Tag Archives: Governor Deval Patrick

CHINS REFORM BILL PASSED!

Finally! We have F.A.C.E.S
An Act Regarding Families and Children Engaged in Services

With our FACES bill on the Governor’s desk, the night before last night proved to be a victorious night for those who worked tirelessly on this reform for so many years, and also for 8,000 children and youth and their families across the state. For almost 40 years the CHINS system has criminalized young people who need help, not punishment, a probation officer and the lasting stigma of a court record.

ABOUT FACES:

The Problem: For nearly 40 years, CHINS has punished thousands of people, and helped few.

The CHINS system put youth (ages 6 to 18) into the criminal justice system and assigns them a probation officer, even if they have never been accused of breaking a law.

Being labeled a “CHINS Kid” unfairly stigmatized a young person at a time when we are still defining who we are.

Studies show that youths who are exposed to the criminal justice system in the formative years between 6 and 18 are more likely to be involved in serious crimes later in life. One reason for this is that young people become de-sensitized to going to court, so that it seems like no big deal.

There were roughly 9,000 applications for CHINS every year in Massachusetts, and each of those youths is assigned a probation officer. Of the approximately 6,000 cases that went through court, 60% or around 3,600 families lost custody of their child.

More than 50% of CHINS cases involved youth with a diagnosed mental health disorder, youth who needed treatment, not punishment.

The Solution: CHINS is now replaced with a new program: FACES

FACES (“Families and Children Engaged in Services”) will create an alternative to court, whereby families have the opportunity to receive the help they need without going through the court system. These services would be voluntary and collaborative.

The FACES program is designed to address whatever problems may be underlying a young person’s negative behavior – with mediation, mentorship, mental health or academic supports, for example – rather than treating the youth as a criminal in need of punishment.

Under FACES, both the youth and his or her parents will be eligible for legal representation.

Under FACES, there will be a full range of services provided consistently throughout the state, and these would be coordinated through a “wrap-around” process so that families and youth are part of a team working to build on the youth’s strengths and meet his or her needs – and also to build on the family’s strengths and meet their needs.

One goal of the FACES program is to provide services so that the youth can continue to reside in their home communities and attend their own schools.

A child will never be restrained in shackles or handcuffs, or placed in a lockup facility unless they are accused of breaking the law.

This bill would also increase the mandatory school attendance age to 18.

FACES will transform the current juvenile court based CHINS system to one which is community-based and family and child focused. It will integrate school and community based services with juvenile justice interventions to keep children healthy and safe; support and strengthen family connections; provide family services in the least restrictive environment possible.

FACES will prevent children from becoming criminally involved and decrease the juvenile justice pipeline CHINS has created.

FACES will eliminate the necessity for parents to lose custody of their children in order to receive services.

PATRICK, MURRAY AND GROSSMAN RECEIVED BAIN DONATIONS

First this:

http://articles.boston.com/2012-06-15/news/32257240_1_grand-jury-investigators-authority-employees

Now this:

By Steven R. Maher

Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick, Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray, and Treasurer Steven Grossman are among the Massachusetts Democratic leaders who received campaign donations from employees of Bain Capital, the investment company Republican nominee Mitt Romney presided over.

Patrick, a long time political ally of President Barack H. Obama, shocked many in the political world when he told CNN Bain was not a “bad company”. Patrick’s comments have reportedly appeared in Romney campaign advertisements in battleground states.
Obama and most of the Republican candidates had portrayed Romney’s Bain as a corporate predator, taking over and selling off other companies’ assets, or leveraging them to the hilt for profit. In the process, Bain was alleged to have devastated entire communities with massive layoffs.
State law requires campaign donations over a certain amount to include the name of the donor’s employer. So we went to the website of the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) which allows a search of campaign donations by a donor’s employer, and then sub-search by candidate. We searched Contributor Employers containing the name “Bain,” sorted by candidate.

Like start up

Deval Patrick received 31 donations from Bain employees totaling $11,500. The fascinating thing about this support is that 65% of it came at the time Patrick needed it most: prior to his first election as Governor in 2006. Patrick received 14 donations totaling $4,900 prior to the September 26, 2006 Democratic primary and another 7 donations totaling $2,500 before the November 2006 general election. It may not sound like much, but for a struggling gubernatorial candidate without spectacular personal wealth of his own, such amounts go a long way in the early stages of a campaign.

Romney received only two Bain donations worth $700 in 2007, the same amount in 2008, one Bain donation of $200 in 2009, $1,200.00 in five donations in 2010, and none at all in 2011 and 2012.
Bain looked at Patrick the way an investment company looks at a start up company with an attractive new product: a good investment, providing seed money for a struggling political entrepreneur. For Mitt Romney, the payback he received from the Bain donations was enormous: staggering under the blows from Obama’s attacks on Bain, he got a rebuttal from an African American supporter of Obama. It was a return on investment, in political terms, that was priceless, a working man’s equivalent of having a winning Power Ball ticket.

Other notables

Patrick was not the only high level Massachusetts Democrat to benefit from Bain employees’ largesse:

• Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray received ten donations worth $4,350 from Bain employees, all but one of which were made in 2006.

• Treasurer Steven Grossman received six donations totaling $2,350.• Boston May Thomas Menino received $500 in 2005 from a Bain employee.

• In 2008 Massachusetts Speaker of the House Sal DiMasi, now in jail, received a $250 donation from a Bain employee.

• The Massachusetts Democratic State Committee received $35,000 in donations from Bain employees.

• Former Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly received $1,000 in contributions from Bain employees.

• Former State Senate President Robert E. Travaglini received $700 from Bain employees.

Governor Patrick visits Worcester’s Woodland Academy, a state Innovation School

Stand for Children supports parent advocates in Innovation School transformation!

WORCESTER: Governor Patrick visited Woodland Academy this morning to meet with staff and tour the school, which will reopen as an Innovation School this fall.

Jabián Gutiérrez, Central and Western Massachusetts Director with Stand for Children said, “All members of the Woodland Academy community have come together to make changes that are going to benefit kids starting next year. Superintendent Boone, Principal Padilla, teachers, and parents have advocated together to become an Innovation School so that they can exercise increased autonomy and flexibility, which will help them improve outcomes for students.”

Stand for Children member and Woodland Academy parent Diana Renteria is pleased to see Woodland becoming an Innovation School because of the flexibility it will provide with hiring decisions. “Becoming an Innovation School allows the Instructional Leadership Team to conduct an in-depth interview process to choose teachers that are the best fit for the school and the students.”

On May 5, 2011, the Worcester School Committee voted unanimously to approve five Innovation Schools in Worcester next year. In 2010, Stand for Children members supported An Act Relative to the Achievement Gap, which allowed for the creation of Innovation Schools. The schools, which must be authorized by local School Committees, enjoy more autonomy and flexibility than traditional public schools in the areas of curriculum, budget, schedule and calendar, staffing, professional development, and district policies.

Despite increased autonomy, Innovation Schools are held accountable for achieving annual student learning and performance goals. Additionally, Superintendent Boone has outlined ambitious student achievement goals in the Worcester Compact, and the tools afforded by Innovation Schools including increased community partnerships, may help the schools reach those benchmarks. Principal Patricia Padilla commented, “Innovation Schools have united the entire school community in support of high levels of achievement and college and career readiness.”

Jason Williams, Executive Director for Stand for Children said, “We are excited to see plans for Innovations Schools come to fruition. By increasing ownership and flexibility for teachers and school leaders, Innovation Schools will be able to make critical changes that will benefit kids.”

Stand for Children is the state’s grassroots advocacy group committed to public education and closing the achievement gap.