Legally Kidnapped

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Saulnier: CHINS law is outdated.

Saulnier: CHINS law is outdated.

No child should need to go to juvenile court to get mental health treatment; no child can get effective treatment in isolation from family issues. Yet that is what happens daily in Massachusetts, where experts estimate that eight out of 10 young people in the juvenile justice system have serious emotional disturbance, often acting out deep stresses in their families, and where spending on corrections has increased 121 percent in the past eight years. These issues cry out for reform of the Massachusetts Child In Need of Services (CHINS) statute. We need to treat not punish young people with mental health conditions.

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