Supporting the Weak • Defending the Innocent • Empowering the Strong|info@WikiSRO.org
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WHO WE ARE

WikiSRO.org is a project that has been in development by the Poor & Minority Justice Association (PMJA) for several years. PMJA was founded in 2012, by Pastor Clayton Cowart. Based in Winter Haven, Florida, PMJA is comprised of citizens from various ethnic and racial backgrounds and serves communities throughout Florida and Georgia. “Defending the innocent, supporting the weak and encouraging the strong” is more than a tagline; it’s our mission. PMJA provides encouragement, training and leadership in poor and minority communities, which are disproportionately affected by social, political and economic injustice. In poor and minority communities throughout Florida and Georgia there has long been a history of social and economic injustice. Therefore, PMJA seeks to erase inequality and injustice through non-violent direct action, reminiscent of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s. PMJA campaigns against police brutality, false charges, false arrests. PMJA also promotes racial, social, and economic justice in poor and minority communities thought Florida and Georgia. PMJA is a non-profit organization which offers its services without regard to race, religion, national origin or social standing.

WHAT WE DO

WikiSRO.org is an ongoing project of PMJA and has been in development for several years. The project is intended to serve as a clearinghouse for information about Florida’s School Resource Officers. With the help of volunteers and members of the online community, we are gathering every available detail about every SRO in Florida. This data will become an invaluable resource for parents, researchers, public officials, policy makers, journalists, community organizers, civil litigators and criminal defense attorneys. The goal is to make all the data available to the public, free-of-charge in a searchable database with access to primary documents such as Internal Affairs, personnel and communication, employment and disciplinary records.

FLORIDA’S SCHOOL TO PRISON PIPELINE

Florida has the dubious distinction of being a national leader in the arrest, prosecution and conviction of school children. According to a study conducted by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, between 2004 and 2012 there were 166,888 school-related arrests in Florida. Disproportionately, students finding themselves in Florida’s school-to-prison-pipeline are African-American. Although African-Americans only make up about 22% of Florida school children, about 48% of all children arrested in Florida schools are African-American.

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QUESTIONS ABOUT SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS?

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University of South Florida: “Demanding Zero Tolerance for Florida’s School-to-Prison Pipeline

Fifty years after the enactment of the Civil Rights Act, the Civil Rights offices of the US Department of Education (DOE) and Department of Justice (DOJ) jointly issued detailed guidance on nondiscriminatory administration of discipline in public schools, declaring, “racial discrimination in school discipline is a real problem” (2014:4). The real consequences of this very real problem have already negatively impacted the lives of countless black children, on whom “zero tolerance” school discipline policies have been exercised disproportionately and more severely than on white children.

Harvard Law and Policy Review: “Dismantling the School-To-Prison-Pipeline: South Florida’s Approach.”

The U.S. incarceration rate has increased 700% since 1970. As a result, the U.S. has the highest prison population in the world. In the U.S., only 12% of the population is Black. Yet, despite living in a “post-racial,” “colorblind” society,” 38% of the prison population is composed of Blacks. Part of this disparity stems from the disparate impact of zero-tolerance policies in school discipline.

ACLU: Still Haven’t Shut Off the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Evaluating the Impact of Florida’s New Zero-Tolerance Law

Because Florida’s students continue to have their educational opportunities – and thus, their life chances – limited by the over-use of harsh and unfair school discipline, there is an urgent need for action, at both the state and local levels. Fortunately, schools and districts across the country have already shown the way forward, and have pursued highly-effective strategies that can serve as a model for Florida. Still Haven’t Shut Off the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Evaluating the Impact of Florida’s New Zero-Tolerance Law presents a series of recommendations that, if implemented, can reduce Florida’s dropout rate, build safer and more effective schools, limit the number of youth entering the juvenile and criminal justice systems, use the State’s law enforcement agencies more efficiently, save taxpayer dollars, and build healthier communities throughout Florida.

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
John 8:32

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