I wanted to post this, but the internet site said it was too long. There is more than one way to skin … anything, so I put it in this format. Lava – Mother Nature – People – by kra
Lava – Mother Nature – People
There are three things we should not try to control or change,
They are Mother Nature, lava, and people,
For if we do, we shall meet with disappointment and failure, which isn’t strange,
And problems as sharp and as tall as any steeple.
Hawaii shows quite plainly that lava cannot be controlled,
But humans, in their folly, think they can change the other two with impunity,
Such thoughts are mistaken, and herein you are told:
Such hubris will lead to the destruction of every community,
Mother Nature? Sure, we have altered it, destroyed much of it, violated the Creator,
People? The only person you can change is yourself, that’s a fact of life,
Changing nature was a huge mistake; in 50 years there will be no ice on either side of the equator,
When you try to change your boyfriend/girlfriend, or anyone, you are inviting strife into your life,
Humans remind me of a poem by one of my favorites: Piet Hein,
It is printed below; we should keep it in mind.
“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder ‘why, why, why?’
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle, But in poetry, Piet Hein
I love the last line of this one, and the profound truth of the next one:
“A bit beyond perception’s reach
I sometimes believe I see
that life is two locked boxes
each containing the other’s key.”
― Piet Hein
This will be a welcomed relief for the thousands of inmates who are even more seriously and widely abused and medically neglected in private prisons than those in prisons operated by the government.
You tell me: How absolutely insane is this?! “A quota policy adopted by Congress in 2009 requires ICE to maintain an average of 34,000 immigrants in detention on a daily basis whether that many need to be detained or not…”
Excerpts from the Article:
California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law in October 2017 that blocks the expansion of for-profit immigration detention facilities, demonstrating the state’s opposition to President Trump’s efforts to crack down on undocumented immigrants and increase deportations.
The Dignity Not Detention Act (SB 29) restricts new contracts between local government agencies and private companies that operate immigration detention facilities in California, blocks plans to expand existing facilities, and requires a 180-day notice and public hearings for future building permits. The law also requires private immigration detention centers to adhere to national standards for conditions, and requires the California Department of Justice to perform annual audits of such facilities.
“California should not be siding with companies that profit from the detention of asylum seekers,” said state Senator Ricardo Lara, the bill’s sponsor. There are four privately-run immigration centers in California. The GEO Group, which operates the Adelanto Detention Facility in San Bernardino County and the Mesa Verde Detention Facility in Bakersfield, is one of the largest contractors with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), having held $900 million in ICE contracts since 2013. CoreCivic, formerly CCA, runs the Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego, while the Imperial Regional Detention Facility in Calexico is operated by Management & Training Corp.
A quota policy adopted by Congress in 2009 requires ICE to maintain an average of 34,000 immigrants in detention on a daily basis whether that many need to be detained or not, which has resulted in lucrative contracts and increased profits for private prison companies. The 2016 budget for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) included $3.3 billion to detain immigrants plus $350 million to add more “family” detention beds. More than three-fifths of immigration detainees are held in privately-run facilities, according to DHS.
Many immigrants are refugees who entered the U.S. illegally or overstayed their visas, while others hold green cards, according to Christina Fialho, co-founder and executive director of Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC), now known as Freedom for Immigrants.
“We’ve had people file complaints with us about maggots in meat, expired milk that’s being served, and really disgusting things that are taking place behind closed doors with little transparency or accountability” at privately-operated detention centers, she said.
The new bill was one of 11 recently signed into law that expanded protections for undocumented immigrants in California, including a sanctuary state policy and education and housing protections for immigrants.
An estimated 4,000 immigrants are held in detention centers in California at any given time, mostly (70 percent) in privately-operated facilities.
Did Kansas feds improperly listen to calls? 85 times, prosecutor wouldn’t tell judge – Hold the “fact-ducking” witnesses in Contempt!! kra
What the hell is wrong with these so-called investigators. Senate hearings, judges, too many other shirk their duty to get the TRUTH by allowing answers like “I’m not authorized to answer the question.” That answer is bullshit! Just like so many in recent hearings concerning Trump have said they decline to answer questions based on a “privilege” they do not even have! Hell, I watched every minute of the Watergate Hearings – great stuff; google it – and those testifying would never have gotten away with such nonsense!
