Speaking of the foster care to prison pipeline….

Ken Mascara has been the sheriff of St. Lucie County in Florida for the past 20 years. He has seen funding for mental health facilities plummet, and as a result, more and more mentally ill patients end up languishing behind bars. Now, he gives his Brief But Spectacular take on making county jails safer, and smarter.

It is going to take everyone, a village, the legislators, the governors, the presidents, and every day people like you and me to make the world a better place for foster children. As some of you already know from my past reports, more than 80% of the children placed in foster care are “prescribed psychotropic drugs to help them cope”. Once they age out statistics show that 75% of the aged-out youth end up incarcerated within two years. Often because they did not have access to the drugs they were prescribed as children, and they turn to street drugs. They have no family to support them. Most of the time family times are severed and children are moved away from anyone and everything they know. We have to do better!

In a related article: Fostered Or Forgotten? I mentioned that we have to stop the foster care to prison pipeline. When I wrote that it had came to my attention just how devasting and alone prisoners that grew up in foster homes, group homes, and juvenile detentions are. Many of them, when they age out, end up sitting in solitary confinement with no family to reach out to. No one to reach out to when the guards do give them five minutes a day or a month to make a phone call.

There are people sitting in jails and mental hospitals that do not even know who their family is or where they came from and public defenders and social workers “drop the ball”. Leaving them there with no one to advocate for them, and do you want to know how it almost always ends? It almost always ends in solitary confinement until they kill themselves or a jailer loses it and kills them.

Minding Hearts is building advocacy and peer support groups, “Hearts and Minds” in each state. The groups are created to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for those that might not otherwise be heard. We are here for encouragement, education, and support. We cannot give legal advice, but we can try and direct you in the right direction with your case. Links to legal services are listed with their states. Please share and let’s grow our groups. We are here to support families and develop resources that maintain family integrity. We look forward to your support. If you would rather become active by donating, then visit the donation page. Thank you.

11 thoughts on “Speaking of the foster care to prison pipeline….

  1. Wow.
    Everytime this topic is brought up probably I have about 50 things going through my mind I want to express to those who are unaware.
    Almost 30 years in Florida now I’ve been a clinical social worker I’ve had 50 foster kids I have started programs in both behavioral facilities and psychiatric facilities mentoring programs I’ve been School administrators for alternative and kids that were convicted felons by 12:00 I’ve seen the ugliest of the ugliest but not in the kids and my speaking. The problem or one of the major problems is our systems are protocols our government have way too many high level people benefiting from this actually occurring. For a brief example for those that don’t know take pharmaceutical industries. The sheriff mentioned that concern and it’s extremely pertinent. However it’s only relevant and it’s only an issue in two countries in the entire world. The United States and New Zealand. The reason being is every single country other than us and New Zealand when approached by a big pharmaceutical to advertise directly to the consumer and use their psychological BS to get everyone thinking they need pills for everything we are the only two that said yes and every other country said no way they foresaw the deaths they foresaw the overdose they foresaw with the sheriff just referred to about needing psychotropics and even psychologically because some of them are half of them at least don’t work but in their minds they need them. There are so very many issues even just in the state of Florida that nobody at the top wants to even talk about I personally as well as several other people that have been in this field and experiences have tried to reach out many times to the two highest elected officials in our state with no response except a letter apologizing for not being ever able to have a conversation about it. That’s a problem. It’s much too much Express my feelings on this issue in this little comment is probably too much already but I will say this is only the second sheriff in the State of Florida I have personally out of his own mouth along with sheriff Judd and actions actually show legitimate concern with these issues these children the corruption and It’s upsetting to think that’s the case and to actually know that’s the case. So with that my suggestion to everyone who really does care is to quit isolating quit being alone nobody’s going to do this on their own and nobody is going to do it going through the protocol of the system in place currently it’s going to take the general public to understand what’s going on the voters the taxpayers those who elect people to start making some changes. It’s definitely doable but as long as there is constant confusion and constant distraction and constant fear thrown at people by the media intentionally to not allow people to start paying attention and use critical thinking we will never get there..

    Foster care is the actually smallest number of individuals that are impacted negatively by abuse and this is an interview I did a couple years ago preceding one of my books and this issue here is one that people just don’t want to unbury their head about. But every one of us taxpayers funds this operation by the way whether you know it or not.

    TJ Petri BSW CFT
    Daytona Beach Florida

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for speaking up! I love hearing from social workers and counselors that work this. I recently became aware of how people are held in solitary confinement until they go completely insane and end up mutilating and killing themselves. I was paralyzed at first. It took me a little bit to catch my breathe and then I went straight to the sheirff’s pastor and told him they were testing my faith!Q Nothing changed YET. I was able to catch a minute of your video. I will have to catch up later when i get back into town and have service. 🙂 I wish I was back in Florida. I’ve made several post about the sexual abuse that you may be interested in. They are listed in the titles in the archives if you scroll past the archive dates; but beyond the churches (“Their word was golden”, church leader” Mennoites, etc) particulary for you is 17 Tips for Professionals Addressing Abuse. There is a research project going on and maybe you can get involved. https://mindinghearts.com/2021/08/31/17-tips-for-professionals-addressing-abuse/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. O M G.. okay so I just read part of your article and we must talk as soon as possible I am not believing what I’m reading regarding Florida 7th circuit which I am extremely familiar with the one of the most corrupt systems in the United States personally and professionally it is anyways let me know either by email or whatever how we can communicate I want to talk

        Liked by 1 person

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