4 African American female judges in Dallas work to break ‘school-to-prison pipeline’

DALLAS-- Ever seen Scared Straight?

While the approach isn’t the same, the concept is being taught at Carter High School in Dallas.

A group of Dallas judges got together and formed 'Pipeline to Possibilities,' steering youth away from the so-called 'school-to-prison pipeline.'

Stephanie Mitchell is one of those judges. She says, “We have classes that deal with home ec, wood shop, things of that nature, we need to give them a real life perspective about the criminal justice system so they avoid it.”

The judges talk about crimes, punishments, and give examples of things happening in real time. They also bring in people who’ve had run ins with the law but turned their lives around.

Teachers select kids they feel would particularly benefit from it.

Charles Starkes, Community Liaison at the high school says it has been making a difference. “I am watching the responses that we are getting here today from our kids, and I am seeing that there are changes being made with them, in the way they act and react, because I know some of the things that they at school here.”

The judges are hoping 'Pipeline to Possibilities' gets much bigger than one classroom. Mitchell says, “One of the goals that we have is that this program will implemented into the curriculum, so that every student is understanding about the criminal justice system. Because, ultimately we don’t want them in front of us at all, we would love to never have them appear in our courts.”