Tag Archive for rehabilitation

South Dakota, Which Used to Lock up Youths at the Highest Rate, is Now Rolling Out Statewide a Successful Juvenile Detention Alternatives Program

Map of USA with South Dakota highlighted

Map of USA with South Dakota highlighted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A program in two South Dakota counties to help juvenile offenders stay out of detention is poised to expand statewide. South Dakota’s two-year-old Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) provides substitutes for detention. Rather than being locked up for offenders who qualify can opt for such measures as daily reporting or electronic monitoring.

Since JDAI was introduced in them, Pennington and Minehaha counties have enjoyed reductions in the average number of youngsters in their county detention centers by more than half.

Recently the state court system accepted a $100,000 grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation to fund a statewide program coordinator, and the agency intends to ask legislators to make the position permanent. Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s administration and the state court system support the shift in thinking on juvenile justice, and expansion of JDAI statewide.

Jim Seward, the governor’s attorney and an architect of the adult criminal justice reform passed by lawmakers earlier this year said:

We support the concept of detention alternatives, and we’ve cooperated with the transition, knowing this would be going statewide.

Officials say the program’s goals of trimming the number of youths in lockup and reducing incidents of juvenile crime through the use of less-restrictive alternatives is a model that can be valuable throughout the state.

South Dakota state court administrator Greg Sattizahn said:

We’re going to use this grant to take it statewide, because the successes in Minnehaha and Pennington counties have been significant.

The shift toward alternatives to juvenile incarceration is particularly significant in light of the state’s history. South Dakota has been re-evaluating its juvenile programs for years, since the death of 14-year-old Gina Score at a Department of Corrections boot camp prompted the creation of a corrections monitor for the state.

Change has not come quickly, however. In 2006, the Casey foundation said that South Dakota locked up youth at a higher rate than any other US state.

The JDAI concept turns on the evidence-based theory that detention can be reduced without increasing juvenile crime. Now that Minnehaha and Pennington counties have seen that happen, prosecutors statewide are more likely to accept the program.

 

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Some Programs Help Mothers in Prison Increase Contact With their Children, But Too Many Prisons Have No Such Programs.

Prison Cell

Prison Cell (Photo credit: danielkoehlersfotos)

When a mother is arrested, there is no specific public policy or routine process to coordinate what happens to her children, even immediately after childbirth. Many women in prison believe that separation from their children is the most difficult part of their punishment.

Although six percent of women are pregnant when they enter prison, most states make no special arrangements for the care of newborns. Pregnant inmates are often required to be shackled while giving birth, and after delivery mothers and babies are sometimes separated within a few hours. The infant is then sent to live with a family member or is placed in the foster care system.

Extended families usually assume childcare responsibilities, though many states don’t recognize family relations as legitimate foster care and deny them financial support and social services. Ten percent of children with mothers in prison are sent to foster homes, while the majority of these children live with grandparents. The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 will certainly send even more children into foster care in the future, as it allows courts to terminate parental rights if a child is in foster care for 15 months out of any 22-month period.

Dana Simas, spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says:

Women who give birth in prison usually have to hand over their newborn to a relative or for adoption within 48 hours, or whenever the doctor releases her from the hospital.

That narrow window deprives new mothers of the option of breastfeeding their babies, says Karen van de Laat, the southern California regional director for Get on the Bus, a group that organized a special Mother’s Day visit to a women’s prison for 240 kids this year. She says:

Being able to hug your mom should be a right. Some of these kids would rather live here with their mom than go home. Most of the women in this prison are drug offenders or have been incarcerated for check or welfare fraud.

Nearly 900,000 youngsters in California have a parent in the criminal justice system, comprising nearly ten percent of California’s children.

A child’s chances of delinquency increase dramatically when visits to their incarcerated parents are denied. Kids with incarcerated mothers are more likely to wet their beds, do poorly in school and refuse to eat, studies show. These children often experience financial hardship, the shame and social stigma that prison carries, loss of emotional support and fear for their mother’s safety. Children with imprisoned parents are at increased risk for poor academic performance, truancy, dropping out of school, gang involvement, early pregnancy, drug abuse and delinquency. These at-risk kids are most often overlooked by mainstream children’s advocates.

The female prison population has exploded in the past 20 years, mainly due to mandatory-sentencing laws for drug offenses. Three times the number of women have been put behind bars in the last 10 years, over 75 percent of whom have children. Most of these inmates are young, unmarried women of color with few job skills and significant substance abuse problems.

