INdiana Systemic Thinking

March 16, 2008

DOC Makes Improvements At Girls School

Remember back in December when I posted this about St. Joseph County Judge Peter Nemeth? The story then was he refused to send female juveniles to the Indiana Girls School for a variety of complaints.

Well, today’s South Bend Tribune is reporting the Department of Corrections is making some staffing changes that are encouraging to Nemeth. Specifically;

The DOC has announced it will end a two-year-old arrangement to house boys and girls at the same Indianapolis Juvenile Correctional Facility by moving the boys to a recently renovated section of the Logansport Juvenile Correctional Facility.

Nemeth said he was encouraged by the DOC’s announcement that a “staffing plan for the facility is being developed to ensure the appropriate deployment of staff.”

“If they are actually doing a staffing plan … if it means more than just words, I think that is real progress,” the judge said. “I applaud them for that.

Girls will be moved into the unit being vacated by the boys. The unit will house girls in single rooms that lock from a central control location, along with a special management unit specifically programmed for girls struggling with mental health issues.

“It looks like they are going to do what we want them to do,” said Bill Bruinsma, executive director of the St. Joseph County Juvenile Justice Center. “We’ll have to see what staffing they’re going to add in and what kind of programming they’re going to put into it … It’s a step in the right direction.”

However, Nemeth doesn’t appear completely sold on the changes…

Nemeth said he still will avoid sending girls to the Indianapolis facility until he knows more details about the changes, especially whether staff-to-child ratios improve. Instead, he said he is sending girls who are the most difficult to rehabilitate to a private juvenile detention facility in Vincennes, at a daily cost to the county of $138, compared to $60 a day at the Indianapolis DOC girls school.

January 20, 2008

Bills and Resolutions Updated

Here are the current bills and resolutions filed in the statehouse this week.  The master list has been updated and is here.  This should be the all the filings for this legislative cycle, if the state web site is up to date (and thats a big if). 

House:

  • HB 1218 — Eminent domain issues.
  • HB 1219 — Unemployment insurance.
  • HB 1220 — Transportation tax area.
  • HB 1221 — Operating a vehicle recklessly.
  • HB 1222 — Death taxes.
  • HB 1223 — Sales tax exemption for road material recycling equipment.
  • HB 1224 — Transfer fees.
  • HB 1225 — Illegal alien matters.
  • HB 1226 — State licensure of towing services.
  • HB 1227 — Shoreline development commission.
  • HB 1228 — Sheriff’s compensation.
  • HB 1229 — Fresh start income tax credit.
  • HB 1230 — Redistricting commission.
  • HB 1231 — Mechanic’s liens.
  • HB 1232 — Criminal history checks.
  • HB 1233 — Grandparent visitation.
  • HB 1234 — School attendance records and enforcement.
  • HB 1235 — Deduction for postsecondary tuition.
  • HB 1236 — Local spending caps.
  • HB 1237 — Extra heavy duty highway route.
  • HB 1238 — Year to year tenancy on land used for agriculture.
  • HB 1239 — School improvement progress and awards.
  • HB 1240 — Restrictions on public benefits to illegal aliens.
  • HB 1241 — Lottery advertising.
  • HB 1242 — Business tax matters
  • HB 1243 — Retractable tire studs.
  • HB 1244 — Common school fund; certification fee.
  • HB 1245 — Transit districts.
  • HB 1246 — Student graduation plan and online learning.
  • HB 1247 — Taxes on motor fuel; mass transit funding.
  • HB 1248 — Law enforcement continuing education program court fee.
  • HB 1249 — Tuition exemption for Purple Heart recipients.
  • HB 1250 — State park development and funding for the NAIAC.
  • HB 1251 — Various property tax matters.
  • HB 1252 — Property tax relief.
  • HB 1253 — Manual on uniform traffic control devices.
  • HB 1254 — Animal cruelty.
  • HB 1255 — Valuable metal dealers.
  • HB 1256 — Distributed generation facilities.
  • HB 1257 — Judges’ pensions.
  • HB 1258 — Methadone clinic drug testing and minors.
  • HB 1259 — Child safety and CHINS.
  • HB 1260 — Encoded ammunition.
  • HB 1261 — Study commissions.
  • HB 1262 — Police enforcement of federal immigration laws.
  • HB 1263 — Lake County innkeeper’s tax.
  • HB 1264 — Limitation on school starting date.
  • HB 1265 — Land surveyor registration.
  • HB 1266 — Eligibility criteria for Medicaid waiver.
  • HB 1267 — LIFE Scholarships.
  • HB 1268 — Regulation of cigarette retail sales.
  • HB 1269 — Employee classification.
  • HB 1270 — Greendale local taxes.
  • HB 1271 — Inmate credit time.
  • HB 1272 — City legislative bodies.
  • HB 1273 — Compensation for emergency or disaster training.
  • HB 1274 — Illegal alien matters.
  • HB 1275 — Local government copying fees.
  • HB 1276 — Bail.
  • HB 1277 — State economic development incentives.
  • HB 1278 — Reporting tax violations.
  • HB 1279 — ISTEP for students with disabilities.
  • HB 1280 — Energy efficient buildings.
  • HB 1281 — Property tax exemptions.
  • HB 1283 — Unemployment insurance benefits fees.
  • HB 1284 — Group insurance.
  • HB 1285 — Limit on sex offender as guardian or custodian.
  • HB 1286 — Library services authorities.
  • HB 1287 — Home health agency expenditures.
  • HB 1288 — Certification for behavior analysts.
  • HB 1289 — Electronic waste.
  • HB 1290 — Older youth foster care.
  • HB 1291 — Unauthorized aliens.
  • HB 1292 — Flags on public buildings to be made in USA.
  • HB 1293 — Homestead deduction application.
  • HB 1294 — County option dog tax on kennels.
  • HB 1295 — Fees for spinal cord and brain injury fund.
  • HB 1296 — State funding of child welfare services.
  • HB 1297 — Publication of notices.
  • HB 1298 — Communications and public safety answering points.
  • HB 1299 — Sex offender residency.
  • HB 1300 — Labeling standards for milk.
  • HB 1301 — Expungement of certain felony conviction records.
  • HB 1302 — Custodial interrogation recording.
  • HB 1303 — Contracts for operation of animal shelters.
  • HB 1304 — Diesel fuel inspection program.
  • HB 1305 — Public safety funding.
  • HB 1306 — State spending cap.
  • HB 1307 — State spending cap.
  • HB 1308 — College readiness program.
  • HB 1309 — Repeal of valuation method for certain property.
  • HB 1310 — Faculty member on university boards of trustees.
  • HB 1311 — Medical care for town firefighters.
  • HB 1312 — County drain maintenance funding.
  • HB 1313 — Inmate employment counseling and searches.
  • HB 1314 — Expungement of certain conviction records.
  • HB 1315 — Automated traffic control systems.
  • HB 1316 — Sales tax holiday.
  • HB 1317 — Spinal manipulation.
  • HB 1318 — Funding for spinal cord and brain injury research.
  • HB 1319 — Assessment of forest land for taxation purposes.
  • HB 1320 — BMV fees for law enforcement academies.
  • HB 1321 — Veterans’ jobs tax credit.
  • HB 1322 — Mandatory ethanol level in gasoline.
  • HB 1323 — Dialysis treatment coverage.
  • HB 1324 — Disclosure of event data recorders.
  • HB 1325 — Contractor performance bonds.
  • HB 1326 — Commission on Hispanic/Latino affairs.
  • HB 1327 — Property tax deductions.
  • HB 1328 — Testing of special education students.
  • HB 1329 — Sex offenses and children.
  • HB 1330 — Eliminate sales tax on gasoline.
  • HB 1331 — Expense advances to driver employees.
  • HB 1332 — Trustee duties concerning life insurance.
  • HB 1333 — State reimbursement of child services costs.
  • HB 1334 — Annexation.
  • HB 1335 — Child visitation and electronic communication time.
  • HB 1336 — County government reorganization.
  • HB 1337 — Elimination of property taxes.
  • HB 1338 — Property tax elimination.
  • HB 1339 — Drug testing of welfare recipients.
  • HB 1340 — Privatization review committee.
  • HB 1341 — Ports of Indiana.
  • HB 1342 — Electronic health records system.
  • HB 1343 — Health insurance coverage for children under age 24.
  • HB 1344 — 1985 judges pension fund.
  • HB 1345 — Trespass.
  • HB 1346 — Loan broker commission.
  • HB 1347 — Excise tax on recreational vehicles and campers.
  • HB 1348 — Review of total debt and lease burden on taxpayer.
  • HB 1349 — State spending cap.
  • HB 1350 — Police enforcement of federal immigration laws.
  • HB 1351 — Game preserve licenses.
  • HB 1352 — Appraisals and assessment reviews.
  • HB 1353 — Property tax benefits for seniors.
  • HB 1354 — Disaster relief fund.
  • HB 1355 — Donations by local units to community foundations.
  • HB 1356 — Donor withdrawal of property from institutions.
  • HB 1357 — Marion superior court magistrates.
  • HB 1358 — Civil rights.
  • HB 1359 — Various financial institutions matters.
  • HB 1360 — Mortgage lending issues.
  • HB 1361 — Nutritional information at food establishments.
  • HB 1362 — Nonprofit and county hospitals.
  • HB 1363 — Solid waste management districts.
  • HB 1364 — Long term care coverage.
  • HB 1365 — High school athlete steroid testing.
  • HB 1366 — High school IEP diplomas for students with a disability.
  • HB 1367 — Reclassification of manufactured homes as real property.
  • HB 1368 — Industrial waste products.
  • HB 1369 — Defenses to controlled substance offenses.
  • HB 1370 — State forests.
  • HB 1371 — Marion County airport authority.
  • HB 1372 — Selection of superintendent of public instruction.
  • HB 1373 — School board elections at general election time.
  • HB 1374 — Public works projects.
  • HB 1375 — Judges pensions.
  • HB 1376 — Drug courts and children in need of services.
  • HB 1377 — Crimes of violence.
  • HB 1378 — Indemnification requirements in state contracts.
  • HB 1379 — Viatical settlements.
  • HB 1380 — Distribution of Lake County Income Tax.
  • HB 1381 — Annexation.
  • HB 1382 — Redistricting commission.
  • HB 1383 — Lobbying by former legislators.
  • HB 1384 — Various economic development matters.
  • HB 1385 — Restrictions on public benefits to illegal aliens.
  • HB 1386 — Validating certain law enforcement actions.
  • HB 1387 — Personal needs allowance.
  • HB 1388 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1389 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1390 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1391 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1392 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1393 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1394 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1395 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1396 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1397 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1398 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1399 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1400 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1401 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1402 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1403 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1404 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1405 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1406 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1407 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1408 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1409 — Vehicle Bill.
  • Sentate:

