Across the country, there have been reports of Child Protective Services picking up unaccompanied children and threatening to take them away from their parents, a punishment almost unthinkably severe for the crime of letting your children play outside. In the latest instance, the authorities didn’t even notify the parents about what they had done for several hours, leaving them to fear for their children’s safety while they waited to be notified of the abduction.
This is not an isolated incident, but an increasingly disturbing pattern of behavior, including nosy neighbors who call up CPS to report parents as if we were living in 1930s Germany. This is an extremely disturbing tendency that ties into the overcriminalization of everyday life.
There are now so many laws that it is almost impossible to avoid breaking them. Now we are witnessing the criminalization of childhood itself