According to a recent article, children of incarcerated parents differ from their peers in three main ways: inadequate quality of care, mainly due to poverty; lack of family support; and enduring childhood trauma.

Sadly, prisons are most often located in remote rural areas and are inaccessible to families without cars. An incarcerated woman is usually much further away from her home and is therefore much harder to visit, making the separation even more agonizing for both parent and child. Sixty percent of parents in California state prisons are held over 100 miles from their children, making visits impossible for many.

Too little attention has been paid to the plight of children with incarcerated parents, so too little is known about how to assist them. There is no procedure or policy to inquire about dependent children when a mother is arrested. If a child is persistently truant in school, there is no protocol to consider the disruption that maternal imprisonment causes at home. If a child is in the care of family services, too little about their emotional history is explored before they are placed in foster care. So there is a gap in policy and in routine communication between the public agencies established to protect all innocent children.

Fortunately, some states have begun to acknowledge the importance of mother-child relationships by introducing pioneering programs. In a few U.S. cities, the Girl Scouts Beyond Bars program brings mothers and daughters together in jail or prison, two Saturdays each month. Mothers spend supervised time working with their daughters on troop projects, and discuss issues such as avoiding drug abuse, coping with family crises and preventing teenage pregnancy.

Family Foundations, is a community-based residential drug treatment program based in Santa Fe Springs, California, where female inmates live in a converted school building with their children up to the age of six. The Mothers With Infants Together program allows eligible pregnant offenders to reside in a community-based program for two months prior to delivery and three months after delivery, thereby empowering women to participate in prenatal and postnatal programs on childbirth, parenting and family support skills programs.

The Mothers and Children Together program in St. Louis provides cost-free bus rides to prison four times a year for families without transportation. They also organize former inmates and volunteers to lobby at the state capital towards the improvement of visiting opportunities, and they hold support groups for recently released mothers, children and caregivers. New York’s Bedford Hills Correctional Facility opened the nation’s first nursery prison 100 years ago and continues to offer a range of services to inmates and their children, including a well-equipped playroom that is open all year. Run by Catholic Charities, it is designed to teach women parenting and life skills through classes and by allowing them to receive visits from their children as often as possible in a nurturing atmosphere. Only ten percent of women who successfully completed the program returned to prison, in contrast to 52 percent of inmates overall.

Inmates who do not receive child visits are six times more likely to be re-offenders. Simas says:

We encourage visiting and we try to make it as positive an experience as possible. We understand that family relationships are a big contribution to someone’s successful rehabilitation. Unfortunately, they are still incarcerated, so there are safety measures we need to follow, but we try to make it as family-friendly as possible.

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Mississippi Juvenile Center and Animal Shelter Program Teaches Responsibility to Inmates and Helps Pooches Adapt to People and Find Good Homes

Dog at animal shelter

Dog at animal shelter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dogs and youngsters at Rankin County, Mississippi’s Juvenile Justice Center leave the facility readier for the world. They get rehabilitated together via the Rankin County Sheriff Department’s Paws for a Cause, a partnership between the county’s animal shelter and juvenile justice center. Since it began about a year ago, Sergeant Ken Sullivan said pet lovers have adopted 22 dogs from the program.

Sullivan said their mission is simple:

It’s about helping the children as much as the dogs. We want to find the dogs a good home and help the children, too, teaching them responsibility and compassion.

Paws for a Cause first chooses dogs from the animal shelter in Brandon that they think will be best for the program. The decision isn’t based on size or breed, but on behavior. He said they wouldn’t expose the juveniles to an overly aggressive dog.

“We have brought some out here that were terrified of people, but once they come out here and are around the children for a couple of weeks they were fine,” Sullivan said.

The dogs are next taken to the veterinarian to get vaccinated, spayed or neutered. After all of their health records are updated, they go the juvenile justice center in Pelahatchie, here they are introduced to their new caretakers.

Michelle Rhodes, the juvenile administrator at the center said because the kids enjoy working with the dogs so much, they use the program as an incentive for good behavior:

We try to help youngsters be successful when they leave here, and this has worked really well. We have kids who come in that are very mad or non- compliant. One kid came in and he was fussin’ and cussin’ officers out. We had a little dog in the detention area and the dog just kind of put himself up in the cell. The boy saw him and immediately his whole attitude changed. A dog doesn’t care what the child has done; he doesn’t judge. It’s been very therapeutic for a lot of our kids here.

