As is so often the case, to find the problem, follow the money.
Washington D C and seven states have realized the gross injustice in these asset forfeiture laws and have greatly improved them. Since 2014, more than 29 states have enacted laws limiting asset forfeiture or making the civil asset forfeiture process more transparent. Most states continue to review them or have legislation pending. Why? Because as the “war on drugs” got ramped up these laws became wildly unfair.
In 2014, cops seized more assets than were lost in all the nation’s burglaries! Plenty of it was taken from innocent people. It is long past time for Texas to change its laws in this area.
Excerpts from the Article:
Texas used civil and criminal asset forfeiture to obtain more than $50 million in cash and property in 2017, according to the Texas Attorney General’s Office. Everything from cash and cars to clothing, art, and other property were seized and sold.
Prosecutors and police claim that asset forfeiture is a crucial tool to fight against drug cartels and other crime, but many politicians call the process “un-American,” a violation of our civil liberties and a form of “policing for profit.” While the Texas Legislature is expected to take up the issue, advocates fear “lots of bills that gain no traction.”
The U.S. Department of Justice’s asset forfeiture fund reached $93.7 million in 1986. With the sudden surge of seized assets thereafter, that fund quickly surpassed $4.5 billion.
In the state of Texas, opponents of the process quoted the many abuses that the state has been complicit in over the past couple of decades. They cited trips to Hawaii purchased from asset forfeiture funds, margarita machines, and bonuses paid on top of salaries. The city of Tenaha in east Texas was sued by the ACLU for “shaking down” drivers for cash on Highway 59. They claimed that this procedure allowed Tenaha to profit $3 million from 2006-08.
Reforms in 2011 “required agencies that seize citizens’ property to disclose how they spend money they get through seizures — but they don’t have to list what they seized in each case, what offense prompted the seizure and whether they filed a criminal charge or obtained a conviction against the property’s owner,” according to The Texas Tribune.
Bills filed in Texas’ biennial Legislature, which concludes May 27, 2019, range from more disclosure on how and when asset forfeiture is used, placing more onus on the state to prove the asset was involved in a crime, to the complete abolition of civil asset forfeiture. But with resistance from police agencies, advocates fear these bills will never make it to the floor for debate.
Said Terry Canales, chairman of the House Subcommittee, “The natural enemy of any sort of civil asset forfeiture reform is going to be law enforcement itself because of the amount of money they receive. It’s almost like we’ve turned to the dark side.”
Our Founding Fathers might be aghast. One of the grievances cited in the Declaration of Independence was Britain’s abuse of its “writs of assistance,” which arbitrarily seized property and money from individuals without the need for due process. Although the procedure was adopted by the newly formed United States, historians believe it was not abused until the time of Prohibition and the seizing of vehicles running alcohol. A new era of forfeiture abuse began with Reagan’s War on Drugs.
Practical Tip – Do You Have a Loved One who is an Addict and is looking at Open Criminal Charges? DO This. kra
If you have a loved one who is an addict, and that person is facing criminal charges not yet resolved, you should get the name and contact information of the prosecutor in the case. Then email that prosecutor, and/or the head of the office (the D A or the Attorney General) and ask them if you might meet with him/her personally for just a few minutes.
If you have a good lawyer, have him/her set it up. If you have a P D or some other lawyer who just doesn’t want to take the time, you might consider doing it without him/her!
Use that meeting to remind them that addicts need treatment, not prison. There are many articles about this on this website, or just google the issue. Almost all proposals for criminal justice reform these days emphasize this point. Also, the fact is that most prison “treatment programs” do NOT work.
So have a plan for your loved one to undergo treatment, and meet with the prosecutor to ask him/her to allow that option instead of criminal prosecution. Remind them that criminal prosecution will make it harder for your loved one to get a job, become self-sustaining, and stay out of trouble. So ask them … “if “Johnny” or “Susie” completes the treatment program and is not arrested and stays clean for 6 months, will you drop the charges… does that sound fair to you?” The worst they can do is say no, and they may say yes.
Any ????????s, CALL me at 302-423-4067.
Here is the 2018 update with pertinent details of incarceration in America. Each number is a person, too many of them being people whose lives are ruined due to the injustice in the justice system!
Excerpts from the Article:
Can it really be true that most people in jail are being held before trial? And how much of mass incarceration is a result of the war on drugs? These questions are harder to answer than you might think, because our country’s systems of confinement are so fragmented. The various government agencies involved in the justice system collect a lot of critical data, but it is not designed to help policymakers or the public understand what’s going on. Meaningful criminal justice reform that reduces the massive scale of incarceration, however, requires that we start with the big picture.
