Reinstein asks her who she is.

"I'm a grandmother from Florida," says the woman, bedecked in jewels and wearing a long, purple dress adorned with multi-colored beads. "I came here to help this girl. I would like to know if her baby can be put up for adoption."

The judge says it is way too premature to discuss anything like that.

Judge Reinstein: "CPS generally gives parents every opportunity to fail."
Judge Reinstein: "CPS generally gives parents every opportunity to fail."

He asks Alex about her background. The girl says she never has attended school, has "moved around a lot," and is barely literate, having learned how to read a little from a "Hooked on Phonics" tape and by watching Sesame Street.

"I was born in the U.S., so that makes me a citizen of here," Alex says.

Reinstein gives the girl a primer on how the dependency system works.

"The goal right now is to try to reunify you with your baby, but how fast that's going to be isn't for sure yet," he says, asking her if she understands what he is saying.

Alex nods that she does.

"It depends on how well you do with the things you are asked to do. Let's say you don't cooperate with CPS, and you don't get the help you need. Then, your parental rights potentially could be terminated. But that's way down the road, at least nine months to over a year."

Speaking up again, the colorfully dressed older woman says she wants to hire her own attorney to represent the girl. Reinstein tells her that Alex's new lawyer is an able advocate but that it is her call.

Another attorney, who is representing the baby's legal interests, as a guardian ad litem, suggests that Alex, too, needs a guardian because of her youth and lack of education.

"Guardian ad litem? What's that?" the girl asks.

"Someone to advocate what's in your best interests as a person, not just the legal side of things," the baby's guardian explains.

Alex looks back to the older woman.

Reinstein asks the woman what her specific family connection is to Alex. She allows that she is not exactly the girl's grandmother but is part of her extended family.

The judge smiles briefly at the notion that grandmother is not really grandmother.

He remains courteous to the woman and to Alex.

Reinstein is what citizens want a judge to be — polite, attentive, calm, and decisive. You may not agree with him, but you respect him, and vice-versa.

Out in the hall after the hearing, the older woman tells New Times that she only wants what is best for the baby ("He's helpless right now, you know") and for drug-addicted Alex.

Alex is supposed to return to court a few weeks later for an initial dependency hearing. At least until then (and certainly much longer), the baby will remain in the care and custody of CPS.

But when that next date arrives, Alex fails to show up. The "grandmother" also is nowhere to be seen. A CPS caseworker says the girl has not checked in with her since shortly after the first hearing.

Though the process still will take months, it seems likely that, short of a drastic turn of events, Alex's parental rights will be legally severed.

Hopefully, a couple will adopt the infant as their own. (Over a year's time that ended last June 30, 1,475 children were adopted in Maricopa County, according to presiding juvenile judge Eileen Willett).

Alex's case is an easy one for Reinstein because the girl abandoned her baby. Many others, however, pose far greater challenges for everyone concerned.

"The tough ones, where you are able to figure something out that may make a child's life better now or later, those are the cases that a judge lives for," Reinstein would say after his two-year stint in Dependency Court.

One case involved a baby from Mexico named Carlos and his mother, Maria.

When Carlos was 10 months old, Maria tried to sneak into the United States to join her husband in New York. She paid a "coyote" most of her life savings to usher her and Carlos across the border near Nogales.

Before crossing, the coyote somehow convinced Maria that it would be safer if she and her son crossed in separate groups.

Maria never did make it across. But Carlos did.

The mother of three contacted Mexican authorities as soon as she could and told them what had happened.

Officials at the Mexican consulate in Phoenix said they would help but needed Maria's birth certificate, a photo of Carlos, and DNA samples from the woman to prove she was the missing child's biological mother, in the lucky event that he turned up.

Five long months passed before Phoenix police came upon a healthy toddler during a raid of a west side drop house. The adults at the house claimed not to know anything about the baby's origins other than a coyote had dropped him off there at some point.

Judge Reinstein came into the picture.

CPS soon asked the judge to sever the parental rights of Carlos' absent mother and father, which ordinarily would have been a formality. That ruling would have freed up the baby for adoption, which is one of the agency's missions.

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8 comments
friedland_law_center
friedland_law_center

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friedland_law_center

Friedland Law Centeris a setup of trained mitigators work extensively with all major banks to reach resolutions on mortgage modifications and foreclosure matters.i strongly recommend to get their services.

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Friedland Law Centeris a setup of trained mitigators work extensively with all major banks to reach resolutions on mortgage modifications and foreclosure matters.i strongly recommend to get their services.

Juvenile's Rights
Juvenile's Rights

This should give the public an idea of what is going on in the juvenile and family courts:

Editorial: Judges SentencedKids for cash

The setting is Pennsylvania coal country, but it's a story right out of Dickens' grim 19th-century landscape: Two of Luzerne County's most senior judges on Monday were accused of sending children to jail in return for kickbacks.

