Blog

Want to Keep Kids Out of Foster Care? Vote for Gentler Criminal Justice Laws [PSMag.com]

It’s well-established that a prison sentence doesn’t just impact the individual sent behind bars; it affects the family too. Now, a new study hints at yet another path through which harsh criminal justice laws, including policies that send many to prison, hurt families and kids. Children living in states that have “extensive and punitive criminal justice systems” are more likely to be placed in foster care, the study finds. Children living in states that have “broad and generous welfare...

Race-Based Activism Is Changing College Campuses [PSMag.com]

A survey of college and university presidents conducted earlier this year suggests that campus activists are making a difference. The American Council on Education asked 567 presidents about their experience with and response to activists on campus organized around racial diversity and justice. Almost half (47 percent) of presidents at four-year institutions said that such activism was occurring on their campuses and that the dialogue about such matters had increased (41 percent). The...

The Federal Government Finally Forgives Billion of Dollars in Debt for Disabled Students [PSMag.com]

The federal Department of Education said recently that it would offer to write off $7.7 billion of student debt owed by disabled individuals, taking a big step to streamline a loan forgiveness program long plagued by bureaucratic delay and inefficiency. Starting April 18, loan forgiveness letters started going out to approximately 387,000 borrowers who have been identified as totally and permanently disabled by the Social Security Administration, allowing them to sign and file a simplified...

Stop Solitary for Kids Aims to Build on State, Federal Momentum [JJIE.org]

A campaign to end solitary confinement for juveniles launched today, with supporters pledging to build on the momentum of leading-edge jurisdictions that have banned the practice. The Stop Solitary for Kids campaign will offer technical assistance, training, public education, and model policy and legislation at the local, state and federal levels, all aimed at ending the use of solitary confinement for juveniles. “We want to reach a tipping point where there is so much momentum that it...

Tonier Cain to address childhood trauma [HTRNews.com]

Tonier Cain was arrested 83 times and convicted of 66 crimes. She was homeless, a drug addict, a prostitute. "She is so impactful. She is somebody who has been through (trauma) herself and has made so many changes because somebody took the time to listen to her," said Tracy Geenen, executive director of the United Way of Manitowoc County. "Her story is breathtaking." Cain will give a public presentation at 6 p.m. April 20 at the Capitol Civic Centre in downtown Manitowoc. There is no...

The Arctic Suicides: It's Not The Dark That Kills You [TPR.org]

The first death was on the night of Jan. 9. It was a Saturday. Pele Kristiansen spent the morning at home, drinking beers and hanging out with his older brother, which wasn't so unusual. There wasn't a lot of work in town. A lot of people drank. In the afternoon, they heard someone banging on their door, yelling. "Polar bear! It's a polar bear!" On the frozen fiord a couple of miles away, they could see the bear. Hunting in the Arctic — bears and reindeer and seals and birds — is at the core...

To improve lifelong health, Memphis tries rooting out childhood trauma [PBS News Hour]

One of the best reports I have seen about the trauma-informed movement to date appeared last night on the PBS News Hour. When you to watch the 8:50 minute video (do it!), think about how it can be used to expose policymakers to the power of this information. Combine this video about community solutions with the new James Redford 5-minute video explaining the ACE study research and you've got a good start on ACEs awareness and education. The PBS News Hour story (in partnership with Kaiser...

The U.N. Must Listen to Children of the Drug War [HuffingtonPost.com]

I was in the 2nd grade and suddenly in a new school, staying with my aunt and looking forward to my mom picking me up and taking me back home. Perpetually distracted, the only thing I can remember from that school day was the classroom teacher adamantly explaining to the class that because her name was Ms. Blue every one of us should know how to spell B-L-U-E. At the end of the school day, I watched as other children got on the school bus and stood out of the way of the flow of traffic on to...

Documenting Los Angeles’s Near-Invisible Workers [TheAtlantic.com]

A man pushes a lawn mower through an expanse of green. A woman scours a tall, tiled shower. A man cleans a large pool as another washes the windows of a modern looking house, framed by two palm trees. These subjects are usually in the background of the luxurious California landscapes they help maintain, but the artist Ramiro Gomez uses his brush to document their existence, memorializing them in the midst of their work. By emphasizing the hidden labor that sweeps and polishes and scrubs,...

When School Districts Get Deliberate About Desegregation [TheAtlantic.com]

The U.S. Education Secretary John King is frustrated by what he describes as the “ahistorical nature” of conversations today about how to integrate schools. Speaking at a Century Foundation panel on Tuesday to highlight two recent reports by the left-leaning think tank, King said that the need for “urgency” when it comes to making classrooms more socioeconomically and racially diverse is sometimes thwarted by communities who see the current lack of real integration as a fact over which they...

The Sheriff Who Wants the Public to See How Brutal His Jail Guards Can Be [TheAtlantic.com]

Prisoners are brutalized by correctional officers with scandalous frequency. A recent abuse scandal in Los Angeles County ultimately sent former Sheriff Lee Baca to jail . In Texas , “the state prison system’s inspector general has referred nearly 400 cases of staff sex crimes against inmates to prosecutors. An analysis by The Marshall Project found that prosecutors refused to pursue almost half of those cases.” In Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s list of misdeeds is too long...

How a Simple Graphic Poster Takes a Stand Against Islamophobia [CityLab.com]

Over the past year, restrictive and discriminatory legislation has proliferated across North Carolina. At the end of March, the HB 2 bill swept aside the state’s laws protecting LGBT residents against discrimination; a bill signed in October by Governor Pat McCrory limited acceptable forms of identification and deregulated police investigations into a person’s immigration status. Still, messages of acceptance are appearing throughout the state. At the beginning of this year, some local...

The Danger of Making Assumptions About Privilege [PSMag.com]

A few weeks ago, I published an essay on Salon arguing that the precarious nature of my employment as an adjunct professor contributes to my success in the classroom. The response to the piece was sharp and swift: I was criticized in the site’s comments section for not checking my privilege. To date, there have been 61 comments; roughly 85 percent of them are negative. I had neglected, according to the hordes of commenters, to disclose that I am a part of a two-income household. This, they...

Alaska's ACE Resolution - HCR 21

The Alaska Legislature scheduled adjournment date was Sunday, April 17, 2016, but it continues meeting. During the end of each session, bills that have been held for the end of session negotiations start to break loose. The daily calendar for both the House and Senate can be found here: http://w3.legis.state.ak.us/#tab3. After looking at the bills voted on for the past week, HCR 21 is not on any calendar. It still sits in the House Finance Committee, but could be released at any time since...

The Stress of Systemic Poverty Is Killing Us [PSMag.com]

Physicians have known for years that racial minorities, especially African Americans, experience shorter lives because of a higher-than-average prevalence of maladies like kidney disease, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and hypertension. My own family is a picture of poor health: my sister and I have experienced diagnoses of obesity, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, breast cancer, kidney cancer, and stroke due to anesthesia. All of these happened before the age of 50. There are...

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