This report offers some much needed clarity by piecing together this country’s disparate systems of confinement. The American criminal justice system holds almost 2.3 million people in 1,719 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 1,852 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,163 local jails, and 80 Indian Country jails as well as in military prisons, immigration detention facilities, civil commitment centers, state psychiatric hospitals, and prisons in the U.S. territories. And we go deeper to provide further detail on why people are locked up in all of those different types of facilities.
This big-picture view allows us to focus on the most important drivers of mass incarceration and identify important, but often ignored, systems of confinement. The detailed views bring these overlooked parts of the “pie” to light, from immigration detention to civil commitment and youth confinement. In particular, local jails often receive short shrift in larger discussions about criminal justice, but they play a critical role as “incarceration’s front door” and have a far greater impact than the daily number suggests.
While this pie chart provides a comprehensive snapshot of our correctional system, the graphic does not capture the enormous churn in and out of our correctional facilities and the far larger universe of people whose lives are affected by the criminal justice system. Every year, 626,000 people walk out of prison gates, but people go to jail 10.6 million times each year. Jail churn is particularly high because most people in jails have not been convicted. Some have just been arrested and will make bail in the next few hours or days, and others are too poor to make bail and must remain behind bars until their trial. Only a small number (150,000 on any given day) have been convicted, generally serving misdemeanors sentences under a year.
With a sense of the big picture, a common follow-up question might be: how many people are locked up for a drug offense? We know that almost half a million people are locked up because of a drug offense. The data confirms that nonviolent drug convictions are a defining characteristic of the federal prison system, but play only a supporting role at the state and local levels. While most people in state and local facilities are not locked up for drug offenses, most states’ continued practice of arresting people for drug possession destabilizes individual lives and communities. Drug arrests give residents of over-policed communities criminal records, which then reduce employment prospects and increase the likelihood of longer sentences for any future offenses.
The criminal justice system involves some complicated decisions and relationships, some — but not all — of which can be represented graphically. For example, it’s easy to show how jails rent space to state and federal agencies, and that 5,000 youth are actually in adult facilities. But the offense data oversimplifies how people interact with the criminal justice system. A person in prison for multiple offenses is reported only for the most serious offense so, for example, there are people in prison for “violent” offenses who might have also been convicted of a drug offense. Further, almost all convictions are the result of plea bargains, where people plead guilty to a lesser offense, perhaps of a different category or one that they may not have actually committed.
And many of these categories group together people convicted of a wide range of offenses. For example, “murder” is generally considered to be an extremely serious offense, but “murder” groups together the rare group of serial killers with people who committed acts that are unlikely for reasons of circumstance or advanced age to ever happen again. It also includes offenses that the average American may not consider to be murder at all. For example, the felony murder rule says that if someone dies during the commission of a felony, everyone involved can be as guilty of murder as the person who pulled the trigger. Driving a getaway car during a bank robbery where someone was accidentally killed is indeed a serious offense, but many may be surprised that this is considered murder.
Breaking down incarceration by offense type also exposes some disturbing facts about the youth confined by our criminal and juvenile justice systems: Too many are there for a “most serious offense” that is not even a crime. For example, there are over 8,500 youth behind bars for “technical violations” of the requirements of their probation, rather than for a new offense. Further, 2,300 youth are locked up for “status” offenses, which are “behaviors that are not law violations for adults, such as running away, truancy, and incorrigibility.” Nearly 1 in 10 is held in an adult jail or prison, and most of the others are held in juvenile facilities that look and operate a lot like prisons and jails.
Turning to the people who are locked up criminally and civilly for immigration-related issues, we find that 13,000 people are in federal prison for criminal convictions of violating federal immigration laws, and 13,000 more are held pretrial by U.S. Marshals. Another 34,000 are civilly detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) separate from any criminal proceedings and are physically confined in federally-run or privately-run immigration detention facilities or in local jails under contract with ICE. (Notably, these categories do not include immigrants represented in other pie slices because of non-immigration related criminal convictions.)
Adding to the universe of people who are confined because of justice system involvement, 22,000 people are involuntarily detained or committed to state psychiatric hospitals and civil commitment centers. Many of these people are not even convicted, and some are held indefinitely. 9,000 are being evaluated pre-trial or treated for incompetency to stand trial; 6,000 have been found not guilty by reason of insanity or guilty but mentally ill; another 6,000 are people convicted of sexual crimes who are involuntarily committed after their prison sentences are complete. While these facilities aren’t typically run by departments of correction, they are in reality much like prisons.
While this “whole pie” provides the most inclusive view of the various systems of confinement in the U.S. justice system available, these snapshots can’t capture all of the important systemic issues. Once we have wrapped our minds around the “whole pie” of mass incarceration, for example, we should zoom out and note that being locked up is just one piece of the larger pie of correctional control. There are another 840,000 people on parole and a staggering 3.7 million people on probation. Particularly given the often onerous conditions of probation, policymakers should be cautious of “alternatives to incarceration” that can easily widen the net of criminalization to people who are not a threat to public safety.
