Moving America Forward

Why Youthful Indiscretions Shouldn’t Result in Jail Sentences, How to Save Babies Born with Opioid Addictions and More

April 8, 2016
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Why Youthful Indiscretions Shouldn’t Result in Jail Sentences, How to Save Babies Born with Opioid Addictions and More
Adam Foss, assistant district attorney in Suffolk County, Mass., speaking at TED2016. Photo by Bret Hartman / TED
Take a break from the regular news cycle and check out these NationSwell must-reads, which uncover solutions that are moving America forward.

 

A Prosecutor’s Vision For A Better Justice System, TED
Adam Foss, a prosecutor with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston, recently asked a group of TED participants how many had ever drank underage, tried an illegal drug, shoplifted or gotten into a physical fight. While viewed by most as youthful indiscretions, these same offenses often land black and brown youth in criminal court, viewed as being dangerous to society. Which is why Foss is using prosecutorial discretion to dismiss minor cases that aren’t worthy of a criminal record.

Tiny Opioid Patients Need Help Easing Into Life, Kaiser Health News and NPR
In this country, addiction to heroin and prescription painkillers like hydrocodone, oxycodone or morphine continues to rise, even afflicting new moms. During pregnancy, these mothers must decide between getting clean and risking a miscarriage or delivering a baby that’s likely to experience drug withdrawal. With about 21,000 infants suffering from withdrawal each year, doctors in Rhode Island, nurses in Connecticut, researchers in Pennsylvania and public health officials in Ohio are all working on solutions to help these new families.

Website Seeks to Make Government Data Easier to Sift Through, New York Times
Just because the government releases endless pages of data to the public doesn’t mean it’s easy to turn those statistics into something that you can actually comprehend and use. DataUSA, an open source brainchild coming from the M.I.T. Media Lab, organizes and visualizes the information, presenting it in charts, graphs and written synopses. Thanks to this project, instead of just hearing a statistic of how many people in Flint, Mich., live in poverty, for example,  you can see it visually represented on a map.

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