Is Mr. Shellenberger seriously proposing that jailing children is an appropriate response to poverty and child abuse? Children have no say in the conditions they are born into. However, we adults, and especially adults in positions such as Mr. Shellenberger’s can influence those conditions.
Why not instead of preemptively jailing children for being born into impoverished neighborhoods (conditions that have been created through redlining and other racist policies), we invest in neighborhoods, support parents, fund education and provide social services so that no child in the United States is living in “horrible conditions and situations?”
Why don’t we look at the strengths that exist within neighborhoods that Mr. Shellenberger characterizes as “horrible?” We are likely to find community activists, grandparents, teachers, religious leaders and neighbors supporting one another while the officials are busy building more jails to send children to and justifying the use of the jails by deploring the conditions of the neighborhoods we have disinvested in.