Garland County Attorney Joe Churchwell, Searcy attorney Paul Love, and Cumulus Media radio personality Doc Washburn, address an audience from the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol on November 19, 2016. The “Protect Families From DCFS Rally” was scheduled on short-notice following announcement that Senator Alan Clark (viewed by supporters as a hard-working champion for major DHS-DCFS reforms) is being replaced by Senator Missy Irvin as the Senate Co-Chair of the Joint Performance Review (JPR) committee. (Clark’s counterpart with the House of Representatives has been Co-Chair Representative Kim Hammer. The JPR has been involved in prolonged investigation of abuses by officials of the Department of Human Services as well as officials of the Crimes Against Children Division of the State Police for months, holding their feet to the fire requiring sworn testimony and questioning by JPR members.
Reforms being called for include:
1. An institutional acknowledgement (within DHS-Division of Children and Family Services) of the Constitutional Rights of Arkansas Families.
2. DHS-DCFS to respect the 4th Amendment prohibition against warrantless home intrusions and seizures.
3. Miranda Warnings to parents by DCFS investigators.
4. Bodycams on child-welfare workers in their interactions with parents and children.
5. Referrals for prosecution of those who break the law by making false and malicious child-abuse claims.
6. End the use of “case confidentiality” to protect child-welfare workers who trample on civil rights and otherwise violate the law.
Videography by Clay Herrmann (www.garlandcounty.info).