A Race Conscious Pedagogy: Correctional Educators and Creative Resistance inside California Juvenile Detention Facilities

  • Jerry Flores


The United States leads all advanced nations in rates of incarceration with a total of 2.3 million inmates. Although most prisoners are adults, rates of juvenile incarceration are equally high. Most scholars overlook the large amounts of young people who attend schools behind bars. This article discusses how teachers in three juvenile detention facilities in southern California adopt a race conscious pedagogy. This teaching approach allows educators to provide incarcerated students with resources unavailable to them in their own communities. Through semi-structured interviews and participant observation, I took an in-depth look into the teaching techniques used in these facilities. My results indicate that teachers in correctional classrooms are adopting a race conscious pedagogy that allows them to participate in “creative resistance” inside of institutions of confinement.