President Joe Biden can perform a public service by quickly “pardoning” — or setting up a mechanism to do so — thousands of foster children and those who aged out of foster care and carry with them criminal records that prevent military service, college scholarships or employment.
These children, many of them now adults, are known as “crossover kids.” They grew up in child welfare systems and were charged with crimes, called acts of delinquency, many arising because they were victims of childhood trauma, with damaged brains, poor impulse control and understandable anger.
We are a retired juvenile judge, an adolescent psychologist and a law school student who is a retired military officer, foster and adoptive parent. The three of us have different perspectives, but we are united in our advocacy for these crossover kids. [Read more]