Here we see a judge allowing such crap in the face of probable massive violations of Sixth Amendment rights. READ Ken Abraham Summary of Constitutional Law
The “Touhy regulations” should be stricken as unconstitutional, which they are! This article carries a huge stench of prosecutor misconduct, and the mission of the courts should be to disclose it, not swallow bullshit like “I’m not authorized to answer the question.”
Excerpts from the Article:
An assistant U.S. attorney, testifying in federal court about whether federal prosecutors improperly listened to attorney-client phone calls, gave the same response 85 times on Tuesday. “I’m not authorized to answer the question.”
Scott Rask, a supervisor in the Kansas City, Kan., office of the U.S. Attorney for Kansas, repeated the statement under the direction of U.S. Department of Justice officials, according to court testimony. He was one of the witnesses called Tuesday in a U.S. District Court hearing concerning the motives and actions of federal prosecutors in accessing phone calls between defense attorneys and their clients incarcerated at the Leavenworth Detention Center.
A special master’s investigation of the federal prosecutors’ use of the phone calls also concerns video recordings of meetings between lawyers and their clients at the facility, which were revealed during a contraband investigation. Attorney-client phone calls and meetings are protected from law enforcement by the Sixth Amendment.
In advising Rask and some other witnesses not to answer certain questions Tuesday, federal prosecutors cited so-called Touhy regulations, which hold that the head of a federal agency has sole authority to decide whether to authorize a federal employee’s testimony in response to a subpoena.
Defense attorney Cynthia Dodge, who represents a client involved in the underlying contraband case, objected that Rask answered some questions but not others while federal prosecutors gave no explanation.
“I find it inconsistent and I don’t think the government can create laws and use them to deflect from, or shield, their unclean hands,” Dodge said.
U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson said she could not compel the witnesses to testify when the Touhy rules were invoked.
But while Rask in many cases did not provide answers, the questions told their own story.
Federal public defenders, along with the special master appointed to investigate the case, asked dozens of questions about which prosecutors listened to attorney-client phone calls and whether supervisors directed staff to not cooperate with the resulting investigation. Still more questions concerned complaints of “poor management” in the U.S. Attorney’s Kansas City, Kan., office, where another federal prosecutor, Terra Morehead, recently lost a drug case when the court ruled she had committed misconduct by threatening a witness.
In addition to two recently uncovered cases in which a prosecutor listened to attorney-client phone calls, Rask said he could remember three to five previous such incidents, though he did not provide details.
Former federal prosecutor Erin Tomasic also testified Tuesday, one year after she left the job amid revelations that she had listened to attorney-client phone calls at the prison. Tomasic, who had been a special assistant prosecutor in Kansas City, Kan., and is no longer a Department of Justice employee, also declined to answer some questions on advice of Department of Justice officials.
But she did answer some questions about how she came to be blamed for her after-hours entry into the chambers of Judge Robinson. At the time, the incident left Tomasic under a cloud of suspicion. While she explained she was only there to deliver evidence to the judge, her bosses at the prosecutor’s office did nothing to vouch for, or explain, her actions. Prosecutors announced that Tomasic had left the office in May 2017.
On Tuesday, Tomasic broke into tears as she testified that her superiors had instructed her to enter the judge’s chambers to deliver evidence. Her testimony was supported by emails exchanged among attorneys Debra Barnett, Emily Metzger and Kim Flannigan, and others. She testified that upper management did not clear her name, even when Tom Beall, then the acting U.S. Attorney for Kansas, was alerted to the situation. Tomasic is expected to be called as a witness again on Wednesday as the hearing continues.
The investigation of the federal prosecutors stemmed from an earlier criminal investigation of contraband in the privately-run prison, which is operated by CoreCivic Inc., formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America. The company operates the facility under contract for the U.S. Marshals Service.
After information came out that inmate-attorney phone calls had been recorded, defense attorneys filed a legal action to determine if there was a violation of their clients’ Sixth Amendment rights. Robinson appointed David Cohen, a lawyer from Cleveland, as a special master to investigate the situation.
