In the normal course of business, this blog researches and reports the issues that are having an impact on the world of social services. However, when journalists at large are out in front on important stories we are eager to share their work here in our blog space. Today, we would like to summarize the reporting of New York Times journalists Michael Kimmelman and Lucy Tompkins on the life changing work in support of the homeless going on in the city of Houston.
As you proceed to discuss the major elements of effective inmate re-entry as part of the greater transitional justice system, it is necessary to recognize why society must conceive and respect inmates as Individuals, not simply prisoners.
Society and social services must begin to treat inmates as individuals from the outset of their sentence... Beginning Early!
Social service professors are warning the country about an economic imbalance that is beginning to threaten the most vulnerable segments of our society - income inequality. Inequality is higher now than at any time since World War II. Social work leaders say that the problem with rising income inequality is not that some people are doing well, but that others are falling behind. It suggests, they say, that our economy is failing to spread prosperity and that our gains are not being widely shared. The longer such trends continue, the greater the threat to our social fabric, our political solidarity, and the legitimacy of our free-market system.
Topics: social justice
According to the latest student loan debt statistics, there are 45 million student loan borrowers who collectively owe $1.7 trillion of student loans.
"As is so often the case, what began as a creative solution to a social inequity became corrupted by greed and mismanagement," a professor of the history of social work told us. "Sallie Mae was the main facilitator when Congress created the student-loan program back in the 1970s during the Johnson administration. It was a profit-driven enterprise that essentially funneled money from taxpayers to colleges and universities. Congress envisioned it as a partnership between the government and banks to broaden the American dream of a college education for children of modest means."
The American Society of Addiction Medicine recognizes addiction as “a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences.”
Football fans see this message on the back of the Buffalo Bills' helmets
"On Saturday, January 15th, a gunman entered Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, TX, and held hostages for much of the day. We are grateful that all four hostages made it out safely, and thankful for law enforcement, first responders, and the security training that our partner Secure Community Network provided to this community. The horrifying attack on the Colleyville synagogue was a continuation of a troubling and unacceptable trend of attacks on Jewish houses of worship and individuals who are visibly Jewish." (The Jewish Federations of North America)
Topics: social justice
When prisoners in the United States are released, they face an environment that is challenging and actively deters them from becoming productive members of society. Within three years of release, 67.8 percent of ex-offenders are rearrested and, within five years, 76.6 percent are rearrested.
Criminals are Criminals
Recidivism rates (or rates of repeat offending) are often used as a measure of effectiveness of prison systems and post-release offender management programs. What’s more, studies show that the general public believes - “once a criminal, always a criminal”. They see “ex-cons” as “criminals waiting to happen again.”
Case workers in Juvenile Justice have long been concerned about a subversive movement in the back halls of Congress and many state houses to erase any distinction between young offenders and adult criminals. As recently as the 1990s almost all 50 states overhauled their juvenile justice laws, allowing more youths to be tried as adults and scrapping long-time protections to help rehabilitate delinquent kids and prevent future crimes. Only ignorance of the history of juvenile justice in United States could be responsible for a now subdued but continued movement to “simplify” criminal justice by merging juveniles and adults together in the eyes of the law. May we take a moment to remind everyone how our juvenile justice system evolved to its present effective state.
“An 18-year-old sleeps in a doorway of a public building with nothing but a tattered blanket to shield him from the cold wind. He took little more than the clothes on his back when his foster parents demanded that he leave home. He hasn’t been in touch with his biological parents in years. None of his friends’ parents will allow him to spend a night on their sofa. And he’s unfamiliar with the nearest homeless shelter.” (Social Work Today, Vol. 19, P.24, Nadine Hasenecz, MSW, LSW)
COVID-19 Diagnoses in Juvenile Facilities
Known Cases as of June 24
658 youth, 771 staff
Annie E. Casey Foundation
“If there was ever a good time to make sure that not a single young person spends a single day in detention or placement unless there is an immediate and severe risk to community safety, this is it,” says Nate Balis, director of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Justice Strategy Group. “This is the time for juvenile justice agencies to scrutinize every detention and placement decision and to review — if not reconsider — every policy that leans toward confinement.”