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How The ‘War On Drugs’ Tears Families Apart

Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder (also known as opioid addiction) is a valid pathway to recovery. In fact, it can be recovery itself, even if a patient requires staying on it for a set period of time or indefinitely. The viewpoint that MAT for chaotic opioid use is a form of recovery is one that people are slowly coming to accept, even if it comes into conflict with other, abstinence-based viewpoints of recovery. Unfortunately, there is a stigma associated with MAT, as expressed in the Narcotics Anonymous World Services Board of Trustees Bulletin #29, “Regarding Methadone and Other Drug Replacement Programs”: “We make a distinction between drugs used by drug replacement programs and other prescribed drugs because such drugs are prescribed specifically as addiction treatment.

The Case For Child Welfare Abolition

Early last December, CBS Sunday Morning ran a 12-minute segment about the harms of the child welfare system. The report led with the story of Vanessa Peoples, a Colorado nursing student and mother of three who became the subject of an abuse investigation after her two-year-old briefly wandered away from a family picnic. A stranger saw the child and called the police, despite the fact that Peoples, who is Black, caught up with her son shortly afterward. The call initiated an investigation from child protective services (CPS). A month later, a social worker made an unannounced visit to Peoples’ home.

Cuba Says Yes To The Code Of Families!

Cuba dawned today with great expectation for the long-awaited news: The Family Code will be law, after the majority of Cubans supported the document during the popular Referendum held on Sunday. Early this morning, the president of the National Electoral Council (CEN), Alina Balseiro Gutiérrez, announced in a live broadcast that the preliminary results of the vote count has affirmed that the Code will be law. The count at this point has determined that 3,936,790 of the 6,251,786 Cubans who went to the polls voted Yes for the document (66.87 percent). With most of the ballots counted, the electoral authority assured that 1,950,090 people voted NO, (33.13 percent).

Abolishing The Family Policing System

My passion for the fight to abolish oppressive policing systems – especially the family policing system (also known as the “child welfare system”) – is fueled by my personal experience of having my two children ripped from me in 1999. The two and a half year fight to regain custody, the many additional investigations after my children were returned to me and my learning through research what communities were being impacted by the family police and outcome of the children they claim to protect. The family policing system can completely destroy people’s lives. After I reunited with my children, I knew other parents and families were experiencing the same harm I had experienced, and I knew I had to do something to change that.

Cutting Incarcerated Mothers Off From Families Hurts Everyone

As Wendy Sawyer and Wanda Bertram recently wrote for the Prison Policy Initiative, “Over half (58%) of all women in US prisons are mothers, as are 80% of women in jails, including many who are incarcerated awaiting trial simply because they can’t afford bail… And these numbers don’t cover the many women preparing to become mothers while locked up this year: An estimated 58,000 people every year are pregnant when they enter local jails or prisons.” In this edition of Rattling the Bars, Mansa Musa speaks with Debra Bennett-Austin of Change Comes Now about the shocking number of incarcerated mothers in the US today, the barriers keeping incarcerated mothers from staying connected with their families, and the irreparable damage those severed connections cause for everyone involved.

Universal Housing Vouchers: A Promise Or A Pipe Dream?

Once again, the clock is ticking as states scramble to distribute billions in federal emergency rent relief to stress-weary, increasingly panicked tenants and landlords before the national eviction moratorium expires. If the money doesn’t get out in time, a rush of evictions and foreclosures could be in store this fall. Would the nation be in such a precarious predicament if everyone who qualified for a housing voucher got one? Over the last year and a half, tenants who receive income-dependent rental assistance—like housing vouchers—had their rent responsibility reduced when their incomes fell, and their landlords were still paid. But housing vouchers’ eviction-preventing effects were limited to households lucky enough to get a voucher, since the underfunded Housing Choice Voucher program reaches just one in five households that qualify.

The Pandemic Revealed That Child Care Is Vital Work

The COVID-19 pandemic has created several shifts across the labor landscape while exposing how piecemeal family care policies have left workers in precarious situations. The closure of schools at the end of the spring semester and uneven plans for reopening this fall have prompted questions about how a society and economy can function without sustainable care work. In this interview with M.A.R.CH. co-founder Phuong Nguyen, we discuss what the Memphis-based organization has meant within the vibrant social justice scene and how developing care policies in a right-to-work state could impact the future of childcare movements, both in and out of academia.

Abolishing Policing Also Means Abolishing Family Regulation

The uprisings taking place across the nation and the world have brought unprecedented attention to abolition as a political vision and organizing strategy. More Americans are recognizing that police killings of black people are so pervasive that they can no longer be considered aberrations. Rather, police violence stems from the very function of policing to enforce an unjust racial order. Policing, therefore, cannot be fixed by more failed reforms; it must be abolished. The most prominent demand emerging from the protests is to defund the police and reallocate the money to provide health care, education, jobs with living wages, and affordable housing. I am inspired by calls to defund the police.

