Tuesday, April 25, 2023

NCCPR news and commentary round-up, week ending April 25, 2023

● The child needlessly taken, within days of birth, from a Black family in Texas has been returned home – after having been separated from her family for some of the most important days of her life, her first.  The 19th has an update.  And here’s their original story, which shows how the case lives at the intersection of two types of bias. 

● As WBTV shows in this tragic case, sometimes it takes a whole lot longer For a family to be reunited.  And if it takes long enough, you can bet someone will try to prevent it by playing the bonding card

● Americans find that appalling – when it happens in other countries.  But sometimes, it seems, the worst foreign leaders are simply using the U.S. child welfare establishment playbook.  Here’s a case in point. 

● And then there are the times when the foster child doesn’t live long enough to be reunified.  Reason has an update on one such case in Arizona. 

● A lawsuit accused a politically-connected Indiana “residential treatment center” of being rife with sexual abuse.  As the Indianapolis Star reports: 

A psychologist’s report prepared for the lawsuit said [the center] “showed deliberate indifference” to the rampant sexual abuse of young boys, interfered with the ability of residents and staff to report to DCS, and “emboldened sexual predators.” 

The center denied the charges and the lawsuit was settled.  But the center wasn’t done.  Now they’re pushing for a state law granting them immunity from future lawsuits.  The Star reports that 

Under the legislation, immunity would apply to most liability claims, including wrongful death, negligence, malpractice, battery and infliction of emotional distress. There are exclusions for criminal offenses, gross negligence and willful or wanton misconduct, but those cases are rare and much more difficult to prove.

UPDATE, APRIL 27: As a result of the Star's revelations, the bill was withdrawn. 

● In criminal justice cases that involve the death penalty, the accused is entitled to a lawyer.  The accused also is entitled to a lawyer for an appeal.  Too obvious to even mention?  Perhaps.  But when it comes to family policing’s death penalty – termination of children’s rights to their parents – there’s no such guarantee.  The Imprint reports on efforts to change that in Minnesota. 

● Also in The Imprint, a Native American grandmother writes about “Why I’m fighting for the Indian Child Welfare Act.” 

● In Florida, WFTS-TV reports, there’s still another lawsuit alleging horrific abuse in foster care – abuse allegedly ignored by the state family policing agency.  Unfortunately, as we’ve seen, in Florida neither is unusual

● And yes, there’s still another study out showing that a little bit of extra cash significantly reduces what family police agencies label as abuse or neglect.