Abusing Children At Home & In School – The Life Of An Abused Child

March 7, 2010 in Crime and Courts, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy by Mike Tikkanen

Most House Republicans Vote To Allow Solitary Confinement & Restraint Devices in Schools.

The vast majority of the children we will be tying up & confining come from very troubled homes. Or, as former MN Supreme court Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz has stated, about 90% of the youth in juvenile justice have come through child protection services.

Before a child can become removed from a home through child protection services, they have lived for a long time in an abusive or neglectful home and have been tortured as defined by the World Health Organization.

It’s not the happy children that we will be restraining - it’s the three million children that are reported to child protection in America each year.

In my experience, the WHO’s definition of torture fits the life experience of a child that has been removed from an abusive home; “extended exposure to violence and deprivation” has been their life. The U.S. has no other child protection policy than the IMMINENT HARM DOCTRINE.

The link between an abused child’s past tortured life and future troubled life is clear to most of us that have lived with or worked with these damaged children long enough. It causes me great pain to see my guardian ad-Litem kids handled like mad animals (tasered, confined, beat up by under-trained staff in under-resourced detention centers)

These are the children that develop behavior problems in school, get into trouble with delinquency, juvenile justice & the court system. Without appropriate services, they are on a one way path to criminal justice, poverty, preteen pregnancy & dysfunctional lifestyles (and that is often forever).

Our schools, jails, and courts are filled with abused and neglected children.

Thirteen million prison and jail releases in the U.S. last year, & America has more crime and criminals per capita than any other nation in the world. All because we can’t stop punishing abused and neglected children.

States
that have discovered restorative justice and a therapeutic approach for youth are saving money and getting terrific results. States that continue to punish and incarcerate are feeling the burden of failure of public policy.

Children with serious behavioral problems need help getting to normal.

Most children with serious behavioral problems that don’t get help end up leading dysfunctional lives. It is far less costly to help a child get to normal than to let the child develop into a dysfunctional adult.

A good number of the children I have worked with in child protection have never had a nice day in their life, have a great need for mental health services, and do not respond well to threats or punishment.

The need for early childhood programs and mental health help is tremendous. Most states are using way to many psychotropics along with brute force and punishment against children that have already endured horrifically tortured home lives.

The A.C.E. study in Ramsey County demonstrated that about 70% of the serious and violent crime committed by youth in the county was committed by youth from under four % of the families in the county.

Our current policies of punishment instead of treating the behavior problems of children has failed and will continue to fail.

If our policies are to be measured by what they produce, it must be said that America’s politics of punishing abused and neglected children (restraint, confinement, imprisonment,
lack of a humane approach to children), are producing juvenile delinquents, preteen mothers, overcrowded prisons and unsafe cities. Internationally, we are no longer a leader in the quality of life indices that we lead in for so long.

Minneapolis Minnesota has a mental health model in its school system that could work for the nation. Missouri went from 90% recidivism in its juvenile justice system to almost 90% success in just a few years with a therapeutic and caring approach to youth.

The economics of saving children through these models is proven and our mandate to care for the weakest and most vulnerable among us has been with us since time began, yet we continue to charge eleven year old children in adult criminal court & legislate to heap more punishment on abused and neglected children.

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