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The Institutional Maze: Youth, Schools, and Jails in Hawaiʻi

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Title:The Institutional Maze: Youth, Schools, and Jails in Hawaiʻi
Authors:King, Sanna
Contributors:Johnson, David T. (advisor)
Sociology (department)
Ethnic studies
Colonial Criminology
show 4 moreFeminist Criminology
Juvenile Justice
School-to-Prison Pipeline
Youth Punishment
show less
Date Issued:2020
Publisher:University of Hawai'i at Manoa
This study focuses on the connections between public schools and the juvenile justice system in Hawaiʻi. It argues that there is a dynamic relationship between public schools and youth punishment in Hawaiʻi that is evident in a multi-institutional process that I call an institutional maze. The findings of this study also illustrate the resiliency and the agency of teens in Hawaiʻi as they respond to the structural violence of contemporary institutions of control. In addition, the findings demonstrate that teens’ ability to escape or avoid institutional control was not only related to support and resiliency, but also to luck – the chance of not getting caught by social control and institutional agents (parents, teachers, counselors, or law enforcement).
To explore the complexity of the relationship between education and youth punishment in Hawaiʻi, I conducted a five-year ethnography between January 2012 and October 2017 on the island of Oʻahu in Hawai’i. I examined the experiences of youth at a high school group-counseling program, teens in a juvenile justice program, adults who had experiences in the juvenile justice system, and community stakeholders who worked with or advocated for youth in Hawaiʻi. My study explores the multiple processes and consequences of youth punishment, especially for those who move between schools and institutions of social control in the institutional maze. The research analyzes the role of racialization and patriarchy in the process of punishment in the institutional maze for marginalized groups in Hawaiʻi. Furthermore, the study shows that colonialism and the ideals of the modern patriarchal nation-state in Hawaiʻi continue to shape the lives of youth through coercion and control and through the interactions of educational, punishment, and legal institutions. My findings contribute to intersectional scholarship on racialization, gender, class, and criminality in the experiences of youth who are navigating the institutional maze. This research also shows the complexity of youth punishment and discipline processes, and it demonstrates the importance of support services (such as creative writing and counseling programs) in assisting youth in their identity formation and in building agency and resiliency in the context of personal hardship and institutions of social control.
Pages/Duration:222 pages
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Sociology

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