Fenger Followup

It's not my fault.

Jackson to ride bus with Fenger students Tuesday Tribune
Jesse Jackson on Tuesday morning will ride a school bus to Fenger High
School with students who live in the Altgeld Gardens housing
development, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition said today.


Two Fenger High teens arrested Friday Sun Times
Fenger High School students were arrested in separate incidents --
including one in which a juvenile allegedly threatened to kill a
security guard -- inside the Far South Side school Friday, according to

Law keeps CPS in the dark on at-risk youths Carol Marin
whole idea behind the laws in question, the "Family Education Rights
and Privacy Act" and the "Juvenile Court Records Act," is to prevent
kids from being profiled or punished in schools for outside tangles
with law enforcement.

Institutional Violence Exacerbates Youth Violence Tracy Siska
Lawndale is controlled primarily by the Vice Lords while the Latin
Kings and 26ers primarily control Little Village, and they tend not to
get along. 

Chicago homicides decline 11% from same period last year Tribune
Killings of youths ages 6 to 18 also drop, police statistics say.

PS:  No one's yet filled me in on where The 'Ville name comes from or what part of Roseland it occupies.  Help me out?

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  • In general I like Carol Marin and have always considered her to be a thoughtful and professional journalist. But her column "Law keeps CPS in the dark on at-risk youths" which effectively has her joining the chorus for legislative changes to the Illinois Juvenile Court Act of 1987 (705 ILCS 405) seems a little bit impulsive and not typical of her. Here is an example of the problems with her Sun Times article. She writes: [Father] Pfleger explains: "A child can be gone from school for two or three weeks. Might have been in juvenile detention. The school has no knowledge and federal law says law enforcement can't share that."
    Now Ms. Marin I am sure does not want to challenge the good father, but if the child was placed in Cook County Juvenile detention the CPS knows very well that the child was there because the CPS school located in that facility called Nancy B Jefferson will enter the child

  • I would like to revisit the idea of automatically sealing juvenile records at the age of 18. I would, instead, like to see a policy where juvenile records are sealed after the individual has spent 5 years conviction free from the last arrest. So if a juvenile is convicted at 16, if the individual is not convicted again of an offense, the sealing would be done when the person is 21. On the other hand, if the individual is re-convicted at 19, s/he would have to wait until the age of 24 to have juvenile records sealed (and then only the juvenile portion of the criminal record would be sealed).

    Another idea is not to seal the criminal records of juveniles who are convicted of serious crimes. I tend to think of the juvenile record laws as having been drafted at a time when the juvenile record was likely to have been dominated by shoplifting, burglary and vandalism; not murder (whether 1rst or 2nd), gun crime or mayhem.

    However, I don't know that any of that has a lot to do with CPS. Did any of the Derrion attackers have records? Does the average CPS bully have a record? If so, do the teachers know about it with or without police briefing? Don't most teachers have an inkling of which students are or are not in gangs and if so what gangs it's likely to be?

    I would also be interested in knowing just what rate of Nancy Jefferson school attendees ever actually graduate high school.

    Rod, you mentioned many of the juveniles at lockup have disabilities. Do they wind up in the CJ system because they have little support either at CPS or in their home for their disabilities? I read a link you gave me some time ago on the link between disabilities and poverty. One of the explanations was that the rate of lead and other industrial pollutants exposure was high in some neighborhoods. I don't think, however, that that type of cognitive disability would lead to violence.

  • "...Do the teachers know about it with or without police briefing? Don't most teachers have an inkling of which students are or are not in gangs and if so what gangs it's likely to be?"

    No we do not--we are not informed of any crimes or affiliations students or their parents may have. We can guess and some students will flash a sign, but that may be a 'wanna be'. When students trust teachers and then give then a heads-up, we then let the right people know. I have always been surprised to find out that a student is a real gang banger and evidence presented, but I am a hopeful person. You would be amazed of the draw of the gang/thig life to young teens--many cannot wait to read My Bloody Life. And how so many student wore HOYA jackets after wbreak, just to be 'affilitated' or a fan of Mr. Larry Hoover.