Beyond identifying the parts of the criminal justice system that impact the most people, we should also focus on who is most impacted and who is left behind by policy change. For example, people of color are dramatically overrepresented in the nation’s prisons and jails. These racial disparities are particularly stark for Blacks, who make up 40% of the incarcerated population despite representing only 13% of U.S residents. Gender disparities matter too: rates of incarceration have grown even faster for women than for men. As policymakers continue to push for reforms that reduce incarceration, they should avoid changes that will widen disparities, as has happened with juvenile confinement and with women in state prisons.
Now, armed with the big picture of how many people are locked up in the United States, where, and why, we have a better foundation for the long overdue conversation about criminal justice reform. For example, the data makes it clear that ending the War on Drugs will not alone end mass incarceration, but that the federal government and some states have effectively reduced their incarcerated populations by turning to drug policy reform. Looking at the “whole pie” also opens up other conversations about where we should focus our energies:
Are state officials and prosecutors willing to rethink both the War on Drugs and the reflexive policies that have served to increase both the odds of incarceration and length of stay for “violent” offenses?
Do policymakers and the public have the focus to confront the second largest slice of the pie: the thousands of locally administered jails? And does it even make sense to arrest millions of poor people each year for minor offenses, make them post money bail, and then lock them up when they can’t afford to pay it? Will our leaders be brave enough to redirect corrections spending to smarter investments like community-based drug treatment and job training?
Now that we can see the big picture of how many people are locked up in the United States in the various types of facilities, we can see that something needs to change. Looking at the big picture requires us to ask if it really makes sense to lock up 2.3 million people on any given day, giving this nation the dubious distinction of having the highest incarceration rate in the world. Both policymakers and the public have the responsibility to carefully consider each individual slice in turn to ask whether legitimate social goals are served by putting each category behind bars, and whether any benefit really outweighs the social and fiscal costs.
Even narrow policy changes, like reforms to money bail, can meaningfully reduce our society’s use of incarceration. Meanwhile, some reforms that seem promising have minimal effect, because they simply transfer people from one slice of the correctional “pie” to another. Keeping the big picture in mind is critical if we hope to develop strategies that actually shrink the “whole pie.”
The best thing my parents ever gave me, at considerable sacrifice, was a great education. Here we see:
An elaborate, and devious plot.
This really is outrageous, and the participants – the wealthy parents, the conniving coaches, and the greedy masterminds – should get prison time. Beyond the individuals involved, the reputations of the schools involved are tarnished and, and for every child admitted using this fraud, a hard-working, deserving child, was denied admission, perhaps forever denying them a great education!
We are seeing just the beginning of this mess. I bet we soon will see more federal regulation of gift giving, some new criminal laws to punish those who pay others to take entrance exams, some class action lawsuits against the schools, and more!
I have long said that the D O J, and state prosecutors, should do more of these “consumer protection” investigations. But no, they are busy with the futile “war on drugs”!
The Justice Department on Tuesday charged more than 30 people – including two television stars – with being part of a long-running scheme to bribe and cheat to get their kids into big-name colleges and universities. The alleged crimes, according to officials, involved cheating on entrance exams, as well as bribing college officials to say certain students were coming to compete on athletic teams when those students were not in fact athletes.
Among those charged are actresses Felicity Huffman, best known for her role on the television show “Desperate Housewives,” and Lori Loughlin, who appeared on “Full House,” according to court documents.
Authorities said the crimes date back to 2011, and the defendants used “bribery and other forms of fraud to facilitate their children’s admission” to numerous college and universities, including Georgetown, Yale, Stanford, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California, and the University of California Los Angleles, among others.
Some of the 32 defendants are accused of bribing administrators to facilitate cheating on college-entrance exams – by having a smarter student take the test, providing students with answers to exams or correcting their answers after they had completed the exams, according to the criminal complaint filed in federal court.
Others allegedly bribed university athletic coaches and administrators to designate applicants as “purported athletic recruits – regardless of their athletic abilities, and in some cases, even though they did not play the sport they were purportedly recruited to play – thereby facilitating their admission to universities in place of more qualified applicants,” the complaint charges.
Huffman is accused of paying $15,000 – disguised as a charitable donation – to the Key Worldwide Foundation so her oldest daughter could participate in the scam. A confidential informant told investigators that he told Huffman he could arrange for a third-party to correct her daughter’s answers on the SAT after she took it. She ended up scoring a 1420 – 400 points higher than she had gotten on a PSAT taken a year earlier, according to court documents.
