Crossroads Radio Show Annual Calendar
|November 21, 2017 - DC CORRECTIONS/US PAROLE COMMISSION ISSUES DC PAROLE BOARD NEEDS TO BE REACTIVATEDThe guests for the show were Jamie Argento Rodriguez, Chief, Community Defender Division of the The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and Michelle Bonner, Executive Director; DC Corrections Information Council (CIC). The first segment of the show was " How are DC Code Prisoners being Treated in the Bureau of Prisons" (BOP) and the Second part of the show spoke to the issue of "Are Correct DC Parole Guidelines being Applied to DC Prisoners Confined in the Bureau of Prisons"? (BOP)
Cross Roads Commentary by Mertine Moore Brown, Associate Producer
November 21, 2017
DC Corrections/US Parole Commission Issues
A Federal Judge has ordered that inmates confined in the Florida Dept. of Corrections who are infected with Hepatitis C must be treated. DC Councilmember Robert White secures $1.5m to support entrepreneurship for DC’s Previously Incarcerated Persons (PIPS). Trump votes to cut poor people off cell phone service. Federal Communications Commission endorses this cruel act.
Restorative Justice for Shoplifting – When a shoplifter is taken to Walmart’s back room, they are shown a video on how to avoid a criminal record, they must confess, pay a $50 fee to participate with a privately-run company, Corrective Education Company, which orders you to pay $400. If you don’t have the money, you go to jail. This is textbook extortion. This practice is in 2,000 Walmart stores across the country. This offender funded program was started in 2011.
Jamie Rodriguez, Chief, Public Defender Service (PDS)
Michelle Bonner, Esq., Executive Director, DC Corrections Information Council (CIC), an independent small government agency mandated to inspect DC jails, prisons and halfway houses where DC prisoners are confined.
DC prisoners are housed around the country. Parole and prison have been turned over to the federal government. When the Hearing Examiner recommends parole, the Parole Commission may issue 5 - 10-year hit (additional time). This is an ongoing issue that requires legal assistance. What can families expect from CIC? Call them on 202.478.9211 if a loved one is sick, ill or being hurt.
The federal government abolished the DC Board of Parole. In the 1970s, DC prisoners were going to college, furloughs were available. There are 4,700 DC prisoners, 73% are within 500 miles and many do not support a public bus system or Amtrak. District representatives are trying to bring prisoners closer to town, so service providers can work with them before they return home.
DC prisoners receive longer time, exorbitant sentences. Public Defender Service represent individual cases. They have a dozen or so lawyers. The focus is on currently incarcerated, they hold proceedings at DC jail. Write the PDS to network with nearby attorneys. PDS – 202.628.1200 or 202.824.2801, 1442 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE Washington, DC.
DC leaders are paying attention. The Deputy Mayor has met with Congresswoman Norton and with the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). This prison system violates civil and human rights. Call the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) for help. 16, 17 halfway houses are being closed. BOP has contract with halfway houses; Hope Village for Men, Fairview for women. DC code is not affecting DC offenses. BOP has dress code that punishes and costs family members. Parole hearing is the same as a resentencing hearing. Now there are teleconference hearings. What is your release plan? What trainings, jobs, support? You must admit guilt at hearings. If a parent or child died, in previous years you would be allowed to go to the funeral.
A caller suggested the use of St Elizabeth’s land, which formally housed the mentally ill. Another caller’s son is doing 20 years, he was at Red Onion, one of the most notorious in the country, located in Virginia.
MOVING TOWARD LOCAL CONTROL OF DC’S CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
Thursday, November 30, 2017 – 7:00pm
UDC David A Clarke School of Law
Moot Court Room (518)
4340 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Register at: http://www.law.udc.edu/event/LocalControl
|MOVING TOWARD LOCAL CONTROL OF DC'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEMFree, but please register here: http://www.law.udc.edu/event/LocalControl
DC STATEHOOD COALITION and The UDC David A. Clarke School of Law present a Forum on
MOVING TOWARD LOCAL CONTROL OF DC'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
Thursday, November 30, 7:00 pm UDC David A. Clarke School of Law
Moot Court Room (518)
4340 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Welcome by UDC Law Dean Shelley Broderick
Moderator, Tammy Seltzer, Director, University Legal Services' Jail and Prison Advocacy Project
Johnny Barnes, Former Executive Director of the ACLU of the Nation's Capital, www.livinqwiththelaw.com
Avis Buchanan, Director, Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, www.Qdsdc.org
Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC Delegate to the House of Representatives, https://norton.house.aov Louis Sawyer, Jr., Chair, DC Reentry Task Force
Council for Court Excellence
DC Democratic State Committee
DC Federation of Democratic Women
DC for Democracy
DC Latino Leadership Council
DC Statehood Green Party
League of Women Voters of DC
Stand Up for Democracy in DC (Free DC)
Ward Three Democrats
Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs
Woman's National Democratic Club
|November 13, 2017 - Pre-emptionThe Pacifica Radio Archives will be hosting fundraising across the network from 9am-midnight EST this Tuesday, November 14.
|November 7, 2017 - BLACK DC ELECTED OFFICIALS WHO WERE CONVICTED and SENT TO PRISON and EFFECTS OF LONG TERM INCARCERATIONThis week the radio show was broadcast live from Ben's Chili Bowl with an early breakfast and lasted for 2 hours. The co-host of the show was none other than attorney, Nkechi Taifa, Advocacy Director for Criminal Justice, Open Society Foundations. The topic was Black DC Elected Officials who were Convicted and Sent to Prison and the second topic was "The Effects of Long Term Prison." The guests for the first half of the show was DC City Councilwoman Former DC Council Member-at-Large, Michael Brown and Former DC Council Member, Ward 5, Harry Thomas, Jr.
