Tuesday, January 23, 2024

NCCPR news and commentary round-up, week ending January 23, 2024

Before the news, check out this big event on January 31.  There's an in-person and a virtual option for the Congressional Briefing and you can register here: bit.ly/50YearsRepealCapta 

And now the news:

The Imprint has a story that covers both the good California Supreme Court decision I wrote about for WitnessLA and a terrible bill proposed in Washington State that is essentially a throwback to the “crack baby” hysteria of the 1980s. The good news: Until recently, such a bill would have sailed through almost any state legislature in America nearly unanimously.  But people are learning, and this time, there’s some real opposition. 

Westword examines Colorado’s task force studying mandatory child abuse reporting laws – including NCCPR’s perspective, that while the Task Force has done far better than any other or it’s kind, that’s a low bar.  I have more about that here.  The story confirms that the Task Force is not even considering the one recommendation that would make a huge difference: abolishing mandatory reporting entirely.

WitnessLA perfectly sums up the harm of mandatory reporting laws in a story that begins this way: 

Mandated reporting laws have led to a flood of calls to report suspected child abuse and neglect, burying calls about kids who are in critical danger, while subjecting many more families whose children are safe to unnecessary surveillance and separation. 

Gothamist has real news about what should be called fake Miranda rights – the notices that New York City’s family police agency, the Administration for Children’s Services, will give parents when ACS caseworkers pound on their doors. Among other problems, unlike proposed state legislation, ACS’s misleading notices will tell families some of their rights – but not all of them.  

But my favorite part of the story is where ACS Commissioner Jess Dannhauser objects to a provision in the state bill which would require his caseworkers to inform families, Miranda-style that “anything can be used against you in a court of law” because that “might increase fear.” 

Right. Because there’s nothing to fear from a government agency that can march into your home, stripsearch your kids and take them away from you on-the-spot!