The criminal justice system uproots children from learning in traditional classroom settings and funnels them toward prison. This phenomenon is known as the School-to-Prison Pipeline – pushing our children from juvenile jails and prisons into adult correctional facilities. If we invest in stopping this pipeline, we save both our children and our state’s resources that are required for future imprisonment.
During his childhood, Derrick was arrested and temporarily caught up in this cruel school-to-prison system. He knows firsthand how vital it is for social workers to have the resources and funding needed to ensure kids are being truly rehabilitated.
Even though his juvenile incarceration was two decades ago, many of the challenges that DJJ is facing are the same challenges of 2001. Juvenile Correctional Officers (JCO) are working long hours and are severely underpaid. This means that thousands of kids have not received proper rehabilitative services and could potentially re-offend as a result.
Derrick is committed to working with the Director of DJJ and the entire agency to help our young people re-enter society equipped with the tools needed to be successful. He is equally committed to advocating for increased salaries for the JCOs and providing additional incentives to retain current and new recruits.