Huffman also contemplated running a similar scam to help her younger daughter, but ultimately did not pursue it, the complaint alleges.
I know that some – too few (just two others that I know of) – other police departments in Delaware are doing this. Dover PD is not yet, but I have a call in to the Chief to discuss it. This policy most certainly will ease stress on police, who already have one of the most stressful jobs in America, and will aid in crime prevention. Indeed, police should lobby legislators for funding for such programs!
Nobody knows the real numbers, but about half of the people police encounter have one or more serious mental health diagnoses; they need TREATMENT, not prison.
Hats off to Chief Hughes at Georgetown PD!
Excerpts from the Article:
An initiative that aims to take a bite out of crime through mental health assessment is copping attention in Georgetown. Recently, a licensed mental health clinician began ride-along sessions with Georgetown police on patrol to help determine if someone is in crisis and needs substance use or mental health treatment.
Michelle Robinson, the licensed clinician, is assigned to the police department through Connections Alliance. She splits time at the station and with officers on patrol.
“She is riding along, and we have encountered or come across a couple of people that we’ve been able to help so far,” said Georgetown Police Chief R.L. Hughes.
“Right now, the clinician is working 30 hours per week,” said Georgetown Police Department spokesman Det. Joey Melvin.
With clinical assessment — and victim approval — efforts can be made to divert the criminal justice/prosecution route in favor of rehabilitation and treatment.
“It’s time for us to try a different approach. With that said, I will tell you that our philosophy at Georgetown Police Department is we are a victim-centered agency,” said Chief Hughes. “By that I mean, we will certainly not divert away from arrest if our victim would like to have that. But we’d like to just have the discussion with the victim and say, ‘This is what we see is happening.’ If the victim desires arrest, that’s fine, absolutely. But at the same time, we want to be honest with the victim and say, ‘We think this person perhaps has an addiction problem … we would like to be able to put them in touch with our mental health clinician, and perhaps they go into a program for rehabilitation.”
The partnership between the Georgetown Police Department and Connections Community Support Programs began in late February and is paid for by the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services’ Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Connections spokesman Adam Taylor said.
Chief Hughes said this service has been offered to “some of the other police agencies here in Sussex County.”
Delaware State Police are looking to study this initiative. State police spokeswoman Master Cpl. Melissa Jaffe said “Delaware State Police are getting ready for an exploratory study in Kent/Sussex county, that is very similar to what Georgetown just started.”
However, funding will only cover the program in Georgetown through April.
“The current grant runs until the end of the April. It’s a short window. At the end of it we’ll take a measure,” said Chief Hughes. “We’ll evaluate and see where we are and then look for other funding opportunities. Connections and also the folks with Lt. Governor’s Behavioral Health Consortium that the Lt. Governor (Bethany Hall Long) has been heading up, they can point us in the right direction for some additional funding — we hope.”
“There are lots of compelling needs out in the community, that is for sure around this issue, so we would have to compete for those funds,” Chief Hughes said. “I do believe it is something that could be very good for us in Georgetown, and actually for Sussex County.”
The program is the first of its kind in Sussex County. It comes at a time when some law enforcement agencies nationally are trying to refer people with mental health or substance use disorders to treatment rather than arrest them.
“Addiction, it’s terrible,” Chief Hughes said. “It gets ahold of folks and they just can’t break it. We need to provide more resources for them and try to break that because it makes us a better community if we can break that cycle of addiction.” The Georgetown Police/Connections Alliance hopes to do just that, banking on the belief that getting people into treatment is more appropriate, more effective and less expensive than having them enter the criminal justice system.
Elizabeth Romero, director of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services’ Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, said the partnership will help engage people with Delaware’s system of care and help them live the best lives possible. “Meeting people where they are and engaging them in treatment for substance use and mental health issues is critical,” Ms. Romero said. “The Georgetown Police Partnership with Connections and funded by my division provides an additional gateway to Delaware’s system of care established through the START Initiative. Engaging those in need with a person-centered, high-quality system of care while also meeting their accompanying needs for housing, employment, education and other wraparound services is the best way to assist them on their road to recovery.”
Chief Hughes agreed. “The recently established partnership between Georgetown Police and Connections is a tremendous tool for our officers,” said Chief Hughes. “As we combat the opioid epidemic, the ability to have a resource with immediate presence, expedites the process to get those in crisis the help they need. While saving time is certainly advantageous for our officers, more importantly, providing the best possible route to wellness is even more. The Georgetown Police Department is proud to take a comprehensive approach to keeping our community safe by partnering with the Connections Alliance.”
“I think that does two things. It ensures that victims have a say in what is going on and it also gives us the opportunity to divert someone away from perhaps entering into criminal justice system,” said Chief Hughes.
