Mirrored Repressions: Students and Inmates in a Colonial Landscape

  • Marisol Ruiz Humboldt State University
  • Dulcinea Lara New Mexico State University, Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice.
  • Dana Greene
Keywords: Althusser, Repressive State Apparatuses, Juvenile Justice, Prisons, Social Justice, Colonialism, School to Prison Pipeline


In this essay we use Althusser as our theoretical framework in order to show how schools are no longer ideological state apparatus (ISA) but repressive state apparatus (RSA). In order to show this we give a brief historical timeline.  Then we aesthetically compare aesthetic photographs of schools and prisons to show how schools have become RSAs .  In addition we compare school rules and prison rules to show how schools have become RSAs..  We conclude that schools were constructed for children and youth to be part of the colonial project.  Hence schools are doing exactly what they were intended to do.

Author Biography

Marisol Ruiz, Humboldt State University

Marisol Ruiz is an Assistant Professor at Humboldt State University in the School of Education.  She earned her Ph. D. in Language Literacy and Culture, emphasis in Educational Thought and Cultural Studies from the University of New Mexico. Dr. Ruiz specializes in Critical Bilingual/TESOL Education, which includes language education, biliteracy, multiliteracy, multicultural education, teacher education, critical pedagogy, participatory action research, teacher action research, and youth social movements. Dr. Ruiz’s research focus is on Critical Social Justice Bilingual / TESOL Pedagogies that lead to youth organizing, self- determination, empowerment and concientizacion.