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Sunday, July 18, 2021 2:42:12 PM

Teens: Behind Bars In Prisons



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Very few people are in prison for drug use alone. Marijuana is the most abused drug because it is the most used drug. More children are in treatment for marijuana than for all other drugs. Somewhere between Nadelmann and Bennett is Joseph A. Califano Jr. Like Bennett, Califano believes that decriminalization of drugs is a dangerous idea and that the criminal justice system must continue to handle drug users with a firm hand.

But he has opposed some of the tough mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses and says we can do much better in prevention through education. Legalization or decriminalization, he believes, would make drugs more available to children, and overall use would increase. Drug policy, he believes, should focus on initiatives such as neighborhood- and school-based programs aimed at high-risk 8- to year-olds.

He also favors outreach programs specifically tailored to particular categories of people who may abuse substances for very different reasons and in very different patterns, such as mothers on welfare, families torn by domestic abuse, families living in public housing, college students and people with HIV. But Nadelmann rejects the claim that decriminalization of marijuana is a Trojan horse for a broader legalization agenda. Maybe so, but few national politicians have jumped on the bandwagon. Schmoke worked with Nadelmann in developing a needle-exchange program in Baltimore when he was mayor. Are such programs making a difference? For both Mike and Kristi Burns, now in their 40s, the first marriage came young and left early, and the second stuck around for more than a dozen years.

Kristi was 19, living in South Carolina, and her Marine boyfriend was about to be shipped to Japan. In Japan, Kristi gave birth to her son Brandon, realized she was lonely and miserable, and left the marriage seven weeks after their first anniversary. Back in the States, Kristi studied to be a travel agent, moved to Michigan and married her second husband at age He was an electrician. He adopted Brandon, and the couple had a son, Griffin.

The marriage lasted 13 years. After the divorce, friends persuaded her to try the online dating service match. They started chatting. He met his second wife through mutual friends, they had a big church wedding, started a software publishing company together, sold it and had two children, Brianna and Alec. When the marriage started going downhill, Mike ignored signs of trouble, like the comments from neighbors who noticed his wife was never around on weekends. After 15 years of marriage, his wife did it for him, and kicked him out of the house. The kids are still adjusting to one another. Sometimes Kristi, a homemaker, feels jealous of how much attention her husband showers on his daughter Brianna, Sometimes Mike retreats into his computer.

Yet they are determined to stay together. In America, family is at once about home and the next great frontier. The Baby Boom for Gay Parents. A growing number of same-sex couples are pursuing parenthood any way they can. One parent is the breadwinner, a corporate lawyer who is Type A when it comes to schoolwork, bedtime and the importance of rules. Both parents know when rules and roles are made for subverting. Wayser glanced at Richard Schulte, 61, his homemaker-artist husband, who was sitting nearby. Wayser, Mr. Schulte and their six adopted children are part of one of the more emphatic reinventions of the standard family flow chart.

A growing number of gay men and lesbians are pursuing parenthood any way they can: adoption, surrogacy, donor sperm. Wayser said. Some critics have expressed concern that the children of gay parents may suffer from social stigma and the lack of conventional adult role models, or that same-sex couples are not suited to the monotonous rigors of family life. Earlier studies, often invoked in the culture wars over same-sex marriage, suggested that children who lived with gay parents were prone to lower grades, conduct disorders and a heightened risk of drug and alcohol problems.

But new research suggests that such fears are misplaced. Through a preliminary analysis of census data and other sources, Michael J. Rosenfeld of Stanford University has found that whatever problems their children may display are more likely to stem from other factors, like the rupture of the heterosexual marriage that produced the children in the first place. Once these factors are taken into account, said Dr. And two-father couples, in defiance of stereotype, turn out to be exemplars of domesticity.

According to the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, the number of gay couples with children has doubled in the past decade, and today well over , same-sex couples are raising children. Other estimates put the number of children living with gay parents — couples and singletons combined — at close to two million, or one out of 37 children under age Driving the rise in same-sex parenthood is the resonant success of the marriage equality movement, which has led to the legalization of same-sex marriage in 16 states and has helped ease adoption policies elsewhere.