The judges, Luzerne County President Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr., 58, and his predecessor, Senior Judge Michael T. Conahan, 56, will serve seven years in jail under a plea agreement.

They're alleged to have pocketed $2.6 million in payments from juvenile detention center operators.

When a federal judge reviews their plea, though, the question ought to be whether the punishment is adequate - along with the judges being bounced from the bench, disbarred, and losing their pensions.

If the allegations are true, Ciavarella and Conahan were involved in a disgraceful cabal far worse than one that merely lined their pockets.First, the judges helped the detention centers land a county contract worth $58 million. Then their alleged scheme was to guarantee the operators a steady income by detaining juveniles, often on petty stuff.Many of the kids were railroaded, according to allegations lodged with the state Supreme Court last year by the Philadelphia-based Juvenile Law Center, an advocacy group.

In asking the court to intervene in April, the law center cited hundreds of examples where teens accused of minor mischief were pressured to waive their right to lawyers, and then shipped to a detention center.One teen was given a 90-day sentence for having parodied a school administrator online. Such unwarranted detentions left "both children and parents feeling bewildered, violated and traumatized," center lawyers said.

"Very few people would stand up" to the Luzerne judges, according to the law center's executive director, Robert G. Schwartz.Fortunately, Juvenile Law Center was willing to do so, along with backing from state Attorney General Tom Corbett's office and the state Department of Public Welfare.

The blind justices on the state's high court, though, took a pass. Only last month, they offered no explanation in declining to take up the law center's request that the court step up.

Now, the state Supreme Court should revisit the issue, since the scope of corruption alleged at the Luzerne County Courthouse in Wilkes-Barre could further undermine confidence in the courts statewide.Authorities need to redress running roughshod over juveniles' rights - a process also likely to bring damage suits. While the local district attorney pledges to "do our best to right the situation," this calls for an independent, outside review.

The two judges' downfall may have rooted out the worst perpetrators of this evil scheme, but the abuse of power alleged in Luzerne County is so startling that it should send shock waves for reform around the state court system.

Comment by Juvenile's Rights from East Valley on Feb 1st, 2009, 17:47 pm

Family Court Needs Independent
Family Court Needs Independent

This comment from above says it all --"Now if we can just get Paul Rubin to do a story on the cesspool that is "family court" in Maricopa County"

This destructive court needs independent investigation and the relationship of the judges to the county attorney's office and the use of the legal system, trumped up serious charges to throw the other spouse's life away, one step short of a gun. Family lawyers who get rewarded with Judge positions in the Family court and how they are linked to cases they handled. Those who abuse the family court system in this way should be given harsh mandatory sentencing like that the "other side" is facing. How many family court / child custody / child support cases end up with the other parent in jail / prison silenced for years and isolated from their children. The public is very uniformed about the abuses going on in the family court. The parent with the most money wins -- it's obvious why.

Follow the money, the pay-offs, the destruction to the children by vengeful spouses.

Keep up the great series, Paul, the family court needs it's own series. It's a place of destruction of families, the children's lives and the future of the society.

A parent
A parent

Now if we can just get Paul Rubin to do a story on the cesspool that is "family court" in Maricopa County.

Tom Mixx
Tom Mixx

An Inconvenient Truth about Child Protective Services, Foster care, and the Child Protection "INDUSTRY"

Child Protective Services Does not protect children...It is sickening how many children are subject to abuse, neglect and even killed at the hands of CPS.

every parent should read the free handbook fromconnecticut dcf watch...

http://www.connecticutdcfwatch...

Number of Cases per 100,000 children in the USThese numbers come from The National Center onChild Abuse and Neglect in Washington. (NCCAN)Recent numbers have increased significantly for CPS

Perpetrators of Maltreatment

Physical Abuse CPS/Foster care 160, biological Parents 59Sexual Abuse CPS/Foster care 112, biological Parents 13Neglect CPS/Foster care 410, biological Parents 241Medical Neglect CPS/Foster care 14 biological Parents 12Fatalities CPS/Foster care 6.4, biological Parents 1.5

Imagine that, 6.4 children die at the hands of the very agencies that are supposed to protect them and only 1.5 at the hands of parents per 100,000 children. CPS perpetrates more abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse and kills more children then parents in the United States. If the citizens of this country hold CPS to the same standards that they hold parents too. No judge should ever put another child in the hands of ANY government agency because CPS nationwide is guilty of more harm and death than any human being combined. CPS nationwide is guilty of more human rights violations and deaths of children then the homes from which they were removed. When are the judges going to wake up and see that they are sending children to their death and a life of abuse when children are removed from safe homes based on the mere opinion of a bunch of social workers.

THIS IS AMERICA'S HIDDEN HOLOCAUST

Currently Child Protective Services violates more constitutionally guaranteed liberties & civil rights on a daily basis then all other agencies combined, Including the National Security agency/Central intelligence agency wiretaping programs�

"It is the closest agency we have to the Gestapo in our society."-District Judge R. Darryl Mazur

THE CORRUPT BUSINESS OF CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICESBY: Nancy Schaefer Senator, 50th District of Georgia

http://www.senatornancyschaefe...