    •  
      • SB 0336 — Stroke prevention task force.
      • SB 0337 — Direct wine sales.
      • SB 0338 — Electronic registration and titling of vehicles.
      • SB 0339 — Various motor vehicle matters.
      • SB 0340 — Prosecuting attorney pensions.
      • SB 0341 — Explanation of proposed constitutional amendments.
      • SB 0342 — Exemption of nonbusiness personal property.
      • SB 0343 — Theft of copper and other valuable metals.
      • SB 0344 — Police officer and firefighter appointments.
      • SB 0345 — Collection of unemployment contributions.
      • SB 0346 — Property tax circuit breaker.
      • SB 0347 — Dangerous communicable diseases.
      • SB 0348 — Child product safety.
      • SB 0349 — Sales tax increment financing feasibility study.
      • SB 0350 — Funding for community mental health centers.
      • SB 0351 — Property tax limitations and procedures.
      • SB 0352 — Various financial institutions matters.
      • SB 0353 — Office of the child advocate.
      • SB 0354 — Parole eligibility.
      • SB 0355 — Cemeteries.
      • SB 0356 — Possession of handguns on public property.
      • SB 0357 — Expungement of criminal offenses.
      • SB 0358 — Voter deception.
      • SB 0359 — Enhanced 911 systems.
      • SB 0360 — E85 fueling station grants.
      • SB 0361 — Treasurer of state.
      • SB 0362 — Interstate enforcement of protective orders.
      • SB 0363 — Uniform emergency health practitioners act.
      • SB 0364 — Child abuse or neglect reports.
      • SB 0365 — Law enforcement training funding.
      • SB 0366 — Standards for tutoring services.
      • SB 0367 — Financial responsibility for carriers of property.
      • SB 0368 — Teacher professional development days.