Cohen reported that 188 inmate phone calls to attorneys had been recorded and later downloaded so that a law enforcement officer or government attorney could listen to them. Or, he wrote, they could have been downloaded in response to a subpoena.Those included 54 calls marked “private” that should not have been available, according to the policies of the prison and its telephone contractor, Securus Technologies.
Prosecutors responded by saying that the one computer used to play the recordings had been “wiped clean” — erasing information about which recordings were played, by whom, and when. A wider investigation of the federal prosecutors in the Kansas City, Kan., office was limited in February by the federal U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit, which directed Judge Robinson to confine the inquiry to those involved in the contraband case.
How could anyone think this is not torture?! Newsflash: THE LAW APPLIES INSIDE PRISON WALLS. Jailers responsible should be prosecuted. Read the whole story to see the typical lies by prison officials to try to cover up.
Excerpts from the Article:
A criminal investigation into actions at one county jail is nearing an end, and what was found could potentially cost taxpayers in the form of civil penalties. FOX 25 has confirmed the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has issued a report into the treatment of inmates at the Kay County Detention Center. The investigation centered on complaints that FOX 25 also looked into that one group says was tantamount to torture.
When confronted by FOX 25, jail administrators admitted a practice known inside the jail as “crucifixion” was happening to inmates.
“It is exactly what the name implies,” said Brady Henderson, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma which is now also looking into the jail issues. “The key feature of a ‘crucifixion’ handcuffing is that you take a detainee’s arms and you put one one direction as far as it will go and you put the other the other direction as far as it will go.”
FOX 25 has learned there is video of at least one of these “crucifixion” handcuffings obtained by the OSBI and presented to Kay County District Attorney Brian Hermanson.
“[Crucifixion cuffing] is not that dissimilar from the rack, an old torture means used in medieval Europe,” Henderson said. “The concept is just to painfully stretch somebody and in this case instead of wanting them to talk or wanting them to do a particular thing you are doing it as a punishment.”
In one instance, Henderson told FOX 25 an inmate was kept cuffed with his arms outstretched until the cuffs cut into his wrists causing him to bleed.
The ACLU of Oklahoma told FOX 25 it is just beginning its investigation by interviewing current and former jail employees as well as current and former inmates. The group also plans to review public records, including those FOX 25 has already obtained, before determining the extent of the legal action it will take against Kay County.
Kay County District Attorney Brian Hermanson told FOX 25 he could not comment on the investigation. However, FOX 25 has learned he has been in possession of the case for several weeks. Hermanson said, despite his role as the attorney for the county, he would not be turning over the case to an outside prosecutor.
This article is about one small prison in NJ, but the very same problems occur in prisons all over America. Women are totally controlled by staff, and every day many are raped … every single day.
While men too are raped, most victims are women.
Excerpts from the Article:
What goes on behind the bars at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women? That question is the subject of an ongoing criminal probe by county prosecutors, an independent investigation ordered by the state attorney general last year and, perhaps soon, a special commission being proposed by state lawmakers.
Edna Mahan, a small prison with a population of about 650 inmates in Hunterdon County, has seen seven of its staff members criminally accused of sexually abusing inmates since 2015. Yet facing a scandal that has stretched on for two years across two administrations, the state Department of Corrections has divulged little about what it has done to curb allegations of sexual abuse at the hands of its own staff.
Officials declined to attend a public hearing on conditions at the prison, and to answer specific questions from the media or release unredacted e-mails sought under the state’s records laws. The re-nomination of Commissioner Gary Lanigan was put on hold because lawmakers intended to ask tough questions at his confirmation hearing, and Lanigan later announced his retirement. His replacement, acting Commissioner Marcus Hicks, will likely face those questions at budget hearings in front of the state Legislature scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.
The criminal trial of Jason Mays, a former senior corrections officer who was convicted last week on charges he sexually abused two inmates at the prison, brought to light new details about the ongoing criminal inquiry and gave glimpses of how abuse can go undetected behind the walls of a state prison.
Although it can take months or years for accusations of abuse to surface, in places that do have cameras, the footage is stored just 30 days before it is erased, one supervising officer testified. And while authorities have long recognized the connection between the prison contraband trade and sexual abuse, there is no policy in place to prevent staff from smuggling cigarettes, food or drugs onto the grounds in their personal vehicles, according to Lt. Hector Smith.
