News Flash from E.P.O.C.A
Re-Routing the Prison Pipeline
by Corinne Rhodes
In 2011, we launched our new, multi-initiative campaign, Re-Routing the Prison Pipeline. We are proud to announce that thanks to support from Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People we have already won one of our initiatives - On August 10, 2012, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law our campaign with allies Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and the Children's League to reform Massachusetts' Child in Need of Services (CHINS) system to FACES (Families and Children Engaged in Services). FACES is a new, community-based system where children and families will receive the counseling, mentoring and other services they need rather than the criminal stigma of having a CHINS record. The FACES program is designed to address the problems underlying a young person's negative behavior with mediation, mentorship, mental health and academic support. No longer will 9,000 children and youth (ages 6-18) annually be introduced to the criminal justice system through the CHINS process in our state. No longer will an alarming 60% or around 3,600 youths annually be removed from their homes. No longer will children be restrained in shackles, handcuffs or placed in a lock-up facility.
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