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CA "Pipeline" Clogged With Kids?

January 18, 2008

Oakland, CA – A six-year-old black boy in California has a one-in-three chance of eventually winding up in jail, while the odds are one in six for a Latino boy, according to research from the Children's Defense Fund (CDF). The group refers to this situation as the "Cradle to Prison Pipeline," and has kicked off a new campaign in California to try to better the odds for children of all ethnicities to lead normal, productive lives.

The organization has created a nine-point plan that includes guidelines for educational achievement, the criminal justice system, and mentoring. Nina Moreno, with CDF in California, says what they're fighting is not a "kid problem," per se, but an adult problem.

"This is primarily an adult problem – the adults failing our children, and creating the conditions for the 'prison pipeline' to exist. This plan is a useful tool for mobilizing Latino and Spanish-speaking activists, a key demographic affected by the pipeline."

Moreno says families, communities and policymakers of all races and ethnicities have a role to play in making sure kids reach their full potential, and she is confident that the information in the new report can help make that happen. Learn more about it online, at www.childrensdefense.org.

Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - CA