For who knows what reason, found myself doing some research on kids doing life sentences and stumbled across a 2005 report from Amnesty International and Human Rights watch. Needless to say, the numbers struck me as obscene. “….There are at least 2,225 child offenders serving life without parole sentences in U.S prisons for crimes committed before they were age 18, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said in a new joint report published today…..” Bear in mind, these are kids who are not even considered responsible enough to buy a pack of cigarettes yet are being held accountable by adult standards.
Kids are not born bad. They come into the world without any knowledge, trusting and ready to learn. They learn what they are taught and as one young person asked me, how a person be held accountable for what was never taught to her. She grew up on foster homes. Until very recently the only requirement for foster homes were bathrooms, beds, clean water and etc. Where in any state foster home plan is a required course load in ethics, spirituality or morality.
It was not all that long ago that the state of Florida could not account for almost 500 kids assigned to the foster care of the state. This was a program that in theory had legislative oversight and none of the legislative oversight elected officials were ever held responsible for their failures to exercise oversight responsibilities.
Whereas I have precious little reverence or respect for the holy trinity of Florida Law (elected sheriff’s, prosecutors and judges) I am developing even less respect for lawmakers that pander to the Criminal Justice Industrial Complex in return for the electoral gold of endorsements and campaign contributions.
The entire report is relatively short and yet complete. Have been to a lot of 3rd world countries and am very familiar with Human Rights abuses but never in my wildest dreams did I ever think in terms of what we do to our own kids.