When we look at the etiology of crime, we tend to listen to sociologists, psychologists, and criminologists -- all good sources. But sometimes you read a simple news article, and you can't imagine how a child would be able to escape a future if not of criminality, at least adversity.
From Vernon Clark's article in today's Philadelphia Inquirer:
Police serving a search warrant inside a Kensington home during a narcotics investigation found an 11-year-old boy home alone and locked in a small cell-like chamber in the basement.
The boy was found in a locked 8-foot-by-10-foot chamber in a home in the 500 block of East Clearfield Street about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday by members of the Police Department's Intensive Drug Investigation Squad, police said.
Inside the chamber was a small cushion, which appeared to be used as a mattress, and a bucket containing urine and feces, police said. There were indications that the boy was confined as punishment, police said.
In addition to finding the child, investigators recovered about $44,000 worth of heroin, $5,000 in cash, $700 worth of crack cocaine, a handgun, and a small amount of marijuana, police said.
The boy's mother was arrested later and charged with endangering the welfare of a child.
Police said the door of the chamber where the boy was found was locked with a hasp held shut by a bent piece of metal.
The handgun and some of the drugs were found hidden inside a compartment in a light fixture in a second-floor bathroom, police said.
Police said the raid resulted from a monthlong investigation that involved several undercover narcotics purchases by police.