Here, you can drive your car into the facility, which is very, very strange.”
Mays, who was convicted on charges he abused two inmates, was often the lone officer assigned to A Cottage, a minimum security housing unit containing about 40 inmates which is not surveilled by cameras.
Several prisoners testified they had sexual encounters with the officer in the “beauty room,” a spare white room with a brown floor and two basin sinks in front of twin mirrors, where inmates can do their makeup or get a haircut. The room has a window overlooking the walkway, from which Mays could keep watch for anyone approaching the building, the women testified.
Under state law, any sexual contact between inmates and staff is a crime because prisoners cannot legally consent.
The officer, who was found not guilty on 10 counts related to three other inmates, denied those claims and is planning to appeal his conviction, according to his attorney, Leslie Sinemus. In an interview following the verdict, she told NJ Advance Media that while the investigation that led to charges against her client was flawed, it clearly showed the prison’s policies not only put inmates at risk, but also left officers vulnerable to false claims of abuse.
Without adequate surveillance and staff, investigators in the Special Investigations Division, the prison system’s internal affairs unit, are often left to sift through sometimes-conflicting claims of abuse, whether in the form of confidential complaints or word-of-mouth among inmates.
“Win, lose, or draw, whether it happened or didn’t happen, what you absolutely can say is they don’t take sex abuse in custody seriously,” she said. “Because if they did, they’d have different procedures in place.”
Four other corrections officers at the prison still face trials, and prosecutors have said little publicly about the evidence they’ve gathered.
Last week, a pair of state lawmakers also introduced five new bills aimed at cracking down on the prison. One of the sponsors, state Sen. Linda Greenstein, D-Middlesex, said she would amend several of them to apply to prisons statewide.
New York Times Investigation Spotlights NYPD Practice of ‘Testilying’ – It’s Called “Perjury” or “Filing a False Report”, a Crime! – kra
I have written many articles about perjury by police, a real epidemic. “You take the truth and stretch it out a little bit.” Bullshit! That is perjury. Besides the obvious most awful consequence of having innocent people convicted, this article points out the other more subtle but terrible consequences to the system and society.
READ Rush to Sentence: http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/rush-to-sentence-a-major-awful-consequence-of-our-war-on-drugs/
Excerpts from the Article:
An extensive New York Times investigation of the New York Police Department has uncovered that “at least 25 instances were found where judges or prosecutors reportedly determined that a cop’s testimony was likely untrue or embellished” since January 2015. It’s what observers commonly refer to as “testilying.” According to NYPD Officer Pedro Serrano: “You take the truth and stretch it out a little bit.”
Officers take advantage of the fact that such a high percentage of criminal cases, especially with indigent defendants, generally end with a negotiated plea rather than a trial. As a result, many of the exaggerations and false statements are never subject to cross-examination and exposure, and the conduct carries over into the next case. However, the practice consists of more than just stretching the truth—it often crosses over into the more insidious practice of planting evidence, manufacturing testimony, and falsifying lineups.
The deceptive practices are taking place in an era when a majority of people have cellphone cameras, and few arrests or police encounters are not subject to some form of video recording. The widespread use of surveillance video on private and public premises, not to mention dashcam video and bodycams, also complicates the concealment of police misconduct.
Nonetheless, one Brooklyn officer told the Times, “There’s no fear of being caught. You’re not going to go to trial and nobody is going to be cross-examined.” Lawrence Byrne, a legal spokesman for the NYPD, maintains that, “it’s harder for a cop to lie today. There is virtually no enforcement encounter where there isn’t immediate video of what the officers are doing,” he said, saying that it’s a product of a “bygone era.” Or is it?
Despite the assertions of Byrne that, “Our goal is always, always zero,” of the “testilying” instances, it appears to still happen on an all-too-regular basis. The Times uncovered numerous instances where police officers embellished testimony or planted drugs or weapons on innocent individuals, and then lied about it.
In most instances where police are caught engaging in misconduct, prosecutors dismiss the charges and seek to seal the case. The Times reports that these summary dispositions of tainted cases make the tracking of police misconduct almost impossible, but the result of this misconduct is substantial. Ethics-challenged cops leave in their wake dozens of innocent individuals whose lives have been turned upside-down by the expense and life disruptions caused by defending themselves in court.
These instances of misconduct have other unfortunate effects on the criminal justice system. According to the Times, “Police lying raises the likelihood that the innocent end up in jail—and that as juries and judges come to regard the police as less credible, or as cases are dismissed when the lies are discovered, the guilty will go free. Police falsehoods also impede judges’ efforts to enforce constitutional limits on police searches and seizures.”
The Times found that officers lied not only to attempt to “tip the scales of justice” toward guilt, but also to defeat the “exclusionary rule” that mandates that illegally seized evidence be excluded from consideration in a criminal case. Recently, however, there have been cases in which NYPD officers have paid a price for their falsehoods.
According to the Times, “Earlier this month, two veteran NYPD detectives were indicted on charges of official misconduct and filing false paperwork for lying about a drug deal that went down in Queens.” A Brooklyn detective also was indicted on federal perjury charges, accused of attempting to “conceal the fact that he had falsified documentation” related to the photo lineups.
Another Brooklyn officer, speaking anonymously, said: “You’re either a ‘lie guy’ or you’re not” and that he had been pressed to embellish the facts of drug arrests and manufacturing “probable cause” to avoid the arrests being dismissed in a suppression hearing.
The question we should all ask ourselves is whether the misconduct of NYPD officers is unique to that city, or whether it is, in fact, engrained in the DNA of police departments in other cities and jurisdictions as well. It is certainly a question that deserves to be answered.
Progress is slow, but it is coming. ADDICTS NEED TREATMENT, NOT PRISON! Sheeeeit, I have been saying that for 6 years now, and people finally are listening.
READ Crime Prevention Bill , which I sent to all Delaware lawmakers, and others, six years ago!
Excerpts from the Article:
For the many Delawareans who have become all too familiar with the state’s substance abuse and mental health resources over the past few years, it’s not news the state could do more. Officials have expanded treatment and begun viewing addiction as a disease rather than a crime, but the state still has too few spots in detox facilities, gaps in care between different sources and many people with drug addiction or mental health issues locked up behind bars.
A new report from a state-created group looking at ways to combat the opioid epidemic that claimed the lives of 345 people in Delaware last year offers a three-year plan, based off feedback from more than 600 people and opinions of experts.
From creating sober-living centers to working with religious groups, the 117 recommendations included in the Behavioral Health Consortium’s findings seek to put a significant dent in what many have called a crisis. Created in July, the 25-member group held its first meeting in October and hosted community forums in all three counties in February to help craft a plan for stopping the scourge that is addiction.
The report, Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long said, is similar to one developed by the Delaware Cancer Consortium in the early 2000s. That consortium proposed a four-year plan that helped lower the state’s incidence and mortality rates, and officials are hoping this one has a similar impact.
“It really is a road map, it’s a launchpad, and I’m really hoping as all eyes around our country are watching Delaware to become a national leader in this area to address it,” Lt. Gov. Hall-Long, a nurse and the consortium’s chairwoman, said at a news conference Tuesday.
Some are narrowly focused and relatively easy to accomplish: expanding the state’s needle exchange program, making a medication that can counteract the effects of overdoses more readily available and training correctional officers how to better deal with inmates with addiction or mental health issues.
Others, such better coordinating different treatment services, working with religious organizations to help connect individuals in need to resources and finding employment opportunities for individuals in recovery, are more nebulous.
Currently, the state’s largest behavioral health provider is the Department of Correction — an illustration of a model advocates say needs to change. Instead of imprisoning people battling addiction or mental health disorders, the state should ensure they receive care, the report notes.
It also urges policymakers to help erase the stigma around mental health issues and create new education programs centering on addiction and mental health. Delaware has seen its overdose rate climb, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifying a 40 percent increase in fatal overdoses from 2015 to 2016. Only seven states had a worse age-adjusted overdose rate in 2016, per the CDC.
According to the state, the number of fatal overdoses has grown in at least each of the past five years, with the largest jump from 2015 to 2016.
With the General Assembly expected to have nearly $100 million in unanticipated revenue to work with, now appears to be a good time for many of the items called for by the Behavioral Health Consortium. Gov. Carney noted the report’s release comes as legislators begin meeting to craft the budget, with the Joint Committee on Capital Improvement convening this week and the Joint Finance Committee gathering the next two weeks.
The governor’s proposed budget contains more than $20 million for treatment services, which he said lawmakers should build on. As for how legislators will determine which items they can afford to fund and which may have to get pushed to the side for the time being, Gov. Carney stressed the importance of prioritizing the 117 recommendations.
Treating addiction and mental health needs may be pricey, but it’s worth the investment, speakers said Tuesday.
“There’s no price that you can put on the loss of a loved one,” the governor noted.
You can read the article yourself: https://delawarestatenews.net/news/prison-report-calls-for-better-patient-health-management/
Here is what you need to know!
Letter to the Editor or OP Ed Submission: They lie, lie, lie! 5/17/18
It was quite interesting to read: “Prison report calls for better patient health management”*. The article reports the findings of the study performed by National Conference on Correctional Health Care, Resources Inc., citing deficiencies in the health care system in the prisons, and then continues with numerous gratuitous quotes from D O C officials defending the prison’s policies and practices, suggesting that the health care being provided is satisfactory. Those officials have NO credibility. The most accurate remarks came from attorney Steve Hampton and from Lori Alberts of Link of Love.
I was inside Delaware prisons from 2006 to 2012**, and SAW what really goes on. It was a time when the feds came in – due to abominable health care – and after their investigation D O C entered into a 58 page “Consent Agreement” to improve the health care service. I read every page of that agreement and SAW it violated in many ways every day … very day! As I explained years ago to Lori Alberts – and she said in the article – the only change was the name of the company hired as the health care contractor. [“Since as long as I can remember, the only thing that changes is the name of the health care contractor,” said Ms. Alberts.] D O C hired a new company. That company, meanwhile, kept the same employees as its predecessor, and, because there is no accountability, they just continued the same neglect and cover-up as has gone on for decades! D O C officials were spouting the same sort of lies that we see in this recent article. There is a word in the English language for this: propaganda. Information put out by government to deliberately deceive.
It is a genuine tragedy that the press is so easily bamboozled by D O C officials, with blind deference to their pronouncements and reports. While this goes on Steve Hampton, Lori, and I continue to receive a seemingly never- ending stream of calls and emails from horrified, frightened, and appalled family members of inmates, and letters from inmates themselves, relating the truth of their needless suffering.
Really, reading that article is enough to make one want to vomit. Send a reporter or an FBI agent INTO THE PRISON, UNDER COVER, and learn that what I say is correct! There will be no doubt about the outcome; if is an FBI agent, he or she will emerge with enough facts for several indictments. And, sad to say, prosecution of those indictments is the ONLY thing that will change the abysmal health care which has caused so much harm.
**Yes, I screwed up badly and lost everything to drugs.
Ken Abraham, Deputy Attorney General of Delaware 1974-1979, founder of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE, Dover, DE 302-423-4067
I get lots of letters published, and ghost write for others. THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO REACH THOUSANDS OF READERS! The keys to getting your Letter published are:
1. Keep it to 250 words or fewer.
2. Do not make it about “poor little old me”. Describe the problem as one which not only affects the individual, but is a senseless or ineffective measure, policy, or law which also harms communities and society. For example, with reentry, the obstacles make it unnecessarily difficult for the individual, but also harm society by making it hard to become productive, spending money and paying taxes in the community, and they cause increased recidivism = increased crime.
3. Speak from your heart.
4. Google any facts you are not sure about.
5. Do not name-call.
Do what works: Write that Letter!
Letter to Editor – sign name, town, state, and your phone number (they often call to verify that you sent it), and “Member of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE” if you like – shows you are part of a large group.
Send the email to yourself, and put on the “bcc” bar the email addresses for Letters to the Editor for the top ten newspapers in your state and several national ones – The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, U S A Today (google the Letter to Editor email addresses). Any questions, CALL me at 302-423-4067!
GOOGLE THE EMAIL ADDRESSES FOR “LETTERS TO THE EDITOR” FOR THE TOP TEN NEWSPAPERS IN YOUR STATE AND SAVE THAT INFORMATION FOR REPEATED USE – Some papers will print a letter from you every 2 ekke, some every 30 days, some every 90 days. They have varying policies. But if you really want to make a difference shoot them a new letter once a month! I send one out every 2 weeks.
