Winning the War Against At Risk Children (& saving our city)

and 63 recent car-jackings (over the last 39 days) many include vicious assaults & mostly committed by teens – kids as young as 12, puts the lie to that belief.

For decades, the vast majority of serious and violent crime has been committed by youth and young adults.  In these 63 recent car-jackings, women are beaten, one man was shot dead and another dragged as he tried to stop them from stealing his car with his wife and child inside.

During this time of pandemic and civil unrest, it’s apparent that our city is much more dangerous than it was a year ago.

What is less apparent, are the key drivers that have needed our attention for a very long time that (if addressed) could dramatically reduce the anxiety, violence and unrest in our communities.

Before, when schools, health care and public safety seemed to work, we have had little concern with how or why things work and the luxury of not paying attention to the people, programs and policies involved.

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Criminalizing Elementary School Children (policing our schools & punishment)

Federal Funding, Zero Tolerance and Inadequate Alternatives mean that more states are policing schools with armed officers. Before the 1970’s police were almost absent from elementary and junior high schools.

Today, armed officers are dealing with an escalation of violence and criminal prosecutions for children as young as 6, 7 and 8. Prosecuting kids in place of using resources to help them adapt destroys the fabric of a child’s life and achieves the exact opposite of what children need and society expects from an elementary or junior high school experience.

There are a significant number of us who believe it more important to punish bad behavior in children than it is to help them develop the skills they need to live among us. When these folks hold sway in education, the institution suffers, the child suffers, and the community gains one more troubled adult a few years later. For too long, America has led the world in crime, incarceration, violence and troubled schools. While not the only reason, treating at risk children with behavioral problems as offenders instead of troubled youth has played a big role.

The articles below are obvious examples of policing and education gone wrong. No child should have to live with this kind of institutional abuse. ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

When 14-year-old Ryan Turk cut ahead of the lunch line to grab a milk, he didn’t expect to get in trouble. He certainly didn’t plan to end up in handcuffs. But Turk, a black student at Graham Park Middle School, was arrested for disorderly conduct and petty larceny for procuring the 65-cent carton. The state of Virginia is actually prosecuting the case, which went to trial in November.

Changing the rules of the game requires federal, state, and local reforms. With little evidence that police in schools make students safer and plenty that they facilitate harm to students’ liberty and well-being, the Department of Justice should end the cops program’s SRO grants to districts. Taxpayers should not be on the hook for billions that promote unjust school conditions and put kids at greater risk of future involvement with the criminal justice system. And students should feel like they can talk to school officials when they have problems without forfeiting their constitutional rights and winding up in the back of police cars.

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America vs. the Rest of the World (how we treat children)

KARA Signature Video (4 minute) Public Service Announcement( 30 Second)   25 years ago, KARA board member David Strand went from CASA guardian ad litem volunteer to writing his PHD student thesis “NATION OUT OF STEP” comparing America to the rest of the Industrialized World in how we treat children.  At the time, we ranked…

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ACE Study, Crime & Ramsey County (reprinted from 2006)

ACE research shows a strong historical pattern of criminality in families of child delinquents. Using Cohen’s estimates, we calculate the multi-generational “multiplier effect” to be between $3.4 and $11.5 million. In these families, criminality is likely to grow exponentially.

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30.2 % of America’s Youth Arrested Before Their 23rd Birthday (25% of us are state wards & special needs people)

Add this to the fact that American youth (as young as 11) are routinely charged as adults (25% nationally) and that cities around the nation arrest extremely high percentages of their minority populations (in 2001 Hennepin County – Minneapolis MN) arrested 44% of it’s adult Black Men – no duplicate arrests/58% of those men were rearrested for a second crime within two years making Minneapolis the Jail & Prison capital of the world.

Many states have funded their prison and jail systems at far greater rates of increase than their schools, daycare, or health systems, either of which could reduce the stresses driving the extreme growth in crime and courts.

