From home, to school, to juvenile detention center, and back again. Follow the lives of fifty Latina girls living forty miles outside of Los Angeles, California, as they are inadvertently caught up in the school-to-prison pipeline. Their experiences in the connected programs between “El Valle” Juvenile Detention Center and “Legacy” Community School reveal the accelerated fusion of California schools and institutions of confinement. The girls participate in well-intentioned wraparound services designed to provide them with support at home, at school, and in the detention center. But these services may more closely resemble the phenomenon of wraparound incarceration, in which students, despite leaving the actual detention center, cannot escape the surveillance of formal detention, and are thereby slowly pushed away from traditional schooling and a productive life course.
1. Trouble in the Home, and First Contact with the Criminal Justice System
2. Life behind Bars
3. Legacy Community School and the New Face of Alternative Education
4. School, Institutionalization, and Exclusionary Punishment
5. Hooks for Change and Snares for Confinement
Appendix A: “Who Is Th is Man in the Classroom?”
Appendix B: Demographic Information
Jerry Flores is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto.
"By centering the compelling testimonials of 30 young Latinas, Flores details the multiple impacts and varied forms of gendered, socioeconomic, and racialized violence the participants encounter at home, school, in intimate relationships, and while in detention. Especially significant are the tolls that trauma and inequality take and the ways the participants are caught up in the California juvenile justice system, despite its intended focus on rehabilitation. The book ends with concrete experiences from Latinas who have been able to leave the criminal justice system and those who have not—highlighting Flores's main finding that increased contact with criminal justice agencies reduces the possibilities of escaping from them."—CHOICE
"This worthy work deserves a caring examination as it helps us to understand the consequences of the frightening accelerated fusion between education and the criminal justice system for Latina girls. It was written with passion and academic accuracy."—Border Criminologies
"This riveting ethnography provides readers with a rare look at the experiences of young women within the juvenile justice system. Flores brilliantly demonstrates how schools and carceral institutions become inextricably connected to form a ubiquitous system of punitive control, leading to bleak outcomes in the lives of marginalized girls."—Victor Rios, author of Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys
"Jerry Flores’s compelling ethnography focuses on the lives of fifty Latina girls at a youth detention facility and its associated community (continuation) school. Through analyzing the various pathways to incarceration, Flores illustrates key turning points that can help extricate girls from the criminal justice system. This book questions conventional knowledge about girls in detention and ultimately complicates the portrayal of racially gendered criminalization. It should be carefully examined by practitioners, scholars, policy makers, and students."—Denise A. Segura, coeditor of Women and Migration in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands: A Reader