The New Castle County and Smyrna police departments partnered with Connections on similar programs last year. More than 100 people the New Castle County team encountered with have been assessed for behavioral health services.
Connections Director of Criminal Justice and Community Partnerships Amy Kevis said she hopes the Georgetown/Connections Alliance will yield the same results.
“This partnership allows police to effectively respond to a public health emergency with more appropriate tools to help people get the help they need,” Ms. Kevis said. “We’ve known for years that we can’t arrest our way out of these issues, and this partnership creates the mechanism to get people into treatment.”
“If history repeats itself by way of what New Castle County Police Department and the Smyrna Police Department have seen the same similar program, we should see some success from this,” Chief Hughes said. “If we can get the person into the appropriate resource or the appropriate service in a timely fashion, I think that’s where we’ll have our most success.”
Connections provides a comprehensive array of behavioral health services at more than 100 locations throughout Delaware and in parts of Maryland. The agency has been operating for more than 30 years and provides services to more than 42,000 people each year.
Sure, some problems come with legalization, but they are negligible compared with the massive injustice caused by decades of prohibition!
The Whole Article:
A growing list of Democratic presidential contenders wants the U.S. government to legalize marijuana, reflecting a nationwide shift.
California Sen. Kamala Harris says it’s the “smart thing to do.” New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker has sponsored a legalization bill and it’s supported by Harris and fellow Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke, who appears poised to join the 2020 Democratic field, called again this week to end the federal prohibition on marijuana.
The embrace of legal pot is a turnaround from the not-so-distant past.
In 1992, then-White House candidate Bill Clinton delivered a famously tortured response about a youthful dalliance with cannabis, claiming he tried it as a graduate student in England but “didn’t inhale.”
I have met with Chief Mailey, and he’s a good man. He “gets it” concerning law enforcement, and when I called his attention to the Angel Program to help addicts [any addict can walk into the police station and get free drug treatment… no arrest, no questions asked] he was quick to embrace it and make it an active part of Dover PD policy, expanding the efforts of Chief Bernat, whom I initially met with to get them to adopt the program.. We are fortunate to have Marvin Mailey, the right guy at the right time in the right place, as Dover’s police chief!
Chief Mailey says of his retirement. set for July of 2020, “I just want to be a normal person.” But he never will be; Marvin Mailey is an exceptional person!
DOVER POLICE CHIEF MARVIN MAILEY
Excerpts from the Article:
When Marvin Mailey comes into the Dover Police Department in the morning he does so with a focused sense of pride. He walks with a purpose — and history walks along with him. That feeling of fulfillment doesn’t just come from Mr. Mailey being the first African-American police chief in the city of Dover’s long history, he said everybody in the department — especially the police officers — are the source of that pride.
It’s never just about him alone.
However, in the two years since Mr. Mailey was sworn in as Dover’s police chief, he has come to understand his role is different from past police chiefs, especially in the eyes of young minority children who can look at him and realize that if they too work hard, they can achieve their dreams.
“I think it’s more significant for young people to know that they have an opportunity to aspire to become what they want to become, and I don’t take that lightly,” Chief Mailey said. “I know I have big shoes to fill and that’s why I work so hard to try and honor the position.
“It’s very important to me and my family. It is an honor being the Dover police chief. I have a great agency. I know that I have a high standard to keep up and to follow all the previous chiefs.” When Mr. Mailey, 52, was sworn in as Dover’s police chief in May 2017, he became the first African-American to rise to that position since the Dover Police Department was established in 1925.
Chief Mailey credits the guidance and advice that many people have given him, including Delaware State Police Superintendent Robert Coupe and Col. Nathaniel McQueen, also of the state police.
Local community leaders were on hand to witness history being made at that city council meeting. “This is a historic moment for the city of Dover,” the Rev. Rita Mishoe Page said at the time. “This is just what we needed at the right time. I’ve gotten to know (Chief Mailey) pretty well. I’ve sat right beside him on a couple of cases, and I’ve been meeting with him every month, so I know he’s a man of integrity, a man of his word, and he’s going to be fair and just.”
Chief Mailey, who began as a patrol officer in 1993, has been moving forward in his two years as chief.
However, despite declining violent crime statistics within the city’s boundaries the past couple of years, he said there is always more work to be done. In particular, his police force is facing a tough task with the opioid crisis as well as trying to be fair when confronted with a homeless issue that has an estimated 300 or more displaced people out on the streets of the city of Dover. “Our opioid problem is first and foremost in my mind,” said Chief Mailey. “One of our strategic goals is to drive that down. We’ve done a very good job in our violent crime numbers and keeping that down, but violent crime numbers are down nationwide as well.