    January 11, 2008

    Charity Bailey’s Records Released: Police @ Phoenix

    Last week Charity Bailey’s records were released from the Marion County Juvenile court.  According to the Indianapolis Star:

    The 20-year-old Indianapolis woman now sits in a jail cell, accused along with her live-in boyfriend of killing her 3-year-old daughter, TaJanay, in November.
    Bailey’s alleged role in TaJanay’s death is the latest twist in a troubled life detailed in an unusual release of juvenile delinquency records Friday.
    Those records reveal a childhood fraught with drugs, sexual abuse and family discord — and a long list of interventions that failed to turn around her life.

    The article is really long and almost…almost…makes one feel sorry for her.  It’s a good example of what we in the therapy world call transgenerational issues.  Simply put, the term means issues that travel from on generation to the next.  It’s not an excuse for behavior, because every adult can change their circumstances, but an explanation for how these things happen.

    On a related note, the Indy Star has another story about the police and prosecutor opening offices in the Phoenix apartment complex where Tajanay died.

    January 6, 2008

    Bills and Resolutions Updated

    Filed under: Child Seduction,Children's Issues,FSSA,IN Judiciary,Indiana,insurance,Juvenile Justice,Marion county,Marriage & Family,Misc,Politics: General Issues,Politics: Healthcare,Politics: Property Tax,poverty,student aid — kurtglmft @ 7:03 pm
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Here are the current bills and resolutions filed in the statehouse this week.  The master list has been updated and is here.

    House:

  • HB 1060 — Great Lakes compact.
  • HB 1061 — Application of landlord-tenant statutes.
  • HB 1062 — Architectural salvage material dealers.
  • HB 1064 — Partition fences.
  • HB 1065 — PERF beneficiary change after divorce.
  • HB 1066 — Recovery for indirect injury in restraint of trade.
  • HB 1067 — United States flag protocol for Indiana soldiers.
  • HB 1068 — Drivers of vehicles carrying school children.
  • HB 1069 — Local ordinances to reduce speed limits.
  • HB 1070 — Legislators’ defined contribution plan.
  • HB 1071 — Funding for voting machine replacement.
  • HB 1072 — Unlimited lifetime handgun permit endorsements.
  • HB 1073 — Sales tax exemption for college textbooks.
  • HB 1074 — Disarming a law enforcement officer.
  • HB 1075 — Abandoned embryo adoption.
  • HB 1077 — Funding for local Memorial Day celebrations.
  • HB 1078 — Redistricting commission.
  • HB 1079 — Subjects of educational discussion and bargaining.
  • HB 1080 — Homeowners associations.
  • HB 1081 — Resisting law enforcement.
  • HB 1083 — Hoosier Inland Port study.
  • HB 1084 — Taxation of civil service annuities.
  • HB 1085 — Whistle stop signs.
  • HB 1086 — Penalties for failure to pay state taxes.
  • HB 1088 — Student mobility rates.
  • HB 1089 — Fire sprinkler contractors and installers.
  • HB 1090 — Climate registry.
  • HB 1091 — Growth and development study committee.
  • HB 1092 — School starting and ending dates.
  • HB 1093 — Charity gaming.
  • HB 1094 — Sales tax exemption for vending machine sales.
  • HB 1096 — Various provisions concerning courts.
  • HB 1098 — Net metering and interconnection rules.
  • HB 1099 — Shortfall loans from the common school fund.
  • HB 1100 — Halloween enticement.
  • HB 1101 — Utility receipts tax.
  • HB 1104 — Fire protection district excess property tax levy.
  • HB 1105 — Transfer of property to fire departments.
  • HB 1107 — Cultural competency.
  • HB 1108 — Sheriff’s compensation.
  • HB 1112 — Learner’s permits and driver’s licenses.
  • HB 1113 — Birth certificate fraud.
  • HB 1114 — Town police officer residency.
  • HB 1115 — Wabash River heritage corridor commission.
  • HB 1116 — State agency fines and penalties.
  • HB 1117 — Coal gasification and substitute natural gas.
  • HB 1118 — Alcoholic beverages.
  • Senate:

  • SB 0117 — Parole issues.
  • SB 0118 — DOC superintendent qualifications.
  • SB 0119 — Cell phone use while driving.
  • SB 0120 — Employer immunity for hiring offenders.
  • SB 0121 — Donations by local units to community foundations.
  • SB 0122 — Coverage for stereotactic radiotherapy.
  • SB 0123 — Grading and certification of meat products.
  • SB 0124 — Child seduction.
  • SB 0125 — Reentry courts and community transition.
  • SB 0126 — License plate cycle for certain plates.
  • SB 0127 — Local port authority eminent domain procedures.
  • SB 0128 — Equivalent jobs and wage discrimination.
  • SB 0129 — Notice of meetings.
  • SB 0130 — Conversion by failure to return rented property.
  • SB 0131 — Jurisdiction of university and college police.
  • SB 0132 — Definition of “serious bodily injury”.
  • SB 0133 — PERF COLA and thirteenth check.
  • SB 0134 — Consolidation of certain environmental and natural resources proceedings.
  • SB 0135 — Relocation of a riverboat.
  • SB 0136 — Challenges to a candidate’s eligibility.
  • SB 0137 — Public safety employees.
  • SB 0138 — Income tax withholding.
  • SB 0139 — Violation of probation.
  • SB 0140 — Tort claims against governmental entities.
  • SB 0141 — Sales tax exemption for college textbooks.
  • SB 0142 — Teacher professional development days.
  • SB 0144 — Residency of police officers and firefighters.
  • SB 0145 — Voter identification.
  • SB 0146 — Information preceding an abortion.
  • SB 0147 — Abandoned embryo adoption.
  • SB 0148 — Repeal of expiration dates for state offices.
  • SB 0149 — Coroner and deputy coroner training.
  • SB 0150 — Physical therapists.
  • SB 0151 — Checkoff for cancer research.
  • SB 0152 — Automated external defibrillators in health clubs.
  • SB 0153 — Extension of dentist instructor license.
  • SB 0154 — Regulated occupation definition.
  • SB 0155 — Study on domestic violence program.
  • SB 0156 — Communicable disease rules.
  • SB 0157 — Opioid treatment programs.
  • December 8, 2007

    Going After the Owners of Phoenix Apartments

    The Indianapolis Star reports in this story that the Indianapolis Housing Authority is going after the company that owns Phoenix Apartments.  This was the apartment complex where three year old TaJanay Bailey was allegedly beaten to death by her mother, Charity Bailey and her boyfriend, Lawrence Green.  Her death followed a return from foster care three weeks earlier and led to the Department of Child Services releasing her records.  Those records showed a supervisor minimized concerns, including those about Phoenix, and returned her to her mother.

    The housing authority “wants Connecticut-based RCM Phoenix Partners to return more than $300,000 in federal welfare rent payments for failing to evict unruly tenants and disclose business problems in other cities.”

    “Phoenix Apartments, the Northeast side complex that includes the residential block with the most violent crime in the city, was being scrutinized by the agency before TaJanay’s death last week.”

    But they still allowed people to live there.  Nice. 

    An agency study shows police have received 421 crime reports from residents of the Phoenix Apartments in the past 18 months.

    Police say it’s a haven for wanted criminals and stolen cars. Bullets holes have been visible on exterior walls, and residents describe units with mice and cockroaches and frequent plumbing problems.

    Among the 421 crime reports at the Phoenix compiled by the Housing Agency are 26 assaults, three with a gun, along with 18 burglaries, 10 drug investigations, 26 vandalism reports and 61 warrant arrests.

    In recent years, the Housing Agency has taken administrative actions against about 55 landlords, Myers said. Of those, half have returned the federal welfare rent payments, a quarter have been prosecuted for criminal acts and the remainder dropped out as welfare landlords.

    There is a great story here with extensive background and photos.   The Blogmeister can’t understand how the Housing Authority could allow anyone to live there after seeing these photos.

    More Indiana Kids Poor (part deux)

    The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette carries this story today.  The Blogmeister first posted on this on 11/26/07, but these statistics are even more clear.

    More Indiana children faced hunger and poverty issues this year than last, according to data released by the Indiana Youth Institute this week.

    While the percentage of children living in poverty in Allen County has risen slightly since 2004, from 16 percent to 16.8 percent, the institute said the rising number of public school students receiving free and reduced-price lunches indicates an increasing problem.

    Students from families with annual incomes less than $26,845 qualify for free lunches, and since 2000, the number of children involved in the lunch program has increased 40 percent, according to the Indiana Youth Institute.

    The number of children receiving reduced-price lunches has risen 30 percent during that time period. Students from families with incomes between $26,845 and $38,203 qualify for reduced-price lunches.

    Hungry children are more likely to receive lower grades, be suspended or expelled, suffer from depression and have suicidal thoughts, said Bill Stanczykiewicz, president and chief executive officer of the Indiana Youth Institute.

    The most recent numbers show that hunger is not limited to unemployed or homeless people. A quarter of working families in Indiana are considered low-income, and the majority of Indiana families who receive food stamps have one of more workers in them, Stanczykiewicz said.

    As the numbers have risen, so too have the number of working poor seeking aid from Community Harvest Food Bank – many families that have never needed assistance before, Executive Director Jane Avery said.

    “I have never seen it this tough,” said Avery, who has been with the food bank for more than 11 years.

    About 77 percent of Indiana households receiving food stamps include at least one worker, and 25 percent of those households have two or more workers, according to the Indiana Youth Institute.

    Nearly half the food stamp recipients in Indiana are children under 18, one of many statistics that trouble Avery.

    “You look at hungry kids and the percentages, and you have to remember, every percent has a face with it,” she said.

    Get Nichols, director of elementary administration for Fort Wayne Community Schools, said hunger is just one of many issues facing children in poverty.

    More than half of FWCS students qualify for free lunches, and the district also sees that those children sometimes aren’t properly dressed for cold weather and may have to fend for themselves after school, Nichols said.

    What’s more, low-income families tend to choose the cheapest foods, which are generally higher in calories and carbohydrates, she said.

    Cleaning out the RSS Feed Barrel

     Most days, the Blogmeister doesn’t get to all the news stories he wants to.  Here are all the stories and posts the Blogmeister either didn’t get to, or were deemed interesting, but not worthy of the Blog, over the past week.

    Foster mother of 45 gets help in time of need  
    Read This Story: What The Guv’s Tax Plan May Mean For Marion County 
    The Fallen Mighty: Allen County GOP Short On Cash After Election  
    Kenley Has Devoted Years To Tax Reform, Proposals 
    County executive concept develops  :Commissioners back idea; plan may go to legislature.  
    Harper’s findings 

    Report Ready on Trimming Government
    Late filings cost Burton’s PAC $4,450 
    Supreme Court will decide Indianapolis case 
    Daniels appeals FEMA aid decision 
    Suicidal molester sentenced 

