Parents in prison add stress to children, family lives

Capital News Service
LANSING — One in 10 Michigan children has had a parent in jail or in prison, a rate so high it puts Michigan in a tie for the thir- highest rate in the nation, according to a newly released report. And that has significant ramifications for the mental health of the children. “This is as traumatic as experiencing domestic violence and abuse, in that the trauma continues to affect kids into adulthood,” said Alicia Guevara Warren, Kids Count project director for the Michigan League for Public Policy, a Lansing-based child welfare advocacy group. Losing a parent to the penal system puts children at greater risk of depression and anxiety, she said. The loss also puts a greater financial burden on families to cover basic household expenses.

More services advocated for girls in juvenile justice system

Capital News Service
LANSING — The arrest rate for girls age 18 and younger has decreased significantly from 13 percent in 2011 to 7 percent in 2014, according to the State Police. The number of girls arrested decreased from 8,835 in 2011 to 5,410 in 2013, then to 5,055 in 2014, according to Shanon Banner, public affairs manager at the State Police. But those numbers are still significant, and few projects and programs in the juvenile system are specifically for girls, according to the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency (MCCD). “But there should be because it’s a big deal with a large population of young women in the justice system,” said Kristen Staley, the deputy director of the MCCD. Most of the MCCD’s is focused on young people of both genders in the juvenile system, but Staley said the council is working on bills that would benefit female juveniles.