America’s prison population is the largest of all advanced nations statistically and numerically; We are 5% of the world’s population & 25% of the world’s prison population.
Generational child abuse destroys not just the childhood & life chances of one more boy or girl but the lives of the people in her/his life (impacting taxpayers, teachers, law enforcement and crime victims).
This unbroken chain of teen and preteen moms without parenting skills, drug problems and violent boyfriends begins the next generation of trauma and domestic violence that repeats until the community steps in to interrupt the abuse and save and heal a child.
80% of American youth aging out of foster care lead dysfunctional lives.
Where other advanced nations create safety nets for struggling families, we build giant jail and prison systems that have been filled to capacity for decades along with incongruous realities like;
- Illinois Cook County Jail & Prison System is the largest mental health facility in the nation.
- About 60% of incarcerated juveniles have diagnosable mental health issues and half of that number suffer from chronic, multiple and serious diagnosis.
- Over 30% of American youth are arrested by their 23rd birthday
- Our use of psychotropic medications on very young children has no peer in the industrialized world. In 2014 America forced 20,000 one and two year old children onto Prozac like drugs – the same year big pharma was fined billions for illegally selling these drugs to pediatricians for use on very young children. This CASA guardian ad Litem worked with many young children forced onto these drugs in child protection – about a third of American State Ward Children are forced onto these drugs today. They do cause suicidal ideation (it’s written on each package).
- Due to poverty and the high costs of daycare, American children suffer suicide, high rates of danger and poor care in unregulated group homes and violence from drunk uncle/boyfriend care. Today, instead of affordable daycare and early childhood programs for struggling families we have overburdened foster care/group home systems.
- Over 2.5 million children and adolescents have been born to 17 year old …and younger girls. There were almost 250,000 births to 15 -19 year old’s in 2012 and 89% of those births were to single mothers.
- in many states, single Parents pay over 50% of their income for infant center care and married parents with 2 children pay over 100% of their household income for center based care (or they would if they could make it work). Minnesotans pay over 15 thousand dollars for infant care (when public college tuition is 11 thousand dollars.
- One in three American children will be reported to child protective services by his/her 18th birthday
KARA has been reporting and speaking on critical issues impacting abused and neglected children for many years.
this article submitted by long time CASA guardian ad Litem Mike Tikkanen
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