The Way to Beat Poverty

One of the reasons the United States has not made more progress against poverty is that our interventions come too late. If there’s one overarching lesson from the past few decades about research on how to break cycles of poverty in the United States it’s the power of parenting-and intervening early, ideally in the first year or two of life or even before a child is born.

Click here to read a fascinating article by the NYTime’s Nicholas Kristoff that explores how medical research on toxic stress reveals why intervening early in the lives of unstable families is critically important. While this article does not explicitly address juvenile justice, there are important connections that link the way that impoverished children are exposed to large and sustained amounts of toxic stress and the likelihood they become ensnared in juvenile justice systems.

For more information about toxic stress and innovative early interventions check out this online series

Child Poverty Rampant in Many of Biggest U.S. Cities

Child poverty increased in 35 of the biggest U.S. cities in the past eight years, and millions of children now live in families barely scraping by, a new analysis shows.

Casey’s KIDS COUNT Data Center has been updated with economic data from the U.S. Census 2013 American Community Survey, including the numbers and rates of children living in families with incomes below the federal poverty line.

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DMC Virtual Resource Center

The DMC Virtual Resource Center is a forum for state and local DMC Coordinators, State Advisory Group members, Juvenile Justice Specialists, Compliance Monitors, practitioners, and other juvenile justice system stakeholders to access a variety of tools and resources to help support their state and local DMC efforts. This forum is designed to provide opportunities for these individuals to network with their peers and with OJJDP for the exchange of information and ideas, technical DMC resources, DMC based training materials and templates, and DMC events and new practice standards.

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To Improve Your Economy, Form a Backbone Agency

It has been stated that “There is no other way society will achieve large-scale progress against urgent and complex problems, unless a collective impact approach becomes the accepted way of doing business.” Community problem-solving is about collective decisions to improve outcomes — not merely supporting a program or initiative. It’s a continuous and sustainable process that has a collective impact on every child, youth and family.

A backbone agency that targets children beginning at birth, equipping them with skills so they don’t break and flow into the cradle-to-prison pipeline, will result in more taxpayers who can then contribute to economic growth.

Businesses will invest in a community that invests in its children and youth — their future will determine the crime rates. High crime alone will make a community less inviting for investment. The stronger the collective, the stronger the impact, resulting in positive outcomes.

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Eric Holder’s Legacy

By any measure the six year tenure of Attourney General Eric Holder Jr. has been one of the most consequential in United States history. His decision to resign was long anticipated; he has said he will stay on through his successor’s confirmation. It’s hard to imagine anyone who could make  it through the current Senate would have an impact comparable to Mr. Holder’s.

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Attorney General’s Legacy Needs Shoring Up

Let’s take a moment to review the accomplishments and legacy on youth justice issues of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. After six years, he announced his intentions last week to step down.

The ones that come to mind first are civil rights investigations in juvenile justice, the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) regulations and the Attorney General’s Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence.

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