Disrupting school-to-prison pipeline is focus of upcoming statewide forum

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Farmington, CT - Top state officials will join law enforcement, mental health providers, educators and legislators to learn about a promising solution to disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline in Connecticut at a statewide forum on school-based arrests. The School-Based Diversion Initiative (SBDI) has successfully helped 21 schools in 10 Connecticut school districts reduce school-based arrests while connecting these at-risk students to behavioral health services. Research shows that youth with mental health needs are more likely to come into contact with the juvenile justice system and schools are one of the primary referral sources. SBDI equips schools to use Connecticut's Emergency Mobile Psychiatric Services and promotes the use of restorative disciplinary practices as alternatives to arrest. The initiative is funded by four state agencies.

WHAT:    Statewide Forum on School-Based Arrests: The School-Based Diversion Initiative

WHEN:    Wednesday, January 14, 2015 - 9:30 - 11:00 am
(continental breakfast/registration begins at 9:00 am)

WHERE:  State Capitol - Room 310, Hartford, CT

FORMAT: A brief overview of SBDI featuring a new video highlighting the school experience will be followed by a panel discussion, audience questions and closing remarks.
  • Welcome: Judge Bernadette Conway, Chief Administrative Judge, Juvenile Matters
  • Overview of SBDI: Jeana Bracey, Senior Associate, Child Health and Development Institute
  • SBDI Video (8 minutes)
  • School Experience: Michael Valerio, Sarah Rawson School, Hartford, CT
  • SBDI Panel Discussion: Superintendent of East Hartford Schools Nate Quesnel will join representatives from the four state agencies jointly funding SBDI (Department of Children and Families, State Department of Education, Judicial Branch Court Support Services Division and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services).
  • Audience Questions
  • Concluding Remarks: Sarah Eagan, Child Advocate, State of Connecticut
MEDIA:   Media interested in attending should contact Julie Tacinelli tacinelli@uchc.edu or Cindy Langer langer@uchc.edu at 860-679-1519 or 860-679-1534.

OTHER:  The Forum is hosted by the Child Health and Development Institute on behalf of the Judicial Branch Court Support Services (CSSD), the State Department of Education (SDE), the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS).

Funding for the event and video production was provided by a grant from the MacArthur Foundation. Learn more at www.chdi.org/sbdi.

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