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On the one hand, it's a concern about just who is living in the group home and what crimes they committed to get there. It's easy for the opposition to make blanket speculative statements about the extreme end of potentials. But, in fact, they don't have any clues on specifics. Nevertheless, it is an understandable concern. Yet, there is still the hypocritical aspect to their arguments. They want domething done to get the most troubled kids help. They just don't want it in their "back yard". The argument put forth that "if you want to help them, then let them live with YOU" falls flat on its face because those adults involved in the group home are, or should be, experts or professionals in their fields and equipped to handle these kids, or they should be. They are not, contrary to the misinformation presented by those who oppose such homes, your average citizen with a job of their own seperate from taking care of troubled youth. In some cases, the opponents equate to being members of a NAMBLA spin off group that could be called "Child Abuse Lovers Of America". They support all forms of abuse against children and call it "corporal punishment" with the defense that they were abused as punishment when they were kids, so we should be strict on kids too. They would, most likely, like to see the 7 year old vandal put into the general population of NC State Prison where Bubba can have his go at the kid, which is acceptable "corporal punishment" because, hey, the kid earned it 'cuz he was a troublemaker. Ok, maybe extreme, but the fact is these group homes serve as the gateway to hard time in prison. They are not in "lock down" for the most part, but under authorized strict house rules. Violation of those rules can land the kid in a higher security facility. And, as with adults, having been in the group home might make a difference for some, while others may repeat their actions, adding to the financial cost of yet another jail/prison inmate. Arguments vary as to why have such a home placed in a residential area. It would certainly raise great concern if a violent youth were to stay in the home. But just how violent is too violent to be in a group home? I know that youths who've committed sexual crims have spent time in group homes. Doubtful that murderers would spend time in a group home. A gang member? Possibly. Someone who has committed violent robbery? Lower possibility, but still possible. Repeated fights? Possible. And certainly plenty of non-violent criminals. On a lighter side, the argument about not having been informed about the group home made me instantly think of Arthur Dent and The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. Andrew


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