“Another thing we are always concerned with in Dover is the homeless situation. That’s a tough nut to crack for a lot of jurisdictions. I think we handle it appropriately. We realize that being homeless is not a crime, however, there is quality of life issue sometimes that is associated with homeless individuals – panhandling, loitering and so forth. We realize that affects businesses and homeowners. People who want to come to Dover to open up businesses and move in, we realize that impacts their decision. “Those are concerns that we have because those people are in situations for various reasons, but they deserve the same level of respect as everyone else, but at the same time we can’t let their situation infringe on other people’s quality of life. We have to maintain the balance there and that’s constantly a moving target for us.”
Chief Maileyhad served as deputy chief of the department since April 2014. He was named interim police chief for the retiring former Chief Paul M. Bernat on Jan. 9, 2017. Once he was named Dover’s police chief, Chief Mailey said he wanted to be as visible as possible. However, that is beginning to change lately.
“I want to be visible,” he said. “I know I am the face of the organization in a lot of situations. I like for the officers to be the face of the organization, but for town events, for meetings and so forth, when they want the chief to be there, I certainly want to go out and engage with the public.
Marvin Mailey, 52, was sworn in as Dover’s police chief in May 2017, becoming the first African-American to rise to that position since the Dover Police Department was established in 1925.
I want the community to know my officers because they do a lot of great work, so they need to have the interaction.”
The most important thing to him, he says, is to never stop learning. And while he learned many lessons while serving as deputy chief, he admitted his chief of police position offers many more difficult challenges.
“I’ve learned so much over the past couple of years — personnel management is one of the big things in my job, (dealing with) a lot of different personalities inside the agency and outside the agency, connecting with community, working with them is vitally important. The business side of running the police department is something that I had some insight into because I was deputy chief for four years under Chief Bernat, but just really running the operation with the assistance of my staff in making the final decision on things – that’s very different,” he said.
“When you’re weighing in and giving your opinion that’s different than saying, ‘OK, this is the direction that we’re going to go and this is why we’re going to go in this direction,’ because I am responsible for everything. I’m responsible for every good thing that happens and every bad thing that happens, and that’s a heavy cross to bear.”
However, he does have July 2020 circled on his calendar, because that is when he will be hanging up his sidearm and retiring from the Dover Police Department. It’s all part of his plan.
“I will retire in July 2020,” he said. “I came in knowing what day I would leave. I have a plan. I will work somewhere else and it will be a non-law- enforcement position. It’s time for me to return to being a normal person. I just want to be a normal person.”
The life of a crime fighter is never an easy one. There are long, stressful hours spent keeping dangerous individuals in check.
Chief Mailey is looking forward to the day when he can become plain old Mr. Mailey again. For now, he finds different ways to ease his stress. “I go to the gym daily to relieve stress,” he said. “I’m an avid golfer … I’m not very good, but I’m getting there. It’s a work in progress. I’m an outdoorsman, I like to fish. I don’t hunt, but I do fish. Golfing has kind of supplanted fishing in my life. Golfing’s all-consuming now and if you’ve never played golf, don’t start. It’s bad. It’s worse than heroin (with a laugh).”
Then it will be back to work, preparing for his final year as Dover’s police chief. He said he gets his work ethic from his father Marvin Mailey Sr. and his late mother Dollye. “I would say my mother and my father had the greatest influence on my life,” Chief Mailey said. “My mother was a registered nurse and she worked hard for over 25 years and my dad worked for General Motors on the assembly line for 35 years, and those were my role models. They gave me my work ethic. “Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
The Whole Story:
Again I ask you: Who do you think is paying BILLIONS of dollars – the cost of litigation, the settlements or jury awards – for these entirely preventable cases? YOU, the taxpayers are!
This is one of dozens of cases on my website where the cause of death was a prison’s failure to detect and/or treat an addict as she/he detoxified!
Excerpts from the Article:
A federal jury awarded the family of Mark Pajas Sr. $1.6 million earlier this month after he died in a Monterey County Jail detox cell in 2015. “There’s no real way to put a price tag on that,” said Lori Rifkin, an attorney for the Pajas family, noting they didn’t seek a specific amount. “The jury found that (Monterey County) was liable for the death and decided on that amount.”
The seven-person jury in federal court found the county violated Pajas’ right to adequate medical care under the Constitution when Monterey County Sheriff’s Office deputies failed to adequately monitor him as he detoxified from heroin.
Pajas, a 56-year-old Greenfield man, was arrested in King City for allegedly driving on a suspended license and resisting arrest. He was taken to Natividad Medical Center following his arrest, where he told medical staff he was a regular user of heroin. Medical staff released Pajas to police with instructions to return him if he had chest problems or shortness of breath, according to the claim against the county.