Whenever the dogs aren’t roaming around outside, they stay in the center’s common area. The youngsters are responsible for feeding, cleaning and making sure the dogs’ water bowls are clean and filled. This program is completely self-funded, since everything was either donated or given at cost. Local businesses donate food, the cages and kennels, Brandon High School’s shop class constructed a metal cover to shade the kennels from rain and sun, and many community members have donated time and supplies.

The adoption process is simple. Potential owners can go to the Rankin County Juvenile Justice Center, meet the dogs, fill out an adoption form, pay the adoption fee and leave with a new pal. The fee is based on the cost of the veterinary services the dog receives; everything is non-profit.

“The kids get attached to the pets, but they understand that this is good for the pets to find a new home,” Sullivan said.

While dog personality is important, according to Puppy Toob, [PLEASE LINK TO: http://puppytoob.com/dog-breeds/top-ten-dogs-for-children/9/] the  best dog breeds (not aggressive) for youngsters are: beagle, bull terrier, collie, Newfoundland, Vizsla, Irish setter, poodle, Labrador retriever and Golden retriever.

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Zero Tolerance: Prioritizing Incarceration Over Education

prison

prison (Photo credit: :D ar.)

Zero-tolerance policies have been incarcerating children for minor offenses since the 1980′s. Intended to reduce crime, they have instead undermined the effectiveness of our schools, while costing taxpayers dearly in terms of economic development.

These are the findings of a new report on one of the nation’s worst-case states: Mississippi. “Handcuffs on Success: The Extreme School Discipline Crisis in Mississippi Public Schools (pdf),” was issued jointly by the ACLU of Mississippi, the Mississippi State Conference NAACP and the Mississippi Coalition for the Prevention of Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Advancement Project.

In the report we get a solid look at the infamous school-to-prison pipeline that Mississippi has become infamous for over the years. Students, particularly students of color, are remanded to the police for infractions such as violating dress code or “defiance”.

The zero-tolerance policies simply make it easy to put a kid into the system. Once that has occurred, it is incredibly easy to incarcerate them over the smallest things, things generally accepted as normal for teens of any race.

The Jackson Free Press enumerates the fiscal costs of this misguided approach:

Harsh, unwarranted discipline of children results in huge costs for Mississippi taxpayers. Funding for prisons has increased 166 percent from 1990 to 2007, while funding for public schools continues to decline year after year. ‘Thus, in fiscal terms, the State is prioritizing incarceration over education,’ the report states. Costs of guards, security equipment, court costs and the cost of running alternative schools is just the tip of the financial iceberg to Mississippi. The long-term cost of kids dropping out of school–often the result of harsh disciplinary practices–is far greater.

From lost tax revenue to higher public-health, public-assistance and criminal-justice costs, the cost ‘is likely tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars every year,’ the report states. ‘Economists have estimated that each student who graduates from high school, on average, generates economic benefits to the public sector of $209,100 over her or his lifetime. Thus, the more than 16,000 members of every Mississippi 9th-grade class who fail to graduate on time cost the state (more than) $3 billion.’

It has always been a recurring theme in our work that it is more expensive to do nothing. It is a truism supported by more research every day. As demonstrated above, it is far more expensive to the American taxpayers who pick up the tab, as well as being expensive in lives and lost potential. No matter how you look at it, the state of juvenile justice in Mississippi is an albatross around the neck of everyone in the state.

Let’s close with an infographic. Visual illustrations can often communicate a situation when mere words fail to do so adequately. With that thought in mind, I’d like to leave you with this comparison of our national spending on education vs incarceration.

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PAWS- Pairing Achievement with Service

doggie paws

doggie paws (Photo credit: whatchumean)

One subject I would like to see come up more often when we discuss juvenile justice is the rehabilitative use of animals. I’ve written before about programs that bring in animals to socialize inmates and teach them responsibility, I think they are important.

