I think this is one area that cuts across ideological lines but that too often escapes our attention. In our book we call for the wholesale reform of child protective services across states. The system is stymied by politics, poorly funded, and enmeshed in a quagmire of laws and policies that often work against protecting kids.
I constantly hear people complain that you cannot spank your kids today. This is BS. The truth is you can beat the hell out of your kids and get away with it--for years.
Occasionally, really, really bad examples of child abuse and neglect emerge. And even here, the constraints placed on this messed up system sometimes collude to allow children to suffer.
The first order of government is the protection of citizens. People who abuse children, who starve them, who allow them to live in utter filth, are entirely worthy of scorn and severe criminal penalties.
If changing the system means first destroying it, then fine. Feel free to call me a liberal or a hypocrite. I don’t care. Just change it.
John Paul Wright and Matt DeLisi
Professors of Crime and Criminology