In , 19 percent of same-sex couples raising children reported having an adopted child, up from just 10 percent in Gay parents are four times as likely as straight ones to be raising adoptees, and six times as likely to be caring for foster children, whom they often end up adopting. Some crave the fetters of DNA, and here women have an advantage.

Many of the children of lesbian couples are the biological offspring of one of the women and a semen donor — who may be anonymous, a friend, the brother of the nongestating woman, or Mark Ruffalo. The Schulte-Wayser family started out unhyphenated, as the Waysers. The two men had broken up; Mr. Wayser was living alone in Los Angeles, his law career was in flux, and he was tired of obsessing about work. His mother was thrilled, and she offered to pay the costs for a surrogate mother to carry a baby conceived with his sperm.

Wayser said no. He met with an adoption lawyer in March , and by June he had a newborn daughter, Julie. Several months later, Mr. Schulte called to chat, heard Julie in the background and stopped by to meet her. The baby reminded him of Don King, the boxing promoter. Schulte said, and Mr. His old boyfriend took it. Schulte said. Wayser later married in Malibu. He admits to being a worrier. The Wedding Will Have to Wait. The idea of marriage can be intimidating, so some couples choose cohabitation instead. Ana Perez, 35, who moved to New York from the Dominican Republic at age 5, has an open smile, a firm handshake and a vivid, scrappy manner just this side of a fireplug.

But as she recalled the night she threw the father of her two older children out of her Harlem apartment, her voice cracked into a dozen pieces and her eyes blurred with tears. But when he began lavishly dating the younger sister of a friend of hers, Ms. Perez confronted him in a fury. For a second, I saw my children without a mother — because I would be in jail. Perez said, but he has no say in their upbringing. For the past six years, Ms. Perez has lived with Julian Hill, 39, the father of her third child, Bubba, 4. He is devoted to all three children and involved in their everyday lives. Until this fall, Ms. Hill, equally ambitious, has worked as a notary public, mortgage closer and occasional stock investor.

He and Ms. Perez recently started a small notary-mortgage business. Hill said. Yet he admits that for now even that downsized goal remains elusive. Perez have been engaged for more than a year, and they plan to go more than another year before getting married. Of the many changes to the design, packaging and content of family life over the past generation, researchers cite two as especially significant. One is the sharp increase in out-of-wedlock births among all but the most highly educated women. The second is the repositioning of marriage from cornerstone to capstone, from a foundational act of early adulthood to a crowning event of later adulthood — an event that follows such previous achievements as finishing college, starting a career and owning furniture not made from fruit crates.

The two trends are interrelated, researchers say, but for reasons that are often misunderstood. Unmarried parents are not necessarily the careless and shortsighted hedonists of stereotype. Instead, a growing number of Americans are simply intimidated by the whole idea of marriage: It has assumed ever greater cultural status, becoming the mark of established winners rather than of modestly optimistic beginners while weddings have become extravagant pageants where doves and butterflies are released but still, nobody gets the bridesmaid dresses right.

Childbearing, on the other hand, happens naturally, and offers what marriage all too often does not: lifelong bonds of love. Kathryn Edin , a professor of public policy and management at Harvard University, has interviewed hundreds of low-income Americans. Nelson, Dr. Edin describes the enormous instability of family life among the working class and the poor. Yet Dr. Edin also punctures the myth of the low-income father as a deadbeat who deposits his sperm and runs. Instead, the young men in her study were eager to establish their paternity.

Edin said. Most of Ms. She is convinced that having her first child at 19 was the right thing to do. I would have spent all my time just hanging out. Nevertheless, she frets incessantly about the future. To Atlanta, by Way of Sri Lanka. The Indrakrishnans are part of a new tide of immigration with traditionally strong family ties. Indrakrishnan replies cheerfully. Iran, Egypt, Turkey, Afghanistan? Negatives all around. Where is that? Such casual geographic illiteracy may soon give way under the sheer force of numbers.

