Book review: Troubled teenage girl behind bars

A Compassionate Tribute to Incarcerated Children That Exposes Their Trauma, Anger

Jane Guttman’s “Kids in Jail: A Portrait of Life Without Mercy” gives poetic voice to children who are trapped in the catacombs of society with little hope of resurrection. It is a gut-wrenching, graceful and dignified look at lives that are painfully scarred by conditions and circumstances that were preordained out of neglect, abuse, poverty, chance or a combination of all these elements.

Make My President Black Again

It wasn’t until I had gotten locked up at the age of 18 that I began to willingly learn and deeply care about governmental law and politics. If you’d asked me anything about politics back in my high school days, I would’ve rudely responded with an answer expressing love only for my gang.

Delinquent by Reason of Poverty

With the publication of Michelle Alexander’s provocative book, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” our attention has been drawn to the troubling reality that the majority of young African-American men living in our cities are either incarcerated or on probation or parole. As a result of the ill-conceived “War on Drugs,” our communities of color have been decimated, and a vast population has been left unemployable and disenfranchised. Professor Alexander powerfully demonstrates that America’s racial caste system did not end with the outlawing of state-sanctioned segregation but merely reconstituted itself. With the demise of Jim Crow, the criminal justice system now functions as our society’s system of racial control. Yet, there is an important piece of this picture that has been overlooked.

Republican Debates Light on Questions About Children’s Issues, Report Finds

To date, the Republican presidential candidates have fought their way through 20 debates, collectively fielding 1,037 questions across a broad range of topics. But a new report by Voices for America’s Children shows only a tiny percentage of questions—fewer than 2 percent—focused on child policy issues such as education, child health or child poverty. “While children represent 24 percent of the population and 100 percent of our future,” Bill Bentley, president and CEO of Voices for America’s Children, said in a press release, “questions about their future constituted less than 2 percent of all questions raised in those debates. America’s more than 74 million children can’t vote, but they should be heard, especially in a time of widespread hardship for families.”

The report notes the candidates themselves were more likely to raise children’s issues in their responses than the moderators were in their questions. Only 17 questions addressing education, child health, welfare and poverty were asked of the candidates.

Kansas Cuts Out Food Stamps for Many Children of Illegal Immigrants

A new formula for calculating who receives food stamps in Kansas has left many U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants without aid. The change affects the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP), a federal program administered individually by the states. By law, illegal immigrants are not eligible for food stamps but their U.S.-born children are, according to The Kansas City Star. Previously, Kansas excluded illegal immigrants as members of the household in the formula but adjusted the family’s income proportionately. The new rule doesn’t adjust the income, so a family’s earnings are spread over fewer people in the calculation.