The Mid-City CAN Youth Council revealed their mural titled “Schools Not Prisons” on Thursday, June 20. The mural featured bright flowers and a large “I Am Possible” to highlight their message that youth can achieve anything with proper investment in their education and alternatives to incarceration.
Council President, Georgette Gomez, will spoke alongside local youth about community-led efforts to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline (SPP) — the system through which students are pushed out of schools and into prisons.
According to the Mid-City Community Advocacy Network (CAN), students’ first contact with law enforcement often starts with punitive policies at school. Once students are put into contact with law enforcement for disciplinary reasons, many are then pushed out of the educational environment and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems.
Mid-City CAN’s analysis of 2017 data from the Automated Regional Justice Information System, used by SDPD and regional law enforcement agencies, found youth of color are disproportionately impacted by the SPP. In 2017, black youth in San Diego County were arrested at a rate 3.5 times higher than white youth and Latino youth were arrested at a rate 2.6 times higher than their white peers.
Mid-City CAN’s Youth Council seeks to end youth criminalization and chose to create this mural to expand the conversation in San Diego about the need to invest in positive youth development and education.