Having to care for an animal provides emotional support at the same time it teaches discipline – both essential elements for getting kids out of the cyclical behavior patterns that keep them behind bars. The Austin Statesman reports on the program:

Dog and girl are part of a little-known pet adoption program that celebrates its third anniversary this month. PAWS, or Pairing Achievement with Service, operates entirely within the tall security fences at the Ron Jackson Juvenile Corrections Complex in this West Texas city.
Officials say the program, the only one like it in the Texas Juvenile Justice Department’s six lockups, so far has helped turn around the lives of 41 lawbreaking teen girls and saved 67 dogs from a likely fate of being euthanized.

In all, eight offenders of the 97 at the state’s only lockup for girls participate in the 12-week therapeutic program that April Jameson, the facility’s interim superintendent, said has the lowest rates for misbehavior of any type. “We really don’t have any problems in the PAWS dorm,” she said.

Holli Fenton, a dog lover (she has six) who is the dorm supervisor and overseer of the program, said both the girls and the dogs are carefully screened for compatibility before they can participate. The dogs live in cages in each girl’s cell-like room, and the girls are responsible for feeding, grooming, exercising and training the canines for adoption. They even do a “re-entry” plan for their dog, Fenton said.

If the girls successfully complete the initial training program, they can ask to stay on as mentors to other girls.

‘We’re able to use a canine as an example for the girls,’ she said. ‘They have to have teamwork to accomplish things with the dog. They learn patience when they train it. They learn how to organize and redirect themselves.’

Any pet owner can tell you how much patience and discipline are involved in an animal’s care, traits that are vital for youth offenders to learn if they want to stay out of jail. Unlike many other programs designed to teach these traits, having an animal involved adds an element of emotional connection. The combination of the two makes for a potent tool. Just look at what the Texas Juvenile Justice Department says about the program on their website:

PAWS compliments CoNEXTions© because it teaches the youth empathy, compassion, responsibility, patience, accountability, and dependability. The relationships the youth form with their K9 companions help them develop skills that can be transferred to their relationships with others, thereby increasing their chances for success in the community.

Youth at TJJD have individualized case plans, with unique objectives. PAWS helps the youth achieve some of their objectives in creative ways ranging from youth researching their dog’s breed to writing autobiographies or community re-entry success plans for their dogs.

The TJJD therapeutic approach involves connecting youth with positive social forces and assets, drawing on community resources to engage youth, and engaging youth in pro-social activities and opportunities. PAWS is a natural fit.

Even if a reduction in dorm violence was the only benefit it would make this a program worthy of emulation, but it is not. Learning to care for a pet builds empathy, a trait often impaired in those whose upbringing has involved abuse, violence, or neglect. Forging a connection with another creature is the first step toward greater empathy for one’s fellows. It also introduces positive emotions and connections that have also probably been in short supply.

In addition to developing empathy and self esteem, the girls involved are also saving the lives of their four-footed companions. Each of the dogs involved faced a high probability of being euthanized before gaining a second chance through PAWS. From the canine perspective, as well as the human one, it is certainly a winning arrangement.

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Wisconsin: Yet Another Study Showing Incarceration is the Wrong Approach

A-Block at Alcatraz (2206096229)

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A recently released study from California-based Human Impact Partners is stirring things up in Wisconsin. As with so many that have come before it, the findings point toward a need to reduce reliance on incarceration, instead shifting the focus to treatment programs and community corrections. The study states that millions of dollars can be saved and recidivism rates reduced this way.

JS Online brings us the pertinent numbers. First is the number that is giving politicians sticker shock:

Investing in addiction and mental health treatment, instead of prison, for nonviolent offenders would likely lower crime, strengthen communities and save the state millions of dollars annually, according to a study released this week by a coalition pushing to expand Wisconsin’s drug courts and other alternatives-to-prison programs.

The health-impact assessment, by the California-based Human Impact Partners, recommends the state increase funding for its existing treatment alternative programs from about $1 million to $75 million annually, expand eligibility, and add $20 million for mental health treatment, jobs programs and other, related services.

Seventy-five times what is currently being spent, that is a number that can make one reel. Of course, like everything, context makes a difference. That investment can help prevent even scarier numbers, like the amount being spent on prisons for instance:

Wisconsin incarcerates more than 22,000 people a year, up from about 7,000 in 1990 and more than double the number imprisoned in Minnesota, according to the Department of Corrections. And it has another 67,000 ex-offenders on probation and parole. The corrections budget has ballooned since 1990 from under $200 million a year to $1.3 billion in 2011, now surpassing the money spent on the University of Wisconsin system.