The guests for the 2nd half of the show were: Walter Lomax who served 41 years in prison and Stanley Mitchell who served 27 years in prison for a crime that he did not co
Commentary of Crossroads Radio Show at Ben's Chili Bowl by Mertine Moore Brown on 11/7/2017
CROSS ROADS COMMENTARY
NOVEMBER 6, 2017
CRIMINAL JUSTICE ISSUES
CONGRESSWOMAN ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON
BLACK DC ELECTED OFFICIALS WHO WERE COVICTED AND SENT TO PRISON
MICHAEL BROWN, FORMER DC COUNCILMEMBER AT-LARGE
HARRY THOMAS, JR – FORMER DC COUNCILMEMBER WARD 5
EFFECTS OF LONG TERM INCARCERATION
WALTER LOMAX, SERVED 40 YEARS
STANLEY MITCHELL, SERVED 27 YEARS
CO-HOST – NKECHI TAIFA, ADVACACY DIRECTOR FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE
OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATIONS
INAUGURAL “IN THE COMMUNITY” LIVE BROADCAST
BEN’S CHILI BOWL
1213 U STREET, NW
Virginia returning citizens can make a difference in today’s elections; one of only 4 states that has restored returning citizens’ right to vote. Terry McAuliffe, Governor of Virginia, restored voting rights to more than 200,000 people, and he had to sign each order individually. Returning citizens can impact the Governor’s race today.
250 pre-schoolers are suspended or expelled every day. In 2016, 50,000 pre-schoolers were expelled at least once. Blacks are 2.2 times more likely to be suspended.
More than 16 halfway homes have been closed. Halfway homes allow a returning citizen to be on pre-release 6 months before his release. Now they have to spend the final 6 months in prison.
There are 122 federal prisons. All have a dress code whereby if a relative comes to visit and has on what is deemed “inappropriate”, they must buy clothing to be admitted into the prison. Currently halfway homes charge newly released returning citizens a fee, when most don’t even have a job. In prison, you can look at TV but if you want to hear it, you must pay $69-$79 to purchase a MP3 player.
As far as political appointees, Blacks are invisible, we are not being appointed nationally. The Clemency Act would allow the Mayor authority to grant commutations and pardons for DC Code prisoners confined in BOP prisons. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton is currently addressing this concern.
The previous 3 Presidential administrations granted Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton Senatorial Courtesy (She can make recommendations for all federal vacancies including judges, prosecutors, us attorneys, us marshalls etc). The Congresswoman has been denied Senatorial Courtesy from this present administration.
Harry Thomas says prison is what it is – slavery – he was paid 13 cents an hour. There is an incentive to lock folk up. Michael Brown, Harry Thomas and Jesse Jackson, Jr were in the same prison at the same time. Harry’s attitude taught from his Dad, “Own it, fix it and move on”.
Michael Brown’s Father was Ron Brown, first African American DNC Chairman and Secretary of Commerce, who was tragically killed in an airplane crash with Congressman Micky Leland. His Grandfather owned the famous Teresa Hotel in Harlem where Ron Brown actually grew up. Harry Thomas’ Father was Harry Thomas, Sr, a highly respected Councilmember for years.
There are 15 million Americans with a criminal record. As African Americans, we must always remember there is always a higher standard for us.
Walter Lomax went into prison in 1967 for a crime he did not commit. He had a death penalty charge. “If the crime had been committed in Texas, Florida or Virginia, I would be dead. I would not be here talking to you”. Princeton, New Jersey Centurion Ministries handled his case. Remember: PLATFORMS BECOME POLICY.
Stanley Mitchell was released under the Unger Decision, that cited he and almost 300+ were denied due process and were immediately released. Stanley was given $18 at his release; no services, no support, no restitution. Stanley wants to put a face to long term incarceration. “That’s who I was, not who I am”.
|November 24, 2017 - IS BLACK IDENTITY THE NEW NATIONAL SECURITY THREAT? THE FBI HAS INVENTED A NEW LABEL TO TARGET TODAY'S BLACK ACTIVISTS - "BLACK IDENTITY EXTREMISTS"THE SHOW WAS HOSTED BY ROACH BROWN AND CO-HOSTED BY ATTORNEY NKECHI TAIFA, ADVOCACY DIRECTOR FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE/OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATIONS. THE GUESTS FOR THE SHOW WERE MARSHALL EDDIE CONWAY FORMER LEADER, BALTIMORE CHAPTER OF THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY, MALKIA CYRIL, FOUNDER/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR MEDIA JUSTICE.
CROSS ROADS COMMENTARY by MERTINE MOORE BROWN
TOPIC: BLACK IDENTITY EXTREMISTS
OCTOBER 24, 2017
2 ½ months after passing legislation to give female inmates free sanitary and hygiene products, female inmates are still being charged for personal items. Costs out of reach for many inmates.
219,000 women are incarcerated in the United States. More than ¼ of women behind bars have never had a trial.
Crime has risen in Puerto Rico. It’s easy to burglarize, no alarms, no lights. Because of island’s economic crisis, cannot count on more enforcement and security.
Native youth are 300% more likely to be detained than white youth who are detained or committed.
Daughter of Black Panther parents
Founder/Executive Director, Center for Media Justice
Black Identity Extremists – It may not have originated by the FBI, may have been the White house, the whole process of this coming about is outside of the protocol. Is trump trying to downplay white nationalism?
Marