Weekly Roundup (September 26, 2019)

Grown-up solutions to combat child poverty

Some communities refuse to just sit back and watch tens of thousands of children grow up in poverty — a circumstance that makes them more likely to face diminished educational and job prospects, violence, incarceration and a host of health problems that shorten life expectancy by a decade.

In southwestern Pennsylvania, numerous nonprofit organizations, foundations, government agencies, schools, businesses and individuals are working to combat the effects — and in some cases the causes — of child poverty. But:

  • We have no unified plan, goal or leadership on the issue.
  • There is no single place to go to find out who is doing what to address the problem.
  • Many measures with track records for getting kids out of poverty, or reducing its bite, have not yet been tried here.

Read more . . . 

 

Juvenile arrests in Oklahoma decline

A group of local youth gathered inside a community center Tuesday night in south Oklahoma City, where Oklahoma City police Staff Sgt. Tony Escobar and other adult mentors led them in a discussion about leadership.

Earlier in the night, Escobar dished out slices of pizza. Now, he helped the students as they split into small groups, tasked with identifying positive traits and weaknesses of famous leaders.

At the end of the exercise, Taylor Wood, volunteer coordinator, challenged the students to decide what kind of leader they want to be.

“Everything that you do, you can be a leader,” she told them. “You don’t have to be a leader that the whole world knows about. You don’t even have to get credit for being a leader, but you can be a leader in every situation. At home, among your friends, at school, if you play sports. No matter what you do, you have an opportunity to be a leader.”  Read more . . .

 

Suzann Stewart: Family Safety Center is moving the needle on intimate partner violence, sexual assault and accountability

I keep a top 10 list on my computer at the Family Safety Center. It’s not the top 10 in good things … but the bad things like access to health care, high incidences of adverse childhood experiences scores in children and adults, intimate partner and family violence, education rates, high incarceration rates etc.

Seems morbid, but it’s motivational for me with the staff and agency partners who perform above and beyond daily in our work to improve the lives and health of our most vulnerable family members and friends. It reminds me that every day our partnership is making a huge difference in changing the bad effects of those statistics for the better.

Tulsa does have a top 10 nationally recognized change agent in this partnership model of co-located multidisciplinary agencies, with three trend-changing programs moving the needle: to mitigate and eradicate family and intimate partner violence, identify and more effectively treat victims of multiple traumas and hold offenders accountable for their abuse.  Read more . . . 

Weekly Round Up (September 24, 2019)

Florida officer fired for ‘traumatic’ arrests of two 6-year-old students at school

An Orlando school resource officer who arrested two 6-year-old children on the same day last week was fired Monday amid growing outcry, officials said.

Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolón said Dennis Turner, who had been suspended after the incidents Thursday at a charter school, did not follow the department’s policy requiring approval from a supervisor for any arrest of a minor younger than 12.

“On behalf of myself and the entire Orlando Police Department, I apologize to the children involved and their families,” Rolón said during a news conference Monday. “As a grandfather of three children less than 11 years old, I can only imagine how traumatic this was for everyone involved.”  Read More

State Bar Board Takes Position Against Indiscriminate Juvenile Shackling

The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors, which represents the membership through elected seats in 16 districts, has voted unanimously to support a policy position against the indiscriminate shackling of juveniles in juvenile court.

Specifically, the State Bar now supports a no-shackling presumption but recognizes that judges would retain authority to order shackling if necessary, as a matter of safety.

“The State Bar believes the practice [of shackling juveniles] impedes the attorney-client privilege, chills juveniles’ constitutional right to due process, runs counter to the presumption of innocence, and draws into question the rehabilitative ideals of the juvenile court,” the State Bar’s adopted policy position states.  Read More

 

On any given day, more than 53,000 youth in the United States are being held in a detention center or criminal justice facility, according to the Prison Policy Initiative, a national nonprofit and non-partisan advocacy group.
Stuck in a school-to-prison pipeline, these youth are being funneled from the classroom to the courtroom to incarceration – a phenomenon that is disproportionately impacting students of color who come from economically disadvantaged families, suffer from learning and mental disabilities and languish in school systems that don’t provide sufficient resources or support, Rhode Island College Assistant Professor of Educational Studies Jeremy Benson said.
“Over the last 40 years or so, we’ve seen ideas, practices and personnel from the criminal justice system permeate our educational system – primarily in poor and working class urban schools – with profoundly harmful effects on the educational trajectories and life chances of youth of color in particular,” said Benson, whose research centers on the political economy of urban education, critical race theory and educational inequality, policing and mass incarceration

Read More

Happy Holidays for the Children in the Harris County Juvenile Detention Center

 

This holiday season, approximately 230 children spent Christmas, Hanukkah, and other respective holidays away from family and friends. This year, though, the normally cheerless surrounding of the  Harris County Juvenile Detention Center was brightened by the effective efforts of local organizations and donors to supply special holiday stocking stuffers for the kids  to arrange into “gifts” to give each other. The donations included hygiene kits, holiday cards, socks, candy, and snacks. The efforts helped remind Harris County Detention Center children they are not forgotten and to provide a sense of community support.

This time of year we can remember impulsive childhood choices don’t define the future for kids. With all the children and youth needing advocates, support, and such urgent help, it can be hard to know where to start. But these donors made the choice to start by providing holiday cheer. The words of Mother Theresa ring true: “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” If we do what we can, add our drops together, it can and will make a difference during the holidays and beyond.

Thank you to the following donors for contributing to the holiday bags for the Juvenile Detention Center this holiday season:

The Center for Children, Law, & Policy, Members of Congregation Beth Yeshurun, Affiliates of Interfaith Ministries, American Heritage Girls Troop 471, Katherine Brem, Alex Hunt, Gavriella Roisman, Ellen Marrus, Honolulu Stake Punahou Prep. and Kaimaki Seminary, and those donors who wish to remain anonymous.

A few shots of volunteer organizations donating to this years efforts: