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Parent Takes Blame for CPS

November 10, 2005 permalink

We wrote earlier about the case of four malnourished boys found in Collingswood New Jersey. New Jersey DYFS used the family to dump four children with eating disorders, then when the scandal broke, blamed the hapless adoptive parents for the problems. Now they have bullied the adoptive mother into pleading guilty to a crime.



The Philadelphia Inquirer

Posted on Thu, Nov. 10, 2005

Mother pleads guilty in starvation case

By Troy Graham


Vanessa Jackson pleaded guilty this afternoon to starving her four adopted sons in the family's Collingswood home and could receive up to 7 years in prison.

Jackson, 49, entered a guilty plea to one count of endangering the welfare of a child for denying food and proper medical care to her four adopted sons.

The plea was entered in Superior Court in Camden. Jackson had been given until today to decide whether to plead guilty or go to trial on charges that included aggravated assault.

Under the plea, she could receive up to 7 years in prison when sentenced by Judge Robert G. Millenky on Feb. 10. Afterward, she could apply for acceptance into an early parole program and serve less than a year, if a three-judge panel agreed.

Originally, her husband, Raymond Jackson, was also charged in the case. He died Nov. 30 after a massive stroke.

The state of New Jersey recently agreed to pay $12.5 million to the four Jackson brothers. The money will be used to pay for the care of the boys, whose emaciated condition was overlooked by state social workers in visits to the Jackson home to check on foster children who had been placed there.

The case made national headlines, prompting a congressional hearing, and put New Jersey's already beleaguered Division of Youth and Family Services under the microscope.

Under the legal settlement, Bruce, the oldest son, would get $5 million, the state said, and his younger brothers, Keith, Tyrone and Michael, would get $2.5 million each.

The boys' plight came to light in October 2003 when Collingswood police found Bruce, then 19, foraging through a neighbor's garbage for food. He weighed 45 pounds and stood 4 feet tall.

His younger brothers - 9, 11 and 14 at the time - weighed a total of 91 pounds.

Supporters of the family argued that the boys suffered from pre-existing eating disorders.

Contact staff writer Troy Graham at 856-779-3893 or

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer