Tuesday, December 19, 2023

NCCPR news and commentary round-up, week ending December 19, 2023

● If a child dies after sleeping in the same bed as a parent, when is it likely to be treated as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and when is it likely to be treated as something else?  According to a Boston Globe investigation

… in the vast majority of states, the deaths of babies from Medicaid families are more likely to be attributed to suspected accidental suffocation or listed as needing more investigation - and in some states, by sizable margins. The deaths of infants born to families with private insurance are more likely to be attributed to SIDS, which is the finding most comforting for parents because it levies no blame. 

● Among those who might be asked to make such a determination: so-called child abuse pediatricians. in this column for Reason, Lenore Skenazy explains why families confronted by such doctors need their own version of Miranda rights. 

The Imprint previews the forthcoming release of a federal report “on the devastation caused by U.S.-backed Indian boarding schools. 

The Imprint also has a story on that new lawsuit that attempts to stop the family police agency in New York City from harassing domestic violence survivors and their families.  And I have a blog post about how a New York State agency whose primary role is to facilitate buck-passing could do something genuinely useful and curb this particular horror with the stroke of a pen. 

Another Imprint story looks at recommendations from a foster youth and alumni organization.  They want to “decriminalize being in foster care.” 

Recommendations include boosting housing support for youth transitioning into adulthood and reducing reliance on law enforcement for crisis response in foster and group homes and for moving youth between placements. Members also want to see fewer children removed from home in the first place, but in cases where they must be taken, they do not want law enforcement to accompany social workers — a joint response that is common across the country. 

● In Oklahoma, prosecutors are running around bringing criminal charges against mothers who use legally-prescribed medical marijuana while pregnant.  Since the drug is legal under these circumstances you may wonder what possible grounds they may have.  As The Frontier explains, in a case now before the state Supreme Court the prosecutor argued the mother broke the law 

Because her unborn child did not have its own, separate state license to use medical marijuana.

And in this week’s edition of The Horror Stories go in All Directions

From WTVM-TV in Columbus, Georgia

 An east Alabama couple is heading to prison for abusing their foster child.  32-year-old Elizabeth McDowell and 32-year-old John McDowell were convicted in October of aggravated child abuse.  Russell County District Attorney Rick Chancey says both were sentenced to life in prison this morning.