Home  > Research

School Resource Officers and the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Evaluating responses to school safety concerns in an age of school shootings and renewed calls for racial justice

Publication date :  

In Category : Youth Justice, Policing, Racial Equity

JPI partnered with the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics Policy Program to examine the impact of police officers in school. The report presents a review of the research on police and school safety, interviews with stakeholders, and recommends ways to address the harmful impacts of School Resource Officers (SRO).

Recommendations include: 

  • Expanding memoranda of agreement and memoranda of understanding to standardize training and tightly prescribe roles and responsibilities for SROs. Without clear expectations, SROs can be ineffective, overstep their authority, and harm students.
  • Reinvesting funding from SROs to restorative justice programs and other non-disciplinary alternatives. These alternatives are effective at addressing the needs of students without the harmful consequences of the legal system.
  • When implementing change, recognizing the need to ensure the culture is grounded in the awareness of the harms contributed by punitive measures in schools. Community stakeholders, including parents and educators, should drive the culture change. 

Similar Research