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Beat Up, Dead & Prostituted – Kids In CA’s, Florida’s Privatized Foster Care & Juvenile Systems (videos)

These videos are disturbing but accurate. Not knowing cannot help the state ward children of Florida (the password is “foster”). What we know, we can change. What we don’t know, gets worse until we do know.

Florida To Completely Privatize Juvenile Correctional Facilities. In an effort to reduce costs, Florida’s state-run residential programs for juveniles will soon be completely privatized. … About 95 percent of Florida’s youth residential facilities for underaged offenders are now privately run.

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Revisiting the Tragic Abusive Death Of Eric Dean (& the legal non requirement of “due care”)

Thank you Star Tribune and Brandon Stahl for your in depth reporting on the awful state of child protection in Pope County MN.

Today, Safe Passage for Minnesota children is reporting that Pope County will face no legal penalty for its role in the slow tortured death of 4 year old Eric Dean.  Safe Passage states that “if this case doesn’t rise to the level of malfeasance, no case ever will.”

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American Crime Costs & Statistics

Louisiana (the World’s Prison Capitol), Georgia, Mississippi, Oklahoma & several other states have incarceration rates 20 times that of incarceration rates in most other industrialized nations. The best prisons in the world release good neighbors back into the community American prisons release hardened criminals with mental health problems and an 80% change of recidivism within five years.

Federal Prisons are 131% of design capacity – 2015 18 states are over capacity. 800% increase in women in prison since 1980.

These statistics and research calculate crime in America today and its cost…

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It Didn’t Start In a Vacuum (crime – impact & statistics)

DJ Tice Star Tribune article recently made crime very real by describing his wife’s rape, his own assault and home burglary along with the awful Barry Latzer assumption that 80% of Americans could become victims of a violent crime in their lifetime.

No obfuscation here.

Crime hurts when it happens to you or someone you love.

What best should be done about crime and punishment is our national conundrum.

Damn the data, “hanging’s too good for em’ and “lock em up” our national chant for fifty years bringing us such data as;

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Hard to Watch; Immigration & Children as Political Footballs

Dropping napalm on children and families in Vietnam (PBS video) was an unforgivable evil. Thousands of small children died by napalm.

Burned alive is the most painful death anyone can suffer. Survivors live with scars and trauma that never end.

Today, my government takes helpless babies & children from parents and places them in the custody of money driven defense contractors who warehouse them in cages at vacant shopping centers by the thousands.

The American Psychological Association condemns this act as needlessly cruel threatening “the mental and physical health of both the children and their caregivers”.

*Torturing immigrant children for political reasons is a vile act and it needs to be called out. *The World Health Organization defines torture as “extended exposure to violence and deprivation”.

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It’s Enough To Make You Sick

Being involved in child protection, you see people torture their children and it is traumatizing.

It’s gets worse if you witness the impact trauma and terror have on a child in your caseload and you watch school and peer failure and how a child’s life is destined to play out.

Unhealthy children become unhealthy adults.

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National Workshop On Adult & Juvenile Female Offenders

Last year, 33 states held children and juveniles with mental illness in detention centers without any charges.

In 2001, nearly 2/3 of California local law enforcement departments did not have written guidelines governing the care of children whose sole caretaker had been arrested (Marilyn Moses, article in Police Chief, Sept 2005

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Judge Kavanaugh, The Catholic Church, Statistics & Child Sex Abuse

The miserable politics of rape at the highest level in our government are playing out today. Once more, sexual violence is in the spotlight as America’s second recent Supreme Court nominee (Kavanaugh) is being questioned about horrid behaviors of a sexual nature.

This topic has few friends. It remains under the surface until someone makes a painful accusation and the community accepts or rejects the accuser.

Our attention lately has been on the tens of million and hundreds of million dollar verdicts awarded to victims of church sanctioned child abuse (3 billion to date).

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Reported Child Sex Abuse for June 2018

2 Nodaway County men charged with child molestation, sexual abuse
Maryville Daily Forum
NODAWAY COUNTY, Mo. — Two Nodaway County men were charged on May 18 with several counts of felony child molestation and sexual abuse in …
Flag as irrelevant

Creep accused of sexually abusing 5-year-old girl may have more victims, cops ask public to help …
New York Daily News
Investigators fear he may have molested other children. They released a photo of him Wednesday and asked the public’s help finding additional …
Flag as irrelevant

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Child Death & Sex Abuse May 2018 (7) find your state here

NH parents of child who died arrested on drug charges
Boston 25 News
Following the child’s death, police executed a search warrant at 473 Hevey St. and said they found 28.1 grams of heroin, 11.8 grams of cocaine, 15.3 …
Flag as irrelevant

Day care provider enters guilty plea in baby death case
MLive.com
MUSKEGON COUNTY, MI – A day care provider has pleaded guilty to child neglect in a case involving the death of a toddler in her care at the hands of …
Flag as irrelevant

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Criminalizing Mental Illness (statistics & stories)

It is upsetting that the only significant authoritative voice speaking to the horrific practice of criminalizing mental illness is Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek.

Stanek’s Star Tribune article today paints the ugly picture of mentally ill patients not charged with any crime, locked up in a tiny, isolated, empty cell for 23 hours a day for months at a time because there is no other place for them.

HCMC downtown is seeing 800 to 1000 emergency psych visits/month, MN hospitals are turning away mental health patients and a very large percentage of people in the juvenile and criminal justice system suffer from diagnosable mental health problems.

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Prozac, Poison & Children (May 2018)

Dramatic rise in ADHD medication mishaps among kids, report finds
ABC News
Nationwide, more than 156,000 calls were placed to poison control centers for exposure to ADHD drugs among those 19 or younger between 2000 …
New study released on ADHD sheds light on rising calls of medication exposure: Experts stress … – WMBF

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Children at the Border “Torture; “extended exposure to violence and deprivation” (World Health Organization’s definition of torture)

The psychotropic medicating (Prozac, Ritalin and Zoloft type drugs) of very young children was deemed worthy of billions in civil fines for big pharmaceutical companies not long ago. Today, America is illegally drugging migrant children with psychotropics without parental consent. It is a crime.

Torture is what happens to a child separated from her mother at a U.S. boarder crossing. Torture results in trauma. Children in cages – toddlers in pens? Traumatizing children has a very real effect on a child’s developing brain, impacts mental health and can last forever. To think this government has a policy of drugging and torturing children should be a wake up call that this administration will stop at nothing to achieve a small political gain.

It’s wrong and we should all be ashamed.

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Child Welfare by State (statistics & news April 2018 (9) child death

American states are struggling to find answers for ending adverse childhood experiences (ACES) and saving at risk children by reversing the explosive growth of child abuse and neglect. Today, many state ward children are the 4th and 5th generation of abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and with serious drug, alcohol and mental health issues

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18. (American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

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Police & Lack of Coordination (thank you Safe Passage for Children)

Today’s article at Safe Passages for children makes a very serious point.

I advocated for a boy (call him Andy) over many years who was suicidal on multiple occasions. He spoke about his own violence against cops. The hatred Andy had towards police as figures of authority are common to abused children. Andy was suicidal and could have caused his own death by his actions.

When I met Andy, he was 7 years old, covered in bruises, had been left alone in the home tied to a bed for days at a time (from 4 to 7 years of age) without food or water. He was on multiple psychotropic medications for his profound mental health issues.

Several children in my CASA guardian ad Litem caseload had multiple run ins with police -some very serious. It is dangerous to the officer and the child when there is no coordination between Child Protection & Law Enforcement. All Adults are the Protectors of All Children

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Sad Stories Feb 2018 Part II (child abuse articles & statistics)

American states are struggling to find answers for ending adverse childhood experiences and saving at risk children by reversing the explosive growth of child abuse and neglect. Today, many state ward children are the 4th and 5th generation of abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and with serious drug, alcohol and mental health issues.

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18.

(American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

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