools was published in 2005 by the Advancement Project.  That report, “Education on Lockdown,” found that Chicago Public Schools (CPS) referred over 8,000 students to law enforcement in 2003. Forty percent of these referrals were for simple assault or battery with no serious injuries. Most of these cases were dismissed.

Our purpose in writing this report is to ensure that the public is informed about the scope and extent of policing in Chicago Public Schools.  We hope that this will galvanize educators, parents, students, policymakers and community members to advocate for a dramatic decrease of CPS’s reliance on law enforcement to address school discipline issues. Instead, we would like to see an increase in the use of restorative justice, which is an effective approach, to respond to student misbehavior in our schools.

In light of a push for budget austerity, limited resources should be re-directed away from policing and into affirming programs and opportunities for students.  This, we believe, will improve the overall well-being of all stakeholders in the educational system (most especially students). We also call on our city council to improve data transparency by passing an ordinance requiring CPS and CPD to report quarterly on the numbers of students arrested in the district.  Having timely and reliable information will support efforts to hold CPS and CPD accountable. Finally, we believe that student privacy should be protected rather than further eroded.  Current reporting practices between schools and law enforcement do not need to be reformed to increase the exchange of student information between these parties.

The key findings in this report include that:

There were 6,430 total arrests on Chicago Public School properties in 2010;

Of these, 5,574  were juvenile (under 18 years old) arrests on Chicago Public School properties. School-based arrests of youth accounted for 20 percent of all juvenile arrests (27,563) in the city of Chicago in 2010.

Black youth accounted for 74 percent of juvenile school-based arrests in 2010; while Latino youth represented 22.5 percent of these arrests. 45 percent of CPS students are African American while 41 percent are Latino (CPS, 2009). This suggests that black students are disproportionately targeted for arrest in CPS.

Nearly a third (27%) of  juvenile school-based arrest offenses is simple battery. This suggests that a significant number of CPS students are probably being arrested for fighting.

The highest aggregate numbers of juvenile school-based arrests are in the 4th, 6th, 8th, 22nd, and 5th police districts.  Together these five districts account for 39% of total juvenile school-based arrests on CPS property.

For any questions about this report, please contact Project NIA at projectnia@hotmail.com.