Schools and crime

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This review focuses on recent advancements along two lines of criminological inquiry. The first examines how schools unintentionally influence off-campus delinquency, especially through their effects on social bonds and strain. The second examines the effects of intensified school punishment and policing on both school safety and off-campus offending. The key variables of interest to both fields of inquiry are fundamentally endogenous, which has led to some theoretical stagnation in the field. However, studies that employ quasi-experimental methods have improved causal inferences regarding the effects of additional schooling (especially in good schools) and the criminogenic effects of school exclusion. The effects of school failure and educational expectations are ripe for similar analyses. A rigorous interdisciplinary research agenda is proposed to assess the impact of decriminalizing school discipline and expanding therapeutic and restorative disciplinary alternatives to better inform the efforts underway across the United States to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline while maintaining school safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-169
Number of pages21
JournalAnnual Review of Criminology
StatePublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law


  • Criminalization
  • Delinquency
  • School discipline
  • School effects
  • School police
  • School safety
  • Schools


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