Another thing to consider is that this issue does not exist in a vacuum. Adopting a rehabilitative path over incarceration also impacts numerous other aspects of the problem, driving down state expenditures for each. Scott Wales is a criminal defense attorney in Wisconsin who writes one heck of an informative blog. He recently weighed in with the following:

The Human Impact Partners study says that an investment of $75 million into treatment and alternative courts could cut annual prison admissions by about 40% and jail admissions by 21,000. It could also cut recidivism rates by 12-16% and cut crime by an estimated 20%.

It would make mental health treatment and drug and alcohol treatment available to thousands who need it, helping them to live a crime-free life. Perhaps most importantly, it would keep nonviolent offenders within the community, helping them to be productive members of society, working, and contributing. This, they say, would even reduce the number of children placed in foster care every year.

This has been the core of our message since the start. Our documentary is entitled It’s More Expensive to Do Nothing for a reason. As more and more data come in, especially from multi-year studies, it has become the unmistakeable conclusion.

The problem we face is that it involves up-front costs to get the ball truly rolling. No politician wants to be seen throwing funds at something new when budget cuts are so deep and vicious. The looming price of enacting these programs often occludes the fact that those costs are dwarfed by the saving reaped once they are in place.

Wales also notes that another antagonistic refrain heard when this approach comes up the it is “soft on crime.” His comment on this fallacy is accurate and succinct:

 And the ‘soft on crime’ argument is played out. There is no evidence that being ‘tough’ (when it includes lengthy prison sentences) is any more effective than treatment. Actually, there is evidence to the contrary.

Come on folks, it really is vastly more expensive to do nothing.

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Correctional System: Responding to Juveniles with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Needs

In their own words:

In order to provide effective treatment and programming to youth with behavioral health needs, juvenile justice authorities and their partners must be equipped to quickly identify individuals who may have these needs, make referrals for full assessments and appropriate services, and provide services both while the youths are in custody and during the reentry process. Presenters focus on the use of assessment tools and other treatment needs, and matching youths to appropriate and effective programs and supports.

Speakers:

  • Randy Muck, Senior Clinical Consultant, Advocates for Youth and Family Behavioral Health Treatment, LLC
  • Valerie Williams, Research Instructor and Co-Director, National Youth Screening and Assessment Project, Center for Mental Health Services Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School
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Catholic Conference States Support of Alternatives to Incarceration

The New York State Catholic Conference has just made a formal online statement coming out in support of rehabilitation programs over mere incarceration.

Their announcement references the two things we feel to be most significant about this approach – lowering the cost to the public and achieving greater results when reintegrating the convicted back into society.

Here are the summary and statement of position from their announcement:

Summary

Many of those incarcerated in New York State prisons are afflicted with mental health or addiction problems. These individuals, and the greater society, would be best served by offering lower-cost alternatives to incarceration to address the problems that are at the root of their criminal activity.

Conference Position

The Catholic Conference supports efforts to reduce crime and recidivism, and to help former offenders recover and live productively in the community through expansion and improved coordination of alternatives to incarceration for mentally ill and addicted offenders throughout New York State.

While religion is not something we discuss, it is heartening to see religious organizations becoming aware of the data on which we’ve based our own findings. It’s all part of a positive trend we are seeing in many states towards programs that are both effective and cost-effective, either of which is a step forward.

Unfortunately, these approaches are frequently passed over in favor of short-term savings. Despite the fact that we are all feeling the financial crunch, we must spend slightly more now to save much larger amounts of money over the next few years.

As politicians on both sides of the aisle are hunting for places to slash spending, many of these programs are being endangered. For example, here in my native New Orleans, we are waiting for word on whether the five programs that really do some good are about to shut down due to funding cuts.

The more organizations get on the same page, the better hope we have of fixing our broken system.

Convict Speaks Out Against Transition Center Closures

Prisoners Exhibit, Rimini Meeting 2008The pressure cooker of incarcerated life is one that people adjust to out of necessity. The rules of interaction are drastically different, and often more brutal, than a life lived without bars.

One of the reasons the American rate of recidivism (the percentage of former prisoners who are rearrested) is so high is that prisoners are trained into the prison lifestyle and find themselves unable to readjust once returned to society.

This is exactly the issue being stressed in Illinois right now as the battle is joined to keep transition centers across the state open. Illinois Gov. Quinn has plans on the table to close fourteen facilities across the state, including many that help ease convicts back into the social patterns of everyday life.

