Tavis Smiley Reports: Education Under Arrest
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Tavis Smiley Reports: Education Under Arrest

Tuesday, March 26 at 8:00 p.m.

Tavis Smiley looks at the connection between the juvenile justice system and the dropout rate among American teens, as well as efforts by educators, law enforcement professionals, judges, youth advocates and the at-risk teens themselves to end what has become known as “the school-to-prison pipeline.”

Smiley takes his cameras across the country to present a narrative of what’s working on the frontlines of reform. Smiley travels to Washington State, Louisiana, Missouri and California, speaking to experts like Judge Jimmie Edwards, principal of Innovative Concept Academy in St. Louis, who believes the zero-tolerance policy is not the best route. “Locking up an 11-year-old in jail for any length of time doesn’t make sense for him, for his family and certainly not for his community,” said Judge Edwards.  

Smiley also talks with some of the teens caught up in the juvenile justice system. At the Juvenile Detention Center in Spokane, Washington, 16-year-olds Devin and Darlis speak frankly about the mistakes they’ve made and the consequences of being in lockdown. While each hopes for a more positive future, they both know the road won’t be easy. In New Orleans, Smiley meets with sisters Kenyatta and Kennisha, both excellent students who got caught in the zero-tolerance net and were arrested for fighting.