Children in Chaos: How Israel and the United States Attempt to Integrate At-Risk Youth

By Ivan C. Frank | Go to book overview

5
Federal Failures: How Bureaucracy Hinders Progress

Children sleeping hungry while they shivered through their dreams "Sing For Your Supper" by Doug Mishkin

In 1991 poverty and hunger stare one in the face throughout New York City's environs. One can also find them on the faces of other urban Americans. The number of poor people has risen in the United States for the first time in seven years ( CNN Newsnight Report, September 26, 1991). The man I saw lying on the church steps and the garbage strewn all over the streets of New York City are symbolic of that condition.

It is not at all surprising then, that for every five children counted, one is poor and chronically hungry. Hunger and poverty cause many children to be chronically absent from school, create learning difficulties for them, and hinder their attempt to work when they drop out of school. Instead of meeting the standards of our President's New American Schools, they will commit 50 percent of such crimes as car theft and gang shootings.

These same young people do not participate in healthy recreational activities. They will instead play in the streets where crime and violence occur. Many youth often join street gangs since they have little family structure. They will grow up into serious criminals, beginning with petty delinquency, then crimes of violence which are associated with drugs, and finally graduate from the juvenile centers to the adult jails or straight

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