U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Exclusionary Discipline and School Crime: Do Suspensions Make Schools Safer?

NCJ Number
Education and Urban Society Volume: 54 Issue: 7 Dated: 2022 Pages: 797-822
Date Published
26 pages

This study assesses the effectiveness of suspensions in improving school safety.


This study uses longitudinal data from a large, urban school district in California to assess whether the use of suspensions improves school safety in the following school year. In general, the findings demonstrate that changes in suspension rates do not impact school crime rates or the number of student offenders in the following school year. However, increasing suspension rates for violent incidents significantly reduces the minor crime rate. Implications for policy are provided in light of these results. The practice of temporarily removing students from school as a form of punishment (i.e., suspensions) remains quite common. Additional analyses by student race and ethnicity are included to examine whether disproportionately punishing minority students can be partially justified by a reduction in the school crime rate. The number of student offenders, rather than the number of criminal incidents, is also investigated in relation to school suspensions. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: January 1, 2022