The Race To Incarcerate Women (this does not bode well for children)

Why a Prison Birth Project?
Since 1977, the female prison population has increased by 872% (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2008). Over 85% of the women in prison were the primary caregivers to their children before incarceration, and approximately 25% of women in prison have either given birth at some point during the year prior to or are pregnant at the time of their arrest (U.S. Department of Justice).These women have little access to services or rehabilitation related to birth preparation and parenting while in prison.
Labor, delivery, and birth rarely involves family, friends, or support, and most often consists of the woman being searched, shackled, and taken to a hospital under the watch of guards. Their babies are taken away from them soon afterwards. Some mothers will not see their children again then until their release; some may never see them again. These women experience shame, powerlessness, and fear during labor, and are left exposed and likely to suffer to post‐partum depression, life‐long parent‐child attachment issues, and an overwhelming insecurity in their ability to be a successful parent.

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The Problem With Accommodating Hate (& hateful people)

Wanting to get along is a blessing and a curse.

Most of us lean towards accommodation and away from conflict.

We avoid conflict and accept behaviors & beliefs in others that stretch us to our limits. Caring friends may argue or give guidance to hateful people but once the poison of hatred and bigotry has been ingested, tepid arguments and kind suggestions just don’t work.

The failure of a “reasoning” strategy becomes evident when hundreds or thousands of hateful mean spirited racist people gather to spread their vile and pernicious message in the public square. Poisoning the people that talk to and the people they hate, great fear is spread and great harm is done.

Can you imagine what it was like for the five year-olds on the buses carrying only women and children from Central America when they were attacked by hate groups in Arizona and California screaming obscenities and “send them back”?

What will the six year-olds of Charlottesville learn in their first year of schooling about the screaming haters that filled their streets and televisions with maniacal hate mongering?

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The Power of Coping Skills & Life Without Them

A sad personal email this morning from a grieving mother has caused me to reflect on friends who ended their own lives and the four, five and six year old children I have known, or known about, who tried or succeeded at suicide.

My cousin Ron Mahla (Actor and brilliant person) and my dear friend Tommy Garretson (Vietnam War Vet with a winning smile and great sense of humor) were both gentle and bright souls that were squeezed to death by sadness and a growing inability to cope with their lives.

In both deaths, I’m almost certain that neither told anyone or thought to get help to cope with the events in their lives (there were no signs of impending suicide).

Coping skills are everything. Have them and we can make it – without them, we are at risk.

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The Only Nation in the Developed World (American Exceptionalism)

Young families in the U.S. don’t have any mandated maternity leave when the new baby arrives (we are the only developed nation in the world to not offer paid leave to new parents). Families and babies really do suffer because of it.
There is almost no paid paternity leave for fathers in America either (almost all of the developed world – and about half of the 167 nations tracked by the International Labor Organization, offer paternity leave to dads).

American exceptionalism has become the opposite of what we want it to be – especially when it comes to young families and children. We talk a big game, but we don’t really value other people’s children.

All adults are the protectors of all children – communities will be safer & happier when this becomes a truism.

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The Most Important Child Friendly Sites of This Week

http://acestoohigh.com/ Read a few of these smart and powerful articles and you will know more about at risk children’s issues than anyone on your block.

http://safepassagemn.com/landing-page.html This video will be the best six minutes you can spend this week.

We are all in this together. Let’s all pull in the right direction (pro child) Support KARA’s TPT documentary project

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The Longest Day

From a legal perspective the most under-protected persons in America are sexually abused children.

One study indicated that 11% of judges and 51% of prosecuting attorneys admitted that they had deliberately confused the child (witness) during the proceedings.

What this means in practice, is that the nine-year old girl sitting on the stand in the courtroom is being bullied by intense and deliberately confusing cross-examination about her abuse.

Everyone at the sysmposium agreed that children are not mentally capable of undergoing adult type cross examination, but it is clear that this still happens in many cases.

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The Laws We Live By

George Zimmerman, If not prosecuted in Florida for killing 14 year old Trayvon Martin, opens a whole new world of hate, violence, & death for America’s children.

Similar to Brazilian police hatefully murdering street children last year, American vigilantes can now murder at will the children they deem not fit to live. The harm will fall mostly on poor Blacks & Hispanics if history is an indicator.

Now that virtually anyone can conceal and carry a gun on the street in America, the fact that a self-defense claim works in all instances means that murder is a much easier crime to commit.

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The Language of Child Abuse (& why it is critical)

It hurts me to hear discussions of child abuse and neglect in the language of business that fails to convey the horror of the thing that was done.

