Episode 25 – Back to School: Exploring the School to Prison Pipeline





On this episode of The Justice Rap Up, host Jonathan Rapping is examining the school to prison pipeline. He will take a deep dive into how certain policies and behaviors attribute to the funneling of Black and brown children into our criminal legal system. This week he spoke with author and professor at Georgetown University Law Center, Kristin Henning. Ms. Henning continuously educates the masses about the criminalization of Black and brown children. She is best known for her work in juvenile defense and for her book, The Rage of Innocence: How America Criminalizes Black Youth. Listen up as they discuss what implicit bias means, solutions to improve our society, and how we can be advocates for children currently in custody.





KRISTIN HENNING is a nationally recognized advocate, author, trainer, and consultant on the intersection of race, adolescence, and the “policing” of Black youth. She is the Blume Professor of Law and Director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic and Initiative at Georgetown Law and was previously the Lead Attorney of the Juvenile Unit at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. Kris has been representing children accused of crime for more than twenty-six years and is the co-founder of a number of initiatives to combat racial injustice in the juvenile and criminal legal systems, including the Ambassadors for Racial Justice program and a Racial Justice Toolkit for youth defenders.

Kris also trains state actors across the country on the impact of racial bias on youth in the courts and has received several awards, including the 2021 Leadership Prize from the Juvenile Law Center and the 2022 Women of Distinction Award from the American Association of University Women. Kris has written many articles and other publications advocating for reform in the juvenile legal system.

Her new book, The Rage of Innocence: How America Criminalizes Black Youth (Pantheon/Penguin Random House, 2021) has received rave reviews in the Washington Post and New York Times Book Review.



  • What is the school to prison pipeline?
  • What does implicit bias mean?
  • How can public defenders be advocates for juvenile rights?

Gideon’s Promise: The Podcast can be found on Apple PodcastsSpotifySoundCloud,  YouTube and on the Gideon’s Promise website.



Gideon’s Promise: A Public Defender Movement to Transform Criminal Justice (2020) by Jonathan Rapping.

The Rage of Innocence: How America Criminalizes Black Youth  (2021) by Kristin Henning.