When he arrived at the jail, Pajas notified custody and medical staff that he was a heroin user and needed medical help during withdrawal. Despite his placement in a sobering cell for detoxifying detainees, deputies violated policy requiring that safety checks be completed every 15 minutes for detainees in sobering cells.
Deputies found Pajas face down in a puddle of vomit in his cell. He died within 20 hours of his arrival at Monterey County Jail in January 2015.
Pajas’ wife and four adult children, the plaintiffs in the case, testified during the trial, which lasted six court days before about two days of deliberation. “I think what was really clear from the trial and to the jury was that this was a man who struggled with a heroin addiction,” Rifkin said. “But other than struggling with the heroin addiction, he was a loving family member and valued tremendously by his family and by his extended family.”
A group of inmates reached a deal in 2015 over a lawsuit on jail conditions against California Forensic Medical Group, the contractor that provides jail medical services, the county and the Sheriff’s Office, which runs the jail.
The deal laid the groundwork for improvements in medical, dental and mental health care, disability access, safety and suicide prevention. It also called on the county to develop plans for adequate staffing and to increase the use of alternative custody programs to alleviate crowding at the jail.
Crews broke ground in 2017 on an $89 million jail expansion project, which would address the issues raised in the inmates’ lawsuit. In 2018, a federal judge agreed to a $825,000 settlement against Monterey County and California Forensic Medical Group following a lawsuit filed by the family of Larra Ann Gillis, who died in police custody in 2015.
An autopsy report concluded Pajas died from a cardiovascular disease and that opiate withdrawal and methamphetamine may have contributed to his death. A medical expert admitted during the trial that if jail staff had conducted the required safety checks, Pajas would likely be alive today.
“When it gets reported that somebody died in jail who was addicted to drugs, there may be this idea that this is someone who’s just a throwaway,” Rifkin said. “I think that this trial really exposed that that’s not true. That’s not how people deserve to be treated.”
The Monterey County Counsel Office did not return a call seeking comment.
The Supreme Court Just Struck a Huge, Unanimous Blow Against Policing for Profit – Good Decison – kra
This case is monumental in that it clobbers the outrageous Civil Forfeiture laws, which I have written so much about. In 2014, police stole more than was stolen in ALL reported burglaries! This case will change that situation, though there will be mountains of litigation to determine which seizures are appropriate. So much that I expect that the Supreme Court will lay doen a rule … something like “no more in value than the highest fine allowed by law”.
Excerpts from the Article:
The Supreme Court struck an extraordinary blow for criminal justice reform on Wednesday, placing real limitations on policing for profit across the country. Its unanimous decision for the first time prohibits all 50 states from imposing excessive fines, including the seizure of property, on people accused or convicted of a crime. Rarely does the court hand down a ruling of such constitutional magnitude—and seldom do all nine justices agree to restrict the power that police and prosecutors exert over individuals. The landmark decision represents a broad agreement on the Supreme Court that law enforcement’s legalized theft has gone too far.
Wednesday’s ruling in Timbs v. Indiana, authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is sharp and concise. It revolves around a single question of extraordinary importance. The Eighth Amendment guarantees that no “excessive fines” may be “imposed,” an ancient right enshrined in the Magna Carta and enthusiastically adopted by the Framers. But the Bill of Rights originally applied only to the federal government, not the states. After the Civil War, the 14th Amendment was ratified to apply these rights to the states, which had engaged in grotesque civil rights violations to perpetuate slavery. The Supreme Court, however, slowly applied (or “incorporated”) these rights against the states one by one, not all at once. And before Timbs, it had never incorporated the Excessive Fines Clause—allowing states to exploit their residents for huge sums of cash and property.
They did so through civil asset forfeiture, a process that we would call theft in any other context. Here’s how it works: Prosecutors accuse an individual of a crime, then seize assets that have some tenuous connection to the alleged offense. The individual need not be convicted or even charged with an actual crime, and her assets are seized through a civil proceeding, which lacks the due process safeguards of a criminal trial. Law enforcement can seize money or property, including one’s home, business, or vehicle. It gets to keep the profits, creating a perverse incentive that encourages police abuses. Because the standards are so loose, people with little to no involvement in criminal activity often get caught up in civil asset forfeiture. For instance, South Carolina police tried to seize an elderly woman’s home because drug deals occurred on the property—even though she had no connection to the crimes and tried to stop them.
Tyson Timbs is not quite so sympathetic, but his story illustrates the injustice of limitless forfeiture. In 2015, Timbs was charged with selling heroin to undercover officers in Indiana. He pleaded guilty. A trial court sentenced him to a year of house arrest, five years’ probation, and an addiction-treatment program, which helped him overcome his opioid addiction. The court also ordered Timbs to pay $1,203 in fines and fees. So far, so fair.