Parents Become Activists In The Fight Over South Portland’s Petroleum Tanks

SOUTH PORTLAND—Sometimes, grassroots activism looks obvious, with bold signs and public acts of disobedience. Sometimes, it looks like this: 14 people sitting on the carpeted floor of a sunny room in a home on Cottage Road while young kids color and eat crackers and fruit. So it was on a recent Sunday, as members of Protect South Portland, an environmental group, sought to tap into a new vein of activism: parents.

Half Of US Adults Have Immediate Family Member Currently Or Previously Incarcerated

Washington, DC – A new, first-of-its-kind report released today finds that nearly half of all adults in the United States – approximately 113 million people – have an immediate family member who is either formerly or currently incarcerated. Based on new research conducted by and Cornell University, this is the first ever national estimate of the share of Americans who have had an immediate family member spend time behind bars. “These numbers are stunning, all the more so if you think of them not as numbers but as stories like mine,” said Felicity Rose, Director of Research and Policy for Criminal Justice Reform at

Tech Workers and Flight Attendants Resist Immigrant Family Separation

ICE depends on a lot of people's work, not just its agents'. Software engineers and flight attendants who took a stand added their efforts to a national push that got the Trump administration to suspend its family separation policy, Credit: Seattle Democratic Socialists of America. The brutal and wildly unpopular Trump administration policy that separated thousands of children from their immigrant parents triggered widespread protests. It also provoked resistance from workers whose jobs are crucial to carrying it out. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) don’t operate in a vacuum. They depend on a host of products and services—including technology produced by software engineers and travel assisted by flight attendants.

Activists Plan Nationwide Protest Over Immigration Policies

In response to the Trump administration’s immigration policies, which include separating parents and children attempting to illegally cross the border, Families Belong Together is organizing a nationwide series of marches demanding reform. The marches are set for Thursday. Organizers of the group wrote in a press release: [I]t is unconscionable that the US government is actively tearing apart immigrant families. They are victims of violence, hunger, and poverty and our government’s actions re-violate them, causing untold damage. Children as young as 18 months are torn from their mothers’ arms by our own government.

One In Four Children Live In Immigrant Families

President Trump has intensified national debate about immigration by implementing policies to enhance immigration enforcement and restrict legal immigration. Recent findings show that the climate surrounding these policies has significantly increased fear and uncertainty among immigrant families, broadly affecting families across different immigration statuses and locations. The effects extend to lawfully present immigrants, including lawful permanent residents or “green card” holders, and children in immigrant families, who are predominantly U.S.-born citizens. In particular, findings point to both short- and long-term negative consequences on the health and well-being of children in immigrant families. Potential changes to public charge policies intended to reduce use of public programs by immigrant families, including their citizen children, could further increase strains on immigrant families and lead to losses in health coverage.

‘The Justice System In Its Current Form Destroys Families’

By Staff of Generation Opportunity - A year ago, Weldon Angelos was released from prison after serving nearly 13 years of a 55-year sentence. Today, he’s leading the movement for criminal justice reform in the United States. Weldon’s story about facing over-criminalization and injustice is well-known. He was arrested for selling marijuana while in possession of a firearm and received an extraordinarily long punishment for a first-time, non-violent offender. Since his release, Weldon has worked tirelessly to reconnect with his family – his sister, his nephew, and his fiancée and two sons – while fighting to fix our broken criminal justice system. “I’m incredibly grateful to be out, but I’m going to continue to push for reforming mandatory minimum sentencing because it destroys so many families,” Weldon declared in an interview last year. “I witnessed that first-hand in prison. There are other people like me, even more deserving than me, that should be out.” Generation Opportunity caught up with Weldon during a recent trip to Washington, D.C., where he shared his story with lawmakers and urged them to make criminal justice reform a top priority. Weldon took a few minutes to talk to Gen Opp about adjusting to life after prison and what he considers the most important elements of criminal justice reform.

Two States Consider Bills To Keep Parents Out Of Jail

By Victoria Law for Truthout - Ayana Aubourg has one childhood memory of her father that does not involve a jail or prison visiting room. "The only thing I can remember is him making spaghetti," said Aubourg, whose father was sentenced to 10 years in prison when she was seven years old. She saw him once a year in a visiting room that she remembers as being "cold and controlled." Later, a playroom was added for the children visiting their fathers, but the presence of a few toys did little to make the atmosphere warmer or cheerier. "It's still a very traumatic experience," she told Truthout. Spaghetti remains her favorite dish. Aubourg is now 22; her father was released from prison five years ago. But the prison visiting room lingers in her mind, and she is now working to change the laws that rip so many families apart.
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