Indrakrishnan is part of a new tide of immigration that has been sweeping America, upending old voting blocs, reconfiguring neighborhoods, diversifying local restaurant options and casting a fresh perspective on the meaning of traditional family values. Though much of the immigration debate has focused on Latinos, the fastest-growing immigrant groups are not Hispanic but Asian. The Asian-American population soared by 46 percent from to , compared with 43 percent for Hispanics and 1 percent for non-Hispanic whites , and the Asian share of new immigrants nearly doubled , to 36 percent from 19 percent. The s stereotype of the ideal American family, of Dick, Jane and Wonder Bread homogeneity, arose at a time when the immigration rate was near historic lows.

Today, the best place to find a traditional, G-rated American family may be in an immigrant community. Asian-American families, in particular, are exceptionally stable. They are half as likely to be divorced as Americans in general ; only 16 percent of Asian-American infants are born out of wedlock, compared with 41 percent over all; and 80 percent of Asian-American children are raised by two married parents, versus 63 percent over all, according to Pew Research data. Many of the new Asian immigrants come from solidly middle-class backgrounds, and many, though by no means all, do as well or better after moving to the United States.

Fifty-one percent hold college degrees, compared with 31 percent of all adults. Indrakrishnan, 53, who also teaches at the Emory University School of Medicine, is something of a celebrity among South Asian immigrants — the sociable, civic-minded and highly successful professional everyone wants to schmooze with at the local Hindu temple each week. He lives with his wife, Gayathri, 49, a tax accountant, and their daughter, Harini, a high school senior, in a gated enclave on the banks of a glistening artificial lake, not far from the former residence of the football quarterback Michael Vick. Personal statements can be found throughout: in one corner, an elegant bronze sculpture of the Hindu deity Shiva ; in another, a bulbous-bodied stringed instrument called a Saraswati vina that Gayathri Indrakrishnan wishes she had more time to play; and in the basement, a custom-built studio where Harini practices Bharatanatyam, a highly structured, almost geometric form of classical Indian dance that has become a defining feature of her otherwise all-American life.

Her parents grew up in the same part of Sri Lanka and had friends, a family doctor and a cleaning woman in common. He flew to Toronto for a rendezvous. Indrakrishnan said. After they married and settled in the United States, Ms. Indrakrishnan traded microbiology for an M. She and her husband became American citizens a decade ago. The Census Bureau does not track the frequency of arranged marriages, but researchers believe the numbers are rising.

Among other signs, they said, is the growing number of immigrant matchmaking websites like bharatmatrimony. And though many Americans may bridle at the idea, studies suggest there is little downside to letting the family do your advance work. Indran and Gayathri Indrakrishnan independently identified the same key to long-lasting marital harmony. Many of Dr. Tolerance extends to their parenting style. Their expectations for Harini are quite high, but they care less whether she aces every class than that she is always trying, always seeking to improve.

Harini, it seems, has absorbed the parental credo. When she sensed that Facebook was interfering with her schoolwork, she deactivated her account. It is no secret that many Asian-American students excel academically; their average SAT scores, for example, are the highest of any ethnic group. But a long-term study of Chinese-American families suggests that view is nothing but a stereotype. The researchers, led by Su Yeong Kim , an associate professor of human development and family sciences at the University of Texas at Austin, administered lengthy questionnaires to parents and children, asking about school, work, home life, grades, extracurricular activities and emotions. Kim said. With two children, the Glusacs may seem typical, but their story is more complicated.

A few years ago, she and her family participated in a landmark study by researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles — a close anthropological look at the daily lives of 32 typical middle-class American families. She wears a long white skirt, black blouse, jeans jacket and a silver necklace, and is sitting on a plump aubergine couch in a comfortable, recently renovated postwar bungalow in Westchester, a solidly middle-class neighborhood not far from the Los Angeles airport. On the typical side of the ledger: The average middle-class family has two children, and seated next to Ms.

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