Celebrating Three Years of the Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline Project

Mark your calendars for our Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline Conference at Northeastern Law on March 31, 2023.
Check back soon for forthcoming details!

In 2019, CPIAC launched our flagship research initiative, the Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline Project (C2P Project), with a Northeastern University Tier 1 grant. The initiative is a collaboration among CPIAC; the College of Arts, Media and Design (CAMD); Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the College of Social Sciences and Humanities (CSSH); and Boston Area Research Initiative. The C2P Project is building a holistic model of contributors to mass incarceration in Massachusetts to identify and validate policy interventions and provide a framework for other states, while also connecting stakeholders to facilitate identification of collective interest and scalable solutions. Beyond Northeastern, 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. Our advisory board also continually contributes expert guidance to ensure the project is informed by advocates’ expertise and resource needs.

A recurring theme of the C2P Project’s work has been highlighting perspectives born of lived experience. Among its many endeavors is 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,, housing resources for the public, advocates and policymakers, including the project’s digital maps of the pipeline, literature compendium and interviews with formerly incarcerated people and policy advocates; and numerous student research projects — many in collaboration with Legal Skills in Social Context (LSSC) classes — on topics such as school discipline, police in schools, the family regulation system, houselessness and more.

The C2P project also organizes events to gather advocates and inform the public around issues of concern — from our 2019 inaugural conference to, 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.” The latter event, featuring parents involved with the family regulation system and a premiere of CAMD journalism student documentaries, drew an audience of more than 300, including legislators and city councilors.

This initiative continues to expand. As the CsP Project embarks on its fourth year, the team is pursuing research led by our Faculty Fellows into violations of probation and parole, and into prohibitions on juvenile life without parole; engaging students in further research on pipeline contributors; and preparing to create an online data tool to visually represent aspects of the cradle-to-prison pipeline. We hope to see you at our 2022-23 events, including “A Conversation with William Allen: Correcting a Fundamental Unfairness through the Clemency Process” on November 14, 2022, and the Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline Conference on March 31, 2023.

Students and faculty interested in getting involved in the C2P Project can contact Shannon Al-Wakeel at

March 31, 2023

9:00 am to 4:30 pm