The Foster Care-To-Prison Pipeline

Reighley Baugh, TribTalk •

Among foster youth who have had five or more placements, more than 90 percent will be involved in the juvenile justice system, according to research by the Juvenile Law Center. Youth of color, those with mental illness or who identify as LGBTQ, are particularly affected by this pipeline system. It isn’t surprising that many foster children cross into juvenile and adult justice systems. The foster care system’s current conditions serve as a feeder into our nation’s prison systems, and specifically targets groups that are already disproportionately disciplined in schools, criminalized and over-represented in our child welfare systems.