What Is It We Don’t Understand about fostering conditions almost ensuring criminality

January 14, 2012 in Crime and Courts, education, Public Policy by Mike Tikkanen

- which guarantees a public outcry for more police & prisons, acting stupid when our streets turn dangerous, and so surprised when our schools fail because these children are now in their 4th, 5th, & 6th generation of dysfunctional families with terrible behavior problems that make classroom performance almost impossible (think Prozac, Ritalin, Zoloft)?

Attorney, successful businessman, & ACLU president Vance Opperman gave a spirited and informative talk at the Stone Arch DFL meeting in Minneapolis this morning.  He is a very smart and insightful fellow with a terrific grasp of so many critical issues, but not this one.

Unfortunately, like 99% of the nation, he has very little comprehension of why America has 25% of the world’s prison population, charges 25% of juvenile justice youth in adult criminal court, and is the world leader with five to ten times the murder and crime rates of any other *industrialized nation (for many years now).

On the plus side, Vance did speak to the African American Men’s Study & the importance of the institutionalized racist fact that 50% of Black Men are either in prison, on the way to prison, or on parole.

But when I asked him a question about how to solve the conundrum of preteen moms and adolescent felons, he said he was not very familiar with the issues.

I had hoped that Senator Amy Klobuchar would back me up.  She was in the audience and had worked in juvenile court when I was a guardian ad-Litem and she saw what I saw when she was a public defense lawyer in the court system that is child protection in our community.

Senator Klobuchar was in the Juvenile Court system when MN Supreme Court Chief Justice stated that 90% of the youth in Juvenile justice had come through Child Protective Services & the same time Hennepin County arrested 44% of the adult Black Men (2001, with no duplicate arrests).  Google “Rich Stanek Resigns” to find out more about how the appointed Police Commissioner made that happen.

Unfortunately, I did not get to ask the question about preteen mom’s (Industrialized World’s Leader) and STD’s (another World Leading category for America).

If communities were to foster conditions that lead to healthy children; our streets would be safer, more kids would graduate, we’d save money on police, prisons, and insurance.  It would also make for a happier and more knowledgeable citizenry, save tax dollars, and it would be the right thing to do.

* there are 24 other industrialized nations with great wealth and advanced infrastructures that the U.S. has compared itself to for many years.  Recently, due to America’s poor rankings, some journalists have begun comparing this nation to third world and emerging economies.


Please send me related stories.

Download the Amazon Kindle Version of our Invisible Children Ebook for 2.99 (support KARA)

Support KARA’s effort to stop punishing children; sponsor a conversation in your community (invite me to speak at your conference) / Buy our book or donate Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/KidsAtRisk