Wednesday, April 6, 2022

NCCPR news and commentary round-up, week ending April 5, 2022

Is this on YOUR kindle yet?

● Twenty years ago, Penn Law Professor (and NCCPR Board Member) Dorothy Roberts changed the landscape of “child welfare” when she literally wrote the book on racial bias in family policing: Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare.  Yesterday Basic Books published her new book: Torn Apart: How the Child Welfare System Destroys Black Families--and How Abolition Can Build a Safer World.  Check out Prof. Roberts’ interview with Boston Review. And read an excerpt from the book in Mother Jones

Prof. Roberts, Kassandra Frederique, executive director of Drug Policy Alliance and Dr. Virginia Eubanks, author of Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor; (the book the Allegheny County Department of Human Services hopes you will never read!) will be the keynote speakers at this free virtual conference on April 27. 

● The extent to which even the mainstream is beginning to understand what Prof. Roberts’ first brought to light, can be seen in the headline on this press release: New York State Bar Association Finds Child Welfare System Replete With Systemic Racism, Pushes for Reforms (The release includes a link to the full report.) And this isn’t the usual let’s-slap-a-Black-Lives-Matter-statement-on-our-website-and-go-back-to-business-as-usual document.  The report is comprehensive, and scathing. The Imprint has a story about it. See also the story in the Albany Times-Union. 

● Who gave a damn about Harmony Montgomery? She’s a seven-year-old New Hampshire girl who has disappeared and is feared dead.  I have a column in CommonWealth Magazine about how the one person who cared is the person no one would listen to: her mother. 

● In Arizona, a story from the “this really shouldn’t have taken a court ruling” file. The Arizona Republic reports that 

A woman who used medical marijuana during her pregnancy did not neglect her pre-born child and should not be punished by being put on a list that could limit her employment, the state Court of Appeals has ruled. 

● In Rhode Island, a story from the “this really shouldn’t have taken a federal civil rights complaint” file.  The Rhode Island family policing agency will be required to provide sign language interpreters when it investigates and takes children from deaf parents.  As The Boston Globe reports: 

Three complaints alleged that DCYF failed to provide sign language interpreter services to parents who are deaf during child protection investigations, even when DCYF removed the children from their homes. A fourth complaint alleged that DCYF based conclusions about a parent’s capacity on their epilepsy and intellectual disabilities and failed to provide reasonable modifications. 

● And finally, I have reposted NCCPR’s annual reminder that If it’s April Fools, it must be Child Abuse Hype and Hysteria Month.