    "I would also be interested in knowing just what rate of Nancy Jefferson school attendees ever actually graduate high school."
    Very few do graduate, but Ron likes numbers. Now this would be a great number for the Trib or Suntimes to get and it would not violate student privacy; just numbers and age, sex, race, not names. Wow, what a M80 that data would be in the papers.

    "Do they wind up in the CJ system because they have little support either at CPS or in their home for their disabilities?"
    The lead is less, but pollutants near Altgeld Gardens will have long lasting effects. The bigger reasons are depressed and angry and lonely, and struggling mothers, no fathers or imprisoned, parents with severe disabilities having children, too young mothers/fathers and little nutrition for their children and stressed living conditions or homelessness, or great-grandparents who were supposed to enjoy their golden years and are now raising
    thier drug addicted children's children, and CPS unwilling to diagnosis disabilities and provide services and putting so much paperwork and many gates in the process that parents and teachers give up. (Students with disabilities are very expensive.) All these are social and poverty issues. Ron needs to get to these schools, (he knows which ones--too many for him though), and assure a social worker at them all--full time; 5 days. Add, three year old prek and cradle care programs where mothers get support in how to raise themselves and raise their children.
    But Daley wants more police and there will always be jobs for prison guards.

  • There is little excuse for the poor nutrition for children. WIC is intended to ensure that pregnant women and babies have adequate nourishment. There are also food stamps. Do people not know about these programs? Could the city or some charities send folks out to tell people about these programs?

    Housing is harder, because there are waiting lists for Section 8, but can't the young family sleep on a relative's floor for a while? My sister and her family stayed with my family when I was a kid for a year or so because they were going through a rough time.

    Lack of a father doesn't have to be a disaster. It seem to me that if a child has one engaged, active parent, deeply interested in their social, physical, and educational health, they'll be fine.

    Is it just that the mother is overwhelmed? If so, then yeah, some kind of cradle care/ pre-k sounds reasonable. I'm guessing most of these over-whelmed mothers only have one child (if one child is overwhelming then two would be worse!)

    I have never been impressed with social workers. Most of the social workers at my alma mater we always said were working on their Mrs. degree. Many of them had washed out of the nursing program because they couldn't handle chemistry.

    Plus I remember the awful social workers from DCFS back during the bad times of the 1980s (when they would place children right back with the folks that had almost killed them the last time).

    I could be open to changing my mind though, I don't have any contact with social workers so my preconceived notions have had no reason to change.

  • Several questions were raised regarding the number of students with disabilities who are incarcerated in the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center and enrolled in N B Jefferson School. I have data going back to 2006. Some students never end up in the school because they are released very shortly after processing so this data is not perfect.

    N B Jefferson School

    2006 total enrollment 432, total students with IEPs 132, percent disabled 30.5%.
    Of these 132 students with IEPs 53 had learning disabilities, 67 were emotionally disturbed, 11 had cognitive disabilities, and one had another type of disability.

    2007 total enrollment 416, total students with IEPs 124, percent disabled 29.8%
    Of these 124 students with IEPs 48 had learning disabilities, 64 were emotionally disturbed, 10 had cognitive disabilities, and 2 had another type of disability.

    2008 total enrollment 338, total students with IEPs 98, percent disabled 28.9%
    Of these 98 students with IEPs 41 had learning disabilities, 54 were emotionally disturbed, and 3 had cognitive disabilities.

    2009 total enrollment 347, total students with IEPs 103, percent disabled 29.7%
    Of these 103 students with IEPs 48 had learning disabilities, 48 were emotionally disturbed, 5 had cognitive disabilities, and 2 had other disabilities.

