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Jacqueline Caster
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Blog Entries by Jacqueline Caster

A Would-be Teenage Spy at the 1976 Republican Convention

(1) Comments | Posted August 30, 2012 | 3:31 PM

I was and remain to this day, a hardcore Democrat. So it was a curious thing that I found myself, at age 19, attending the 1976 Republican Convention in Kansas City, Mo., and being actively recruited by the Reagan caucus of the Missouri delegation to spy on their Ford counterpart....

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A Rupture in the Youth Pipeline to Prison in Los Angeles

(17) Comments | Posted March 15, 2012 | 10:00 AM

America incarcerates more youth than any other nation on Earth - at least among nations that keep such data. Within the U.S., California leads this practice where on any given day, roughly 15,000 youth reside behind bars and recidivism rates run high. That may soon change.

Last week,

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The Urgent Need to Change the CDC's Definition of 'Safe' Blood Lead Levels

(0) Comments | Posted January 12, 2012 | 10:40 AM

Recently, a federal advisory committee announced its recommendation that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) change its outdated threshold for the diagnosis of "lead poisoning" in children. The standard has not been revisited in two decades, and it's about time.

Currently, the CDC will not classify an...

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Child Health-1, Sarah Palin-0

(1) Comments | Posted December 3, 2010 | 3:59 PM

This week, Congress set into motion what will be the biggest improvement in childhood nutrition in decades.The House just passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, providing $4.5 billion over 10 years to improve the quality of food served in schools, remove junk food from school cafeterias and support healthy exercise...

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The Insanity of Sentencing Minors to Adult Prison: The Maryland Study

(2) Comments | Posted October 12, 2010 | 11:53 AM

"Why adult prison? It's not to help you better yourself, but to transform you in the most messed up ways because you hear and see more crime."

- "Frederick," arrested at age 16 and now serving a 30 year sentence in a Maryland prison


Empirical data from a...

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A Novel Approach to Stem Gang Recruitment of Minors

(14) Comments | Posted August 13, 2010 | 9:23 PM

We have all heard this familiar story. A young person living in a low-income, crime-ridden neighborhood gets caught up with an older crowd who talk him into assisting in a theft, assault, or worse. The juvenile might be an accomplice driving the car or serving as a lookout, or he...

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Where Is the Obama Administration on Juvenile Justice Reform?

(3) Comments | Posted June 21, 2010 | 4:27 PM

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of being part of a group invited to The White House to discuss the need for the Obama Administration to focus on juvenile justice reform issues. It was an encouraging meeting, and the officials present seemed interested in what we had to...

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Memo to Sarah Palin: Four Reasons Why You Will Never be in Teddy's League

(8) Comments | Posted September 3, 2009 | 1:02 PM

Sarah - there is a lot you could learn from the life of Ted Kennedy - that is, if you were someone who saw value in learning new things (more on that later):

#1: While Senator Kennedy was a man who may have been less than perfect, he never...

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Mayor Villaraigosa's Failure to Endorse the Youth PROMISE Act is Puzzling and Disappointing

(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2009 | 10:15 PM

Children's advocates, as well as youth development and juvenile justice experts across the nation, have serious concerns with S. 132, the Gang Abatement and Prevention Act of 2009, authored by Senator Dianne Feinstein. S. 132 misses the mark on how to deal effectively with gangs and gang violence. While it...

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Los Angeles' Juvenile Justice Fiasco

(3) Comments | Posted May 2, 2009 | 5:43 PM

We can go a long way toward helping California's budget crisis simply by reforming Los Angeles County's antiquated juvenile justice system.

California houses the nation's largest jail population, averaging 253,000 adult inmates per day in its state, county and local facilities combined. This year, operation of the State facilities...

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