The Business of Child Stealing in Florida

http://www.nolanchart.com/arti...

This is Child Protection?By Gregory A. Hession, J.D.

http://www.accessmylibrary.com...

Mercenary Motherhood: "Memoirs of a Babystealer."

http://www.latimes.com/news/op...

FOSTER CARE IS A 80 PERCENT FAILURE:. A Brief Analysis of the Casey Family Programs. Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study. By Richard Wexler

http://www.nccpr.org/reports/c...

http://www.nccpr.org/index_fil...

HOW THE WAR AGAINST CHILD ABUSE BECAME A WAR AGAINST CHILDREN

http://www.nccpr.org/issues/1....

http://www.nccpr.org/reports/a...

Adoption Bonuses: The Money Behind the MadnessDSS and affiliates rewarded for breaking up familiesBy Nev Moore Massachusetts News

http://www.massnews.com/past_i...

Ted Gunderson Speech to Congressional Hearing on Child Protection 3/13/04

http://educate-yourself.org/tg...

Phoenix New TimesOutrageous FortunePrivate lawyers in Maricopa County child-dependency cases are soaking us for unbelievable bucksBy Paul Rubin

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com...

When The State Becomes Parent by Mollie Martin.

http://www.ejfi.org/family/fam...

A recent study has found that 12-18 months after leaving foster care:

30% of the nation�s homeless are former foster children.27% of the males and 10% of the females had been incarcerated33% were receiving public assistance37% had not finished high school2% receive a college degree50% were unemployed

Children in foster care are three to six times more likely than children not in care to have emotional, behavioral and developmental problems, including conduct disorders, depression, difficulties in school and impaired social relationships. Some experts estimate that about 30% of the children in care have marked or severe emotional problems. Various studies have indicated that children and young people in foster care tend to have limited education and job skills, perform poorly in school compared to children who are not in foster care, lag behind in their education by at least one year, and have lower educational attainment than the general population.*Casey Family Programs National Center for Resource Family Support

80 percent of prison inmates have been through the foster care system.

The highest ranking federal official in charge of foster care, Wade Horn of the Department of Health and Human Services, is a former child psychologist who says the foster care system is a giant mess and should just be blown up.

http://abcnews.go.com/Primetim...

Four rigorous studies have found that at least 30 percent of America�s foster children could be home right now if their parents had decent housing.

These studies found thousands of children already in foster care who would have done better had child protection agencies not taken them away in the first place.Read the studies online.

Front-page story in USA Today.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/n...

Casey "alumni" study: "Improving Family Foster Care: Findings from the Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study,"

www.casey.org/Resources/Public...

MIT study: "Child Protection and Child Outcomes: Measuring the Effects of Foster Care,"

www.mit.edu/~jjdoyle/doyle_fos...

http://www.cftl.org/documents/...

Texas comptroller's "Forgotten Children" reports:

http://www.window.state.tx.us/...

www.window.state.tx.us/forgott...

Chosen Children: how the Foster Care and Adoption industries fuels the Prison industry.

Billion Dollar Babies in America's Foster Care, Adoption & Prison Systems by Lori Carangelo

http://www.thechosenchildren.c...

http://www.thechosenchildren.c...

Statistics of Adoption-2005 Edition-Compiled and edited by Lori Carangelo

http://www.amfor.net/statistic...

The bottom line? - Child Protective Services and the Foster Care system for the most part turns out young adults that are nothing more than Walking Wreckage...

CURRENTLY CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES VIOLATES MORE CONSTITUTIONALLY GUARANTEED LIBERTIES & CIVIL RIGHTS ON A DAILY BASIS THEN ALL OTHER AGENCIES COMBINED INCLUDING THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY/CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY WIRETAPPING PROGRAMS....

CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES, HAPPILY DESTROYING THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT FAMILIES YEARLY NATIONWIDE AND COMING TO YOU'RE HOME SOON...

BE SURE TO FIND OUT WHERE YOUR CANDIDATES STANDS ON THE ISSUE OF REFORMING OR ABOLISHING CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES ("MAKE YOUR CANDIDATES TAKE A STAND ON THIS ISSUE.") THEN REMEMBER TO VOTE ACCORDINGLY IF THEY ARE "FAMILY UNFRIENDLY" IN THE NEXT ELECTION...

"SAVE THE FAMILY AND YOU SAVE THE CHILD"

Pennyrichter
Pennyrichter

how true! I just listened to one thing alex jones may be right about on his show Friday May 18.2012 I just could not believe it cps and peoples poor little children and I know for a fact that kids can be hurt from both sides of the situation. I sugest people listen to that one day about the middle of the show it is worth the time spent God Bless all the Children and the people who are really help to all! The evil ones may Gods Rath come to you and the devils lies.

 
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