    Having reviewed a sample of records of students with disabilities who were educated at Nancy B Jefferson several years ago I would say that of the emotionally disturbed students most had psychiatric diagnosis including conduct disorders and oppositional defiant disorders documented in their records. Many of the LD students were also boarder line cognitive and I would argue that given their maladaptive behaviors they could have qualified as cognitively disabled, but psychologists for the most part did not administer adaptive behavior assessments and went directly to a LD identification.

    I hope this helps to answer some of the questions people have asked.

    Rod Estvan

  • Here is some important info about adjudicated youth that just seems to keep getting passed over. (Sorry I just posted it in the wrong thread)


    Press Release
    December 10, 2002

    Psychiatric Disorders Common Among Detained Youth

    Among teens in juvenile detention, nearly two thirds of boys and nearly three quarters of girls have at least one psychiatric disorder, a federally funded study has found. These rates dwarf the estimated 15 percent of youth in the general population thought to have psychiatric illness, placing detained teens on a par with those at highest risk, such as maltreated and runaway youth. Conducted in the Chicago area, the new study is the largest and most methodologically sophisticated of its kind. Linda A. Teplin, Ph.D., Northwestern University, and colleagues, report on their findings in the December, 2002 Archives of General Psychiatry.

    Since previous studies of such youth had yielded inconsistent results, they sought to gauge the true extent of the problem by employing a large, stratified sample, randomized design and standardized diagnostic measures. They assessed psychiatric disorders in 1829 African American, non-Hispanic white and Hispanic teens, ages 10-18, randomly selected at admission to the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, over four years. About 8,500 enter the facility each year for pre-trial detention and brief sentences. About 90 percent are males, 88 percent African American, 17 percent Hispanic and 5.6 percent non-Hispanic white. Masters-level psychologists conducted a structured diagnostic interview with the selected teens during a 2-3 hour session following intake, documenting the six-month prevalence rates of various disorders.

    About half of the detained teens abused or were addicted to drugs, and more than 40 percent had disruptive behavior disorders: oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder. Even when conduct disorder (common in this population) was excluded, nearly 60 percent of males and more than two-thirds of females met diagnostic criteria for, and also were functionally impaired by, one or more mental or substance use disorders. Overall, disorders were more prevalent among older youth and females, more than 20 percent of whom had a major depressive disorder.

    Among boys, non-Hispanic whites showed the highest rates of most disorders and African Americans the lowest. The exception was separation anxiety disorder, which was more prevalent among African Americans and Hispanics than among whites. Hispanics had higher rates than African Americans of panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and substance use other than alcohol or marijuana disorders. The only categories for which boys showed higher rates than girls were a manic episode, psychotic disorders, any substance abuse disorder, and marijuana use disorder. In a departure from the overall pattern, older girls had lower rates of oppositional defiant disorder than younger girls.

  • QuietObserver's post would indicate that among the CPS students in Cook County Juvenile Detention Center we should probably be seeing even higher special education identification rates. I agree, I think it is part of the overall pattern of CPS under identifying EBD students. It is not uncommon for Juvenile Court Judges to order evaluations of students who are waiting trial, CPS has periodically opposed carry out these ordered evals saying there was no basis for the request on the part of the judge and the Juvenile Court lacked legal authority to order CPS to pay for such assessments.

    When I observed and reviewed records at Nancy B Jefferson some years ago I only looked at students who were already identified as disabled. So I can not really comment on those students not identified with any real degree of knowledge. I did not see records of many students who had substance abuse issues recorded, I am sure there were some but that information was not in the special education records of the students whose files I reviewed at the school.

    Rod Estvan

  • Sigh, that last anonymous comment was me, cermakRd. I must've forgotten to log in.

    I wonder how many of the substance abusers were unconsciously trying to self-medicate? Is psychiatric care covered under Medicaid? If so, does CPS have anyway for the students to access those services? If not, is there any other way for students to access the care they need?

  • So, all this talk about the boundaries not being the problem and now the school district announces that students in Altgeld Gardens can now enroll at Carver.
    Such simple answers to such serios mistakes.... But remember, the mayor said this was not the solution.

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