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Iran threatens to exceed the uranium enrichment limit agreed to under a 2015 nuclear deal. Also on today's rundown: More results of a new report on children's well-being; and a North Carolina Jewish congregation returns to its synagogue after sharing a local church.

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Children's Defense Fund: Stop the Pipeline to Prison

March 2, 2009

Sacramento, CA - The Children's Defense Fund has identified a "pipeline to prison" that begins with poverty, and children enter it at a very young age. Over the past week, members of the CDF from Wisconsin and across the nation gathered in California to talk about ways to dismantle that pipeline by breaking the cycle of poverty.

Because poverty is the largest factor in determining which Wisconsin children eventually end up in prison, the key is implementing programs that have been proven to work, CDF spokesperson Evan Holland says.

"We really have to look at these models and figure out how to make them work for states like Wisconsin and the young people who are at risk in Wisconsin."

Holland says the next step is to pressure policymakers to do the right thing.

"We need to push our leaders and those with resources who are gatekeepers to really look at those programs and implement them in Wisconsin."

Holland says nearly 14 percent of the children in the state are poor, and for African-American children, that number rises to more than 47 percent. The CDF favors programs that provide access to quality early childhood development and education services that CDF studies show are effective in breaking the "prison pipeline."

The timing of the conference was good, Holland adds, because more funding is becoming available with the new leadership in Washington, D.C.

"We know the economic stimulus package will help states with resources to support programs that affect children."

Glen Gardner, Public News Service - WI