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Tools that Challenge the School to Prison Pipeline

MPACT’s Juvenile Justice Initiative (R.I.S.E)

As the pandemic recedes, our society faces another threat: The School to Prison Pipeline. Many students, specifically children with disabilities and children of color, are funneled out of public school and into the juvenile justice system due to the overuse of exclusionary discipline practices. In 2021, there were 37,690 referrals sent to Missouri’s 46 juvenile courts. 

MPACT’s Juvenile Justice Initiative focuses on providing special education training, information and support to families of justice-involved youth with disabilities, at-risk youth, educators and professionals on ways to rethink how we do discipline in efforts to keep children in the classroom and out of the juvenile system.  

The video below is a testimonial from former Chief Juvenile Officer, Randall Rhodes and Juvenile Officer, Angela Ussery of the 32nd Judicial Circuit Juvenile Division regarding how MPACT support to families of children with special education needs has helped to reduce juvenile referrals in their circuit. 

As the Office of Special Education Programs’ (OSEP’s) director, Dr. Valerie Williams has heard parents share stories that follow a concerning plot line: their child’s behavior has caused a disruption and they must be picked up immediately to help their child “calm down.” Forced to abruptly abandon their workday commitments, these parents rush to their child’s school and take their child home. Sometimes this removals from school is for part of a school day, sometimes longer. These removals often go uncounted, are not reported as suspensions, and fly under-the-radar built to ensure that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act’s (IDEA’s) discipline protections are exercised. Until now, OSEP had not given these removals a name. Now, we call these removals “informal removals.” Read Dr. Williams full article HERE.

MPACT's Tools that Challenge the School to Prison Pipeline Training

MPACT’s Tools that Challenge the School to Prison Pipeline Training-Lends to evidence-based approaches that guide positive interactions with youth.  

The Effectiveness of the Training-MPACT continues to receive positive feedback from session participants. The training has been presented in several statewide and national conferences since 2021 including: The Missouri Juvenile Justice (MJJA) conference, The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) 2022 & 2023 Transition Training Institute, DESE’s 2023 Powerful Learning Conference and The National Symposium for Juvenile Services Conference.

Intended Audience-Parents of children with disabilities or behavioral needs, educators and other professionals who support the development and success of youth. Click HERE to complete the training request form or email

Resources for Parents

Resources for Professionals

Professional Development and Networking Opportunities with a Juvenile Justice & Discipline focus

29th National Symposium on Juvenile Services-Join MPACT at the 29th National Symposium on Juvenile Services on October 3-6, 2023 in the award-winning Chicago suburb of Naperville, Illinois. The theme for the Symposium is Courage to Change: Leading the Way.  The National Symposium on Juvenile Services is a unique forum that brings together administrators, frontline professionals, clinicians, probation officers, advocates, educators, trainers, community supports, in the spirit of collaboration and professional development. The Symposium offers an irreplaceable opportunity to network and share innovative program services as well as real-life solutions to common barriers experienced across the nation (and sometimes beyond).

United 4 Children Preschool to Promise Pipeline Conference: Join MPACT at the United 4 Children’s annual Building the Preschool to Promise Pipeline Conference October 14th. The conference aims to disrupt the preschool to prison pipeline by providing education and resources needed to build equity in early childhood education.  

The Missouri Juvenile Justice Fall Educational Conference: Join MPACT at the 2023 MJJA Fall Conference October 25-27th in Osage Beach Mo. Conference theme: Giving Tomorrow to Today’s Youth. Conference Agenda conference agenda and registration can be found HERE.