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Forum: Giving single dads a chance

Updated: July 17, 2013 6:39AM



There are roughly 24 million children in the United States (or 34 percent) who live apart from their biological father, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. I wonder what kind of profound emotional effect that has on these children being raised by single mothers.

There are about 5.6 million men in prison throughout the U.S., 78 percent of whom grew up in fatherless households. That speaks volumes about the cycle of emotional distress that continually contributes to the psychological dysfunction of many troubled youths today.

When a child is born to parents who are not married to each other, the mother gets custody of the child unless the father goes to court for a different arrangement. While millions of children are growing up in this country without their fathers, single fathers who want to be in their children’s lives are often not given a chance to be there.

While it may be difficult for men to raise kids alone, it’s not impossible for single fathers to do so, as long as they have help. While the reality is that most single fathers don’t have help, many do a great job raising their kids despite the odds.

Single fathers are increasingly taking a more active role in their children’s lives, resulting in fathers bonding more with their children. This Father’s Day, thank God if you have a chance to be a great dad to your children.

William J. Booker

Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood

Chicago

Disagrees with editorial

In response to the May 31 editorial expressing support for locating a privately run immigrant detention center in Joliet, I strongly disagree that it would have been a good thing for Joliet or any community in Illinois.

Private prisons are banned in Illinois, for good reason, and I feel that ban should extend to detention centers. I applaud Gov. Pat Quinn and others for their successful stance against the proposed Joliet center.

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) raked in a cool $1.73 billion in revenue in 2011 and has spent millions in campaign contributions and lobbying efforts to ensure its big profits.

Due to lack of strict oversight at CCA facilities, complaints of abuse, inadequate medical treatment and prolonged detentions persist. When profit is the motivation, it pays to keep the center filled, hold detainees longer and offer minimum living conditions.

Cash-strapped states and municipalities are lured by big promises of corporations offering services once provided by the public sector. But the idea that private companies can do it better and cheaper than public institutions is a myth.

Private water companies, charter schools and the 75-year parking contract in Chicago are examples of such failed promises of better efficiency and lower costs.

Keep the profit motive out of our justice system and private immigrant detention centers out of Illinois.

Sue Myers

Frankfort



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