CPIAC Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline Project Awarded Northeastern Impact Engine Grant

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09.15.22 — Northeastern Law’s Center for Public Interest Advocacy and Collaboration’s (CPIAC) flagship research initiative, the Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline Project (C2P Project), has been awarded a Northeastern Impact Engine Grant to expand its work supporting advocates dedicated to dismantling the cradle-to-prison pipeline. The C2P Project, launched in 2019 with a Northeastern University Tier 1 grant, is a collaboration among CPIAC; Northeastern University’s College of Arts, Media and Design (CAMD); and its Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. The project is building a holistic model of contributors to mass incarceration in Massachusetts to identify and validate policy interventions. It will also provide a model for other states while connecting stakeholders to facilitate identification of collective interest and scalable solutions. Beyond Northeastern University, the project has been strengthened by engagement and collaboration with people currently and formerly incarcerated, practicing lawyers, policy advocates, nonprofit organizations and people impacted by the family regulation system.

“CPIAC is thrilled to be able to channel Impact Engine support into a cutting-edge tool to empower advocates,” explained Professor Lucy Williams, faculty director of CPIAC. “With this grant, the Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline Project will address an urgent need for data access, and in so doing will continue to advance advocates’ critical work dismantling the systems that feed incarceration.”

Since its launch, the C2P Project’s work has highlighted perspectives born of lived experience. Among its endeavors have been a project in collaboration with formerly incarcerated people and the nonprofit Everyday Boston, resulting in video narratives by formerly incarcerated people sharing their experiences; a survey, led by Professor Stephanie Hartung, of hundreds of currently incarcerated people in Massachusetts jails and prisons about their youth experiences with systems that contribute to incarceration and their views on needed changes — with results of phase 1 published in Criminalizing a Rough Life: A Survey of Systems Involvement Among Incarcerated People in Massachusetts; creation of a website, www.cradle2prison.info, housing resources for the public, advocates and policymakers; and numerous student research projects — many in collaboration with Northeastern Law’s Legal Skills in Social Context (LSSC) program — on topics such as school discipline, police in schools, the family regulation system, houselessness and others. The C2P project also organizes events to gather advocates and inform the public around issues of concern — including, most recently, a collaborative event with Citizens for Juvenile Justice and CAMD School of Journalism initiative The Family Project, entitled,  “I Am Not a Bad Parent,” featuring parents involved with the family regulation system and a premiere of CAMD journalism student documentaries.

Numerous gaps in data collected or reported by relevant public agencies are a recurrent obstacle to advocates and policymakers advancing effective solutions to counter incarceration's contributors. The $202,000 Impact Engine Grant will specifically support the project to build and pilot an online data tool as a one-stop, interactive resource for advocates addressing this hurdle.

About Northeastern University School of Law

The nation’s leader in experiential legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law offers the longest-running, most extensive experience-based legal education program in the country. Northeastern guarantees its students unparalleled practical legal work experiences through its signature Cooperative Legal Education Program. More than 1,000 employers worldwide in a wide range of legal, government, nonprofit and business organizations participate in the program. With a focus on social justice and innovation, Northeastern University School of Law blends theory and practice, providing students with a unique set of skills and experiences to successfully practice law.

For more information, contact d.feldman@northeastern.edu