The Development School Partnership: Interrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline

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“I would just like to say that one of the major social determinants of health and wellbeing is education, and if we can put students who are at risk of not getting an education on a trajectory of higher education vs. the criminal justice system, I think it benefits us as a nation. The long term consequences of young African American males not getting an education affects family life, it affects their health, it affects any number of other areas. . .”

Dr. Charnetta Gadling-Cole &
Dr. Cathy McElderry

In this episode, our guests discuss the Development School Partnership, a collaborative effort and intervention to interrupt the school-to-prison pipeline. By offering wraparound services to students in need of comprehensive behavioral health services, the project hopes to create strong support systems for vulnerable students at risk of not completing their education.

Charnetta Gadling-Cole, PhD, is the assistant director for the Alabama A&M University Center for Global Social Service Research and was one of its founding members. She received her PhD from Howard University and MSW from the University of South Carolina. Dr. Gadling-Cole has over 15 years of national and international experience in program/policy development and grant-writing. In her time as a researcher, she has been appointed as a scientist in five centers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and was the first appointed social work-disciplined scientist for the UAB Center for AIDS Research. Lastly, she has implemented numerous family group conference models for Medicaid-reimbursed intensive family interventions programs.

Cathy McElderry PhD, MPH, LCSW, is associate professor and chair of the Department of Social Work at Southeast Missouri State University. Dr. McElderry earned her PhD in social work from the University of Alabama, her MSW from Clark Atlanta University, and her MPH from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Dr. McElderry’s research focuses on social determinants of health and well-being; she has a particular interest in advancing and understanding of the role of social and economic disparities in initiating, shaping, and contributing to problematic outcomes such as substance abuse, poverty, poor academic achievement, and other social issues. Dr. McElderry is a deputy editor for the Journal of Gender, Information and Development in Africa. In the field, she has more than 15 years of experience in health and mental health practice.

Interviewer: Annahita Ball, PhD

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