Need a Letter on some criminal justice issue and not a great letter writer? NO EXCUSE! Email me a rough draft and call me and I’ll polish it up! firstname.lastname@example.org .
ANY QUESTIONS, CALL ME AT 302-423-4067.
Of course, under tRump! Both he and Sessions are stuck in the past, with laws and policies which we now know do nothing to reduce crime. The laws discussed here affect the federal system. 15% of prisoners. Fortunately, many states are enacting more meaningful reforms.
Excerpts from the Article:
In 2015, Senator Chuck Grassley introduced a long awaited bi-partisan criminal justice reform bill designed to address inequities in federal sentencing and promote rehabilitation and re-entry for persons who are incarcerated. he Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (SRCA) was a compromise that fell far short of the comprehensive criminal justice reforms that are needed to truly transform the nation’s criminal justice system; and yet, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and many of our civil rights coalition partners, generally supported this compromise. Limited sentencing reforms were easier to accept in 2015, under a Department of Justice itself dedicated to policing reform and to reforming its own charging policies with the goal of reducing the impact of overly harsh sentences.
However, the Department of Justice is now led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Session’s DOJ has not only abandoned policing reform but is ramping up the now discredited “war on drugs,” re-opening the flood gates to our nation’s federal prisons. Under these circumstances, it would be a critical mistake to pursue strategies that do not include reforming the front-end of the system or sentencing.
Unfortunately, some in Congress have decided to do just that: pursue a criminal justice reform strategy that does not include sentencing reform but focuses instead on so-called prison reform, the back-end of the system. These proposals will not meaningfully reform the federal criminal justice system. Indeed, states have pursued the opposite strategy, adopting both front-end and back-end reforms that have reduced both incarceration rates and crime.
Proposals without, at least, front and back-end reform will not achieve these results. Without sentencing reform that eliminates mandatory minimums, reduces the prison population, and addresses the disparate impact of our criminal justice system on communities of color, these proposals will have little impact.
Proposals pending in the House Judiciary Committee are particularly troubling. They do not include sentencing reform, focus solely on prison reform, and undermine bipartisan efforts to develop a comprehensive reform package that most Americans support. For example, they would allow people to participate in reentry and rehabilitation programs and earn time credits that would permit them to serve a portion of their sentences in home confinement, halfway houses, or community supervision.
These initiatives do not reduce inmate sentences, but, rather, just shift inmates to being incarcerated in an alternate location. There are also not enough resources to support the proposed expanded supervision for home confinement and community supervision, and there is no bed space for people to go to halfway houses early.
Also, House proposals would exclude too many people currently in prison from early release even though the vast majority of these individuals would still be coming home one day. These exclusions would likely have a disparate impact on racial minorities because the proposals exclude individuals convicted of certain immigration and drug-related offenses. These types of offenses account for 53.3 percent of the total federal prison population and are made up of mostly minorities, so the bill is likely to neglect a significant portion of the prison population and exacerbate racial disparities.
Finally, the tools that would be used to assess the relative risk of participants reoffending would likely disproportionately exclude people of color from the programming. The prison reform proposals would allow Sessions and the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to develop the assessment, and permit BOP to use its existing classification system, which primarily depends on static factors that correlate with socioeconomic class and race, such as criminal history, to assess the risk. Studies have shown that African Americans are more likely to be misclassified as high-risk than their white counterparts. So, these proposals will not only fail to reduce crime or rates of mass incarceration, but also not achieve meaningful prison reform.
We need comprehensive, meaningful criminal justice reform to create a fair equitable justice system. We cannot accept proposals that not only take us backwards, but may actually harm the communities we serve.
Protest Results in Three Arrests at CoreCivic’s Annual Shareholders Meeting -Our friend Alex Friedmann Speaks! kra
Those of you who have known me for a while have seen many articles about the atrocities of private prisons. CoreCivic is the most monstrous of the monster corporations in that business. I suggest to you that you join the ever-increasing legions of Americans who are speaking out about this problem. Why?
It is the right thing to do.
