They Had No Voice: My Fight for Alabama's Forgotten Children

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Denny Abbott first encountered the Alabama Industrial School for Negro Children at Mt. Meigs as a twenty-one-year-old probation officer for the Montgomery County Family Court. He would become so concerned about conditions for black juvenile offenders there--including hard labor, beatings, and rape--that he took the State of Alabama to court to win reforms. With the help of the U.S. Justice Department, Abbott won a resounding victory that brought change, although three years later he had to sue the state again. In They Had No Voice, Abbott details these battles and how his actions cost him his job and made him a pariah in his hometown, but resulted in better lives for Alabama's children. Abbott also tells of his later career as the first national director of the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center, where he helped focus attention on missing and exploited children and became widely recognized as an expert on children's issues.
 

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This was a quick must-read. Thank you to Denny Abbott for everything he has done for children in America!

Contents

Learning the Limits of Social Theory
3
Seeking Justice
13
into the Fray
31
Money Trumps ideals
53
The Long Goodbye
67
Starting over
74
Mt Meigs the Rest of the Story
86
a call for help
93
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Denny Abbott is a nationally recognized expert on children's issues. As national director of the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center, Inc., he created the first computerized data bank of missing children. He has testified before Congress as well as state legislatures on important issues affecting children, and he has been interviewed on 60 Minutes , the CBS Evening News , and The Today Show . Denny was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama, and now lives in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Douglas Kalajian is author of the nonfiction book Snow Blind and is a former writer and editor for the Miami Herald , New York Daily News , and Palm Beach Post .

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