    Gloomy Hoosiers Opinion 
    Senators urging welfare overhaul 
    Children dying for lack of child-sized drugs   
    Always aroused: A good thing gone awry
    Indiana lawmakers consider bill to eliminate township assessors office               
    Senate skeptical about appointed assessors IndyStar.com        
    Republican lawmaker’s support for Daniels’ tax plan is wavering?       
    Local Concern: Kenley Cautious In Light Of New Circuit Breaker Data       
    Now What? Tully Asks Readers To Chime In With Ways To Fix Phoenix       
    Property tax plan to get another look     
    Teacher’s post on blog leads to arrest, debate    
    Dobson criticizes tax plan:  Commissioner says St. Joseph wouldn’t be able to function under Daniels’ proposal
    Working ’10 til 2′ aids at-home professionals 
    Lawmaker calls for balance on taxes  
    Coming to terms with conflict at the office
    Losing virginity early or late tied to health risks 
    How depressed is your state?    
    Child abuse death isn’t the fault of system 
    Brain glitch behind distortion of self-image 
    Smaller babies grow up to be sadder adults 
    Anorexia risk may start before birth 
    Fever can unlock autism’s grip     

    December 4, 2007

    Four Teenagers Escape from Madison Center

    From the been there done that file;

    The South Bend Tribune reports today four teenagers escaped from the Madison Center Inpatient unit after overpowering a staff member.  The girls jumped into the St. Joseph River to escape pursuers and were promptly apprehended.  The girls, although no doubt wet and cold, were not injured.  No injuries were reported to the staff member.

    Hate it when that happens!

    December 1, 2007

    National Story: Rethinking Juvenile Justice

    Filed under: Juvenile Justice — kurtglmft @ 4:59 pm
    Tags: , , , , ,

    From the Associated Press, via the South Bend Tribune comes this story about the tendency to give juvenile offenders adult consequences.  Basically, it states this tendency was a reaction to spikes in juvenile crime in the late 80’s and early 90’s.  Since the time the laws were changed to treat juveniles as adults, research is now coming in indicating that sending juveniles to adult facilities only makes them better criminals.  Several states are looking at retooling their juvenile systems to focus on treatment, instead of incarceration with adults.

    As the Blogmeister has stated previously, he worked with juveniles during the early 1990’s in a program designed to change behavior and keep juveniles out of adult facilities.  He knows first hand that these programs do work.  However, there are cases where the programs fail.  With anything, we must not let the pendulum swing to far either way.  There will be cases where the public is best served by long term incarceration and others where treatment is the best option.  Read the story and decide for yourself, but in the Blogmeiser’s opinion, varied options available to the judiciary is the best public policy.

    November 26, 2007

    Addressing Homeless Youth (Kinda)

    The Indianapolis Star reports today on an legislative iniative to address Indiana’s homeless Youth.  The story is here.  The first thing on the agenda, to find out how big the problem is.

    “…estimates of runaway and homeless youths in Indiana vary widely, from 10,000 to three times that many.”

    The proposals are spearheaded by Rep. Dennis T. Avery, D-Evansville.  Second on the agenda is to:

    “…loosen restrictions that sometimes tie the shelters’ hands.

    Indiana law requires shelters to obtain consent from a parent or guardian before they help children younger than 18… One proposal would remove that restriction for teens 16 or older.

    Another proposal relaxes a rule requiring a shelter to notify parents of a runaways’ location within 24 hours of the youth’s arrival. The shelter would have three days … allowing its staff to probe for possible abuse or other threatening conditions.”

    While IST recognizes this is first step, and you have to start somewhere, it is hoped these proposals will go further and address the underlying difficulties these teens face.  While it is thought there my be a variety of reasons for this problem, most homeless teens are homeless because of longstanding difficulties in their family of origin.  To adequately address the issue, legislators should focus on families abilities to obtain treatment from qualified mental health professionals.  To do this, payment restrictions in medicaid and the insurance industry need to be relaxed.  However, this is a good first step.  Lets just hope it moves where it needs to and doesn’t stop with these initiatives.

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