But then Indiana hired a private law firm to seize Timbs’ Land Rover, which he used to transport heroin. The firm filed a civil suit to obtain the car, valued at $42,000—more than four times the maximum fine for his drug conviction. (Under Indiana law, the state and its chosen firm would get to split the profits.) Timbs fought back, alleging that the forfeiture constituted an “excessive fine” under the Eighth Amendment, applied to the states through the 14th Amendment. The Indiana Supreme Court disagreed, holding that SCOTUS had never incorporated that particular clause against the states.
In one sense, Ginsburg’s opinion is sweeping—it finally opens the federal courthouse door to victims of civil asset forfeiture, like Timbs, who believe they’ve been wronged. But Wednesday’s decision leaves some questions unanswered. The court has already ruled that when the federal government seizes money or property, the fine must not be “grossly disproportional to the gravity of [the] offense.” Presumably, this same standard now applies to the states. But when is a forfeiture grossly disproportionate? Does Indiana’s seizure of Timbs’ Land Rover meet this standard? Ginsburg didn’t say, instead directing the Indiana Supreme Court to evaluate the question. Prepare for a flood of litigation urging federal courts to determine when civil asset forfeiture crosses this constitutional line.
There is, regardless, a great deal to celebrate in Timbs v. Indiana. At long last, SCOTUS has put a federal check on states’ multimillion-dollar civil asset forfeiture schemes. People like Tyson Timbs will have a fighting chance of getting their stuff back when the states seize it for profit. The Supreme Court is unlikely to end policing for profit in one fell swoop. But on Wednesday, it sent a clear message to states like Indiana that the days of largely unregulated abusive forfeiture are over.
Incarceration vs. education: America spends more on its prison system than it does on public schools – and California is the worst
With all of the talk about ending mass incarceration, the system still remains a train wreck. AND THE MAIN REASONS ARE “TOUGH ON CRIME” POLITICIANS AND OUR WAR ON DRUGS. The comparison with education spending shows how out of whack things have gotten.
This article does a good job in explaining the facts and figures. By the way, education and incarceration are related: about 66 percent of state prison inmates haven’t graduated high school, and young black men aged 20-24 without a high school diploma are more likely to be in jail or prison than they are to have a job, and all studies show that education is THE best way to reduce recidivism.
Given that 96% of all prisoners will be released, we need to end the “throw away the key” mentality and provide MORE education for inmates. I remind you again: when we reduce recidivism we decrease the number of future crime victims, and all of the anguish and costs they suffer!
Excerpts from the Article:
The U.S. spends more on prisons and jails than it does on educating children – and 15 states spend at least $27,000 more per prisoner than they do per student. This map breaks down the spending for those states, per student and per inmate, plus the difference between the two figures
Another factor in the spending gap between education and incarceration is that it takes more workers to run a prison than a school, with each American teacher supervising an average of 20.8 students, while prison guards oversee an average of 5.3 prisoners.
In addition, it costs more to house and feed prisoners three times a day, compared to school children who do not require the same 24-hour oversight.
While it may seem that prison spending and education spending are disparate, experts have drawn correlations between the two.
For example, about 66 percent of state prison inmates haven’t graduated high school, and young black men aged 20-24 without a high school diploma are more likely to be in jail or prison than they are to have a job, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
New York had the second-largest gap between per student and per prisoner costs – and spends more on each than any other state. Spending per student in New York is $22,366, compared to the $69,355 it invests per inmate, for a difference of $46,989.
Connecticut follows, with a $43,202 gap between its $18,957 spending per student and $43,201 per inmate costs.
New Jersey narrowly ranks fourth, with a $43,201 gap between per student spending ($18,402) and per inmate expenditures ($61,603).
Rhode Island lands in fifth place, with a $43,033 gap when comparing per student spending ($15,531) to costs per inmate ($58,564).
Vermont ranked sixth, with a $39,742 gap between per student ($17,872) and per inmate ($57,614) spending. Massachusetts followed with a $39,578 gap comparing per student ($15,592) and per inmate (57,614) spending.
With a gap of $35,124, Alaska ranked eighth, spending $17,509 per student and $55,170 per inmate. Oregon came in ninth, with a $33,180 gap between spending per student (10,841) and per inmate ($44,021).
Maryland came in tenth, with a $30,396 gap between per prisoner ($44,601) and education ($14,205) spending.
Colorado ranked eleventh ($29,729), followed by Minnesota ($28,985), Pennsylvania ($27,310) and Wisconsin ($27,188).
New Mexico rounds out the top 15, with a $27,140 difference between education ($9,692) and prison ($36,832) spending.