Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mistreating Our Children Costs us Money

I got a tip last week about a community event set for tonight that I think merits widespread attention. It addresses an important community problem in a proactive fashion.

The issue is how our community is putting ordinary children doing ordinary things at life-threatening risk by our failure to understand what is happening around us, and by using the blunt instrument of our juvenile justice system as a convenient but expensive means of tackling a more complex situation.

The event, “Youth in Peril: A Community Response Public Forum”, is being presented by the South Euclid City Council Safety Committee from 7-9PM at the city’s community center, 1370 Victory Rd.

The program has a diverse panel of presenters, including County Juvenile Court Judge Michael Ryan, Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court; Judge Gayle Williams-Byers, South Euclid Municipal Court; South Euclid police chief Kevin Nietart; law professor and former assistant county prosecutor Carmen Naso of Case Western Reserve Law School.

Also on the panel:
 Chad Welker, Director of Business Services, SEL School District
 Keith Benjamin, Director for Community Services for South Euclid
 Karen Jones, a South Euclid teacher and board member/immediate past president of Cleveland Hts.-University Hts. School District

The program seeks to provide information about a process that is resulting in the criminalization of large parts of our population in ways that reverberate to our detriment, and to discover and begin to implement solutions that address behavioral issues in ways that mete justice and reform perpetrators without demonization-for-life.

For more, read today's second post.

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