YOU are affected in numerous ways by all of the ineptitude, neglect, and wrongdoing – READ Prison Abuse – Why Massive Indifference is a Massive Mistake – kra http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/prison-abuse-massive-indifference-massive-mistake/
The problems are costing YOU BILLIONS of your hard-earned dollars every year! YOUR tax money. YOU are paying for many of the needless (could be prevented) lawsuits – the attorneys, the judges, the support staff, etc., and YOU are paying the thousand of settlements and jury awards!
Speak Out! READ Practical Tip – Get Empowered! How YOU Can Create a Powerful, Effective Force for Reform of our Criminal Justice System – http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/practical-tip-how-you-can-create-a-powerful-effective-force-for-reform-of-our-criminal-justice-system/
Excerpts from the Article:
On May 10, 2018, drumbeats echoed and faux “blood” flowed through the parking lot at the Nashville, Tennessee headquarters of CoreCivic (formerly Corrections Corporation of America), as activists staged dramatic street theater to represent the sorrow, suffering and deaths of prisoners at the hands of the for-profit prison operator.
“Over the past decade, this protest, outside of CCA’s shareholders meeting, has become an annual event,” said Jane Hussain, an organizer with the Nashville Peace and Justice Center. “But this year there was a mood of increased desperation and fury over the continued growth and increasing injustices of America’s incarceration industry.” The vocal crowd of demonstrators consisted of representatives from the No Exceptions Prison Collective, Nashville Antifa, Nashville Anarchist Black Cross, Face to Face Knox, and several other groups and individuals. The protesters erected a shrine as well as dozens of crosses, banners and cardboard tombstones to commemorate the names of people who have died in CoreCivic’s custody. Two former prisoners, “Chris H.” and the poet James Floyd, spoke to the crowd despite a sudden drenching downpour.
After a small contingent of activist shareholders – including Prison Legal News managing editor Alex Friedmann and Monte McCoin, social media director for PLN’s parent organization, the Human Rights Defense Center – entered CoreCivic’s headquarters to attend the shareholders meeting, the protesters moved into the parking lot and constructed a small cage to represent a jail cell. Rev. Jeannie Alexander, a former prison chaplain and director of the No Exceptions Prison Collective, and activist Patrick Bigg then sat inside the cage and refused orders to leave from CoreCivic’s private security guards.
When one of the guards attempted to intervene, protester Dami Feral doused him and the caged activists with faux “blood.” All three demonstrators were arrested on misdemeanor charges; Alexander and Bigg face criminal trespassing charges, while Feral was charged with assault. Volunteer legal observers from the National Lawyers Guild monitored the event and arrests.
When interviewed after her release, Alexander issued the following statement: “We do not recognize CCA property as legitimate private property. The property was acquired through the ill-gotten gains of slavery, torture, trauma and death. We find it ironic that CCA officials were so angry about our blood-soaked cage, when every single day their prisons create environments full of blood-soaked cages.”
Meanwhile, inside the meeting, Friedmann confronted the company’s board members about the disparity between the salaries of CoreCivic employees and those of the company’s executives, including CEO Damon Hininger, who made $2.37 million last year. [See: PLN, May 2018, p.56]. Friedmann asked whether CoreCivic has “any plans moving forward to address this wide gap between CEO compensation and median employee compensation,” given that low wages paid to the company’s workers result in high staff turnover rates and understaffing at CoreCivic facilities, which in turn contribute to higher levels of violence.
McCoin, who owns a single share of the company’s stock, addressed the lack of communication between CoreCivic and prisoners’ families, telling the board, “The most common question these families have is ‘Why won’t this company answer [their] questions.’ Why won’t prison officials communicate with them? After hearing their stories, I’m not here as a concerned shareholder anymore. I’m here as an outraged shareholder, and I want to know too.” Alas, CoreCivic CEO Hininger deflected both of those questions with corporate talking points rather than providing substantive answers.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the activist shareholders returned to speak with the protestors and provide a debrief of the events inside. Friedmann described how the meeting was all about profits and executive compensation, with no interest in the welfare of prisoners held in CoreCivic’s for-profit detention facilities. McCoin encouraged protestors to purchase a share of stock so they could attend the company’s next shareholders meeting in person.