Documentary shows “Pathway to Prison” begins as early as kindergarten | Michigan Radio

Documentary shows “Pathway to Prison” begins as early as kindergarten

Jan 31, 2017

Tonight at 8 p.m., Detroit Public Television will debut a new documentary focused on the high rate of imprisonment in the U.S. and Michigan.

It's entitled Pathways to Prison.

Marlowe Stoudamire from the Detroit Historical Society co-hosted the documentary, and joined Stateside to talk about the project.

Stoudamire said one out of eight men in this country will be convicted of a crime, and one out of three African-American men will go to prison at some point in their lives. The documentary explores the root causes of these numbers. 

A scene captured from the Pathways to Prison trailer
Credit Screenshot from the Pathways to Prison trailer

The research points to a faulty education system, poverty and race.

The documentary explores how these pathways to prison begin as early as kindergarten, with kids missing significant school time due to behavior issues.

These early-discipline and no-tolerance policies, he said, lay a poor foundation for kids early on. Many children have learning disabilities and behavior issues that are improperly diagnosed by teachers who either aren't properly trained or don't have the skill sets to identify these problems.

Listen to the full interview above to hear more about societal effects of harsh policies from the 1980s, and why parole reform has bipartisan support, yet still faces an uphill climb. 

Support for the Detroit Journalism Cooperative on Michigan Radio comes from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Renaissance Journalism's Michigan Reporting Initiative, the Ford Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.


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