“It should be a wrap-around for the youth, to give them the services they need,” he said. “It’s not supposed to turn into a punitive measure. That’s how they get in the [juvenile penal] system.”  This quote, attributed to Disability Rights Arkansas Executive Director Tom Masseau, can be found in the article published by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette this past Sunday entitled, “Helping Hand Can Slap Kids in Jail”.

This article looks at the reality of the Family in Need of Services (FINS) process in Arkansas, and how great the divide can be between what people think the purpose of FINS is and the reality for many juveniles who navigate this system.  One family in particular is spotlighted as an example; a mother refers her son in hopes of obtaining treatment for his drug addiction, only to see her son incarcerated in a detention facility.  The article cites a collaborative report produced by DRA and Hendrix College, “Unfulfilled Promises: The Reality of FINS in Arkansas”, and notes the FINS program is often “in clear violation of civil liberties of both the parent and the child.”

To read the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette article, click here:  Helping Hand Can Slap Kids in Jail

To read the DRA/Hendrix report on the FINS program, click here:  Unfulfilled Promises: The Reality of FINS in Arkansas