Dismantling the pipeline

The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) recently published America's Cradle to Prison Pipeline, a report on "an urgent national crisis at the intersection of poverty and race": the high lifetime risk of Black and Latino boys going to jail.
Poor children of color are the canaries in America's deep mines of child neglect and racial and economic injustice. At critical points in their development, from birth through adulthood, millions of these children confront a multitude of disadvantages and risks including poverty and its many stresses....These accumulated and convergent risks form a Cradle to Prison Pipeline, trapping these children in a trajectory that leads to marginalized lives, imprisonment and often premature death.
The report's proposed steps to help these children include:
  • A fundamental paradigm shift from the first choice of punishment and incarceration to early intervention and sustained child investment
  • Health and mental health coverage for every child and coverage of pregnant women
  • Quality Early Head Start, Head Start, child care and preschool so that every child is school-ready
  • Creating an ethic of achievement and high expectations for every child
The report was released at a summit held at Howard University last month.

According to its website, CDF is a private, nonprofit organization that provides a voice for the children of America, particularly poor and minority children and those with disabilities, and encourages preventive investment for these children. CDF was founded by Marian Wright Edelman in 1973.

America's Cradle to Prison Pipeline (pdf, 244pp/6.6MB)

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