Torn Apart: How the Child Welfare System Destroys Black Families--and How Abolition Can Build a Safer World

Torn Apart: How the Child Welfare System Destroys Black Families--and How Abolition Can Build a Safer World

by Dorothy Roberts
Torn Apart: How the Child Welfare System Destroys Black Families--and How Abolition Can Build a Safer World

Torn Apart: How the Child Welfare System Destroys Black Families--and How Abolition Can Build a Safer World

by Dorothy Roberts

Paperback

$19.99 
  • SHIP THIS ITEM
    Qualifies for Free Shipping
  • PICK UP IN STORE
    Check Availability at Nearby Stores

Related collections and offers


Overview

An award-winning scholar exposes the foundational racism of the child welfare system and offers a “a brilliant and impassioned call for abolition” (Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow
 
Many believe the child welfare system protects children from abuse. But as Torn Apart uncovers, this system is designed to punish Black families. Drawing on decades of research, legal scholar and sociologist Dorothy Roberts reveals that the child welfare system is better understood as a “family policing system” that collaborates with law enforcement and prisons to oppress Black communities. Child protection investigations ensnare a majority of Black children, putting their families under intense state surveillance and regulation. Black children are disproportionately likely to be torn from their families and placed in foster care, driving many to juvenile detention and imprisonment. 
 
The only way to stop the destruction caused by family policing, Torn Apart argues, is to abolish the child welfare system and liberate Black communities. 

Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781541675469
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 10/03/2023
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 205,388
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 5.50(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Dorothy Roberts is the George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, where she directs the Penn Program on Race, Science, and Society. The author of five books, including Killing the Black Body, she lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.   

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

Introduction: A Benevolent Terror 13

Part I Terror

1 Destroying Black Families 33

2 "They Separate Children at the Harlem Border, Too" 47

3 Professional Kidnappers 63

Part II Design

4 Rotten at the Root 85

5 Strong-Armed 125

6 The Foster-Industrial Complex 141

Part III The Carceral Web

7 Family Surveillance 161

8 Carceral Entanglements 191

9 Structured To Harm 221

10 Criminalizing Black Children 249

Part IV Abolition

11 Care In Place of Terror 277

Acknowledgments 305

Notes 309

Index 361

From the B&N Reads Blog

Customer Reviews