The PJ Star brings us one convict’s view:

Convicted felon John Flood credits a state transition center with helping him get his life back on track after prison and testified Tuesday that Gov. Pat Quinn’s plan to close them would have a disastrous effect on inmates looking for a fresh start.

‘They know how to do prison; they don’t know how to do the world,’ said Flood. The 54-year-old spent nearly two years at Westside Adult Transition Center in Chicago after his theft sentence before landing a maintenance supervisor job.

Readers of our books are well aware that we find it vital to bring these people back into society. Mental health programs, substance abuse programs, inmate halfway houses, and transitional centers like the Peoria Adult Transition Center are essential in order to reduce recidivism.

Facilities like these help to provide a lifeline to those trying to adjust to the outside world. When released, prisoners often end up drifting back into the same criminal circles that got them behind bars to begin with. Many times this is due to feeling like outcasts or as though they are unable to function in the normal world.

Transition programs ease them from one environment to the other, helping to support their efforts to re-learn the world. Closing centers like these is a blatant invitation to failure and expense, and it is our hope that Gov. Quinn will alter his stance on the issue.

Keep in mind the convict, Mr. Flood. In his testimony he said he had nowhere to go without the Westside transitional center. Now he is leading a productive life on the right side of the bars.

Image by *clarity*, used under it’s Creative Commons license

Advance Praise for Born, Not Raised: Voices from Juvenile Hall

born-book-coverWe are very pleased to see the reception our newest book is getting, even with the release ten days away!

There have been a few reviews and articles posted recently that can give you a good perspective on the work.

Library Journal (review only available in the print edition, this link goes to the BArnes and Noble website where it is reporduced):

More policy-oriented than academic in tone, this book is recommended for specialized juvenile justice collections and libraries holding the other two volumes in the series. Though government austerity is in vogue, this book is a powerful reminder of the social costs of neglecting the specific needs of at-risk youth.—Antoinette Brinkman, Evansville, IN

EFEAmerica, an online publication with a Hispanic focus, takes a look at the book.

‘We want to make the public more aware of how desperate these young people are for a little love and affection, and the fact that they don’t want to be involved in drugs – but more and more U.S. youngsters lack education and suffer the effects of being brought up by single fathers or mothers with no time for them because they’re working two jobs,’ Lankford said.

For the author, the factors most likely to land these young people in the juvenile detention system are their broken family relations, not their ethnicity or immigration problems.

San Diego City Beat’s Dave Maass talks about the book in the context of Susan and Polly Lankford’s recent visit to the McAllister Institute, a drug treatment center in El Cajon. One of the main points that he focuses on is the opacity of the justice system in California:

That may be the most important part of the text; the San Diego County Probation Department doesn’t allow media or public access to its facilities except for once-a-year, highly controlled open houses. The department cites confidentiality issues, but Susan believes opacity only worsens the problem.

‘I think [confidentiality] is the biggest joke around, because all of these kids know each other, they learn everything bad that they possibly can from one another before they’re released and they come back in with even more criminal behavior,’ Susan says. ‘That’s one of the things I am upset with, because I don’t think accountability happens with confidentiality.’

In the blogging world we are happy to note that Matthew T. Mangino- former district attorney of Lawrence County, Pennsylvania and current member of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole – decided to share some thoughts about the book. You might be familiar with his work in the  Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Harrisburg Patriot News, Pennsylvania Law Weekly, CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews, Court TV and National Public Radio.)

Lankford concludes that, ‘[I]nstitutions like juvenile hall are not a good substitute for a family.’  Psychiatrist Diane Campbell said, ‘The youth in the hall don’t need miracle workers; they simply need some who is ‘just good enough.’

Lankford makes it clear that ‘good enough’ consists of a reliable, loving and nurturing figure that will help mold a child.  She uses her skills as a writer and photographer to make sure her readers understand the plight of troubled young people and how to turn ‘at-risk’ youths into ‘at-promise’ youths.

As we approach publication it is heartwarming to see the interest in this vital topic. As with our prior works we hope that Born, Not Raised will not only make people think, but will also spur them to action. The statistics support a more rehabilitative approach, but zero tolerance laws and for profit prisons weild considerable finanacial might. We hope that after reading our book you will find yourself motivated to act against that might and for substantive positive change in the way we deal with criminal justice.