Tiny defenseless human beings in terrifying circumstances written and talked about as if highways or funding issues are the issue.

Language is critical to a clear picture of what happened.

When we don’t talk openly about a terrible thing it just does not exist (or it’s not terrible or not a problem).

Too much of the time we use words that mask painful things because we are uncomfortable speaking about them. hout food or water.

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The Importance of Performance Measures (from Safe Passage for Children)

  From Safe Passage for Children today; We often emphasize the importance of measuring outcomes for children. But performance measures are important too. They tell us current information about program operations. The metrics currently on the Department of Human Services’ Dashboard Report don’t cover enough parts of the system to give a well-rounded picture. However…

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The Impact of Trauma and Neglect on the Developing Child: Focus on Youth in the Juvenile Justice System


Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D.
ChildTrauma Academy

When: Thursday, June 17th
Registration: 8:30 a.m.
Training: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Mystic Mystice Lake Casino, Shakopee MN
Cost: $40 Standard, $30 JJC Community Member, $30 Student Rate
Scholarships available

Targeted Audience: Policy makers, professionals and practitioners in education, the court system, law enforcement, corrections, human services, community-based organizations, mental and chemical health, parents, youth, advocates, elected officials and others.

Presenter:
Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D. is the Senior Fellow of the ChildTrauma Academy, a not-for-profit organization based in Houston that promotes innovations in service, research and education in child maltreatment and childhood trauma (www.ChildTraumaAcademy.org). Dr. Perry is the author with Maia Szalavitz of The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing, a book based on his work with maltreated children. Over the last twenty years, Dr. Perry has been an active teacher, clinician and researcher in children’s mental health and the neurosciences holding a variety academic positions.

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The Holocaust of Innocence Tour and Documentary

The National Holocaust of Innocence Tour and Documentary/Research Project August 1, 2012, we will be kicking off from Shreveport, Louisiana and will end after May 25, 2013 Washington D.C. two day Rally and Million Survivor March, at the Jefferson Memorial. We will tour the U.S. prevention and education of child sexual advocating prevention of child sexual assault, researching the current needs of our communities, and producing a film documentary of the process. The Holocaust of Innocence is the time someone is sexually assaulted, their lives are never the same, causing them to have trust and emotional issues the rest of their lifetime. http:// theholocaustofinnocence.blogspot.com/

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The Ghost of Christmas Past (the value of healthy children)

If we knew the costs abused children carry with them through a lifetime and the cost of multiple generations of abused children there would be

They proved that by investing in early childhood programs children became much more likely to succeed in school and lead a productive life. This research was the most practical approach to the economics of childhood development this nation has ever seen.

KARA believes that this federal reserve study has not had the impact it should have had because;

We don’t respond to how much money is saved as powerfully as we do to how much things cost,
Almost no one knows the short or long term costs abused children carry with them through a lifetime or,
The cost of multiple generations of abused children

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The Ghost Of Christmas Future

TAt a Governor’s Task Force Oversight Meeting (on Child Protection in MN in 2014) the head of Hennepin County Commissioners Jan Callison showed genuine anger and concern when she found out* that Social workers weren’t available on weekends or evenings for abused and neglected children and that she directed the department to “fix it”.

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The Election & Children (from Safe Passages For Children of Minnesota)

This recent piece from Safe Passages for Children of Minnesota paints a more positive picture for Minnesota’s at risk children than can be seen in the rest of the nation.

It’s good to know that MN politicians on both sides of the isle care about the youngest and most vulnerable among us. They recognize that healthy children become healthy adults creating a safe and productive community.

The rest of the nation’s children are at risk as attacks on healthcare and education will dismantle working programs and the well-being of millions of America’s poorest and youngest citizens.

Politicians blaming educators and other service providers replace objective discussions about what it takes to improve safety nets and troubled institutions. It hurts me to see just how quickly children’s services become wasted money that some states have been all too ready to reduce for political benefits.

Thank you Minnesota legislators for doing the right thing. Your critical thinking skills and the ethical standards you have maintained to accomplish so many of the recommendations from the Governor’s Task Force on Child Protection Services and Mental Health will benefit this state for decades to come.

As the holiday season approaches, let’s all be grateful for the hard work of these two task forces (and the people that volunteered to staff them) and the results they have accomplished this year.

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The Economics of Mental Illness (from KARA 2005)

Treating mental health issues in children is far more effective than letting the problems grow into adulthood, where the evidence clearly indicates a continued social failure and institutional dependence (whether prison, hospital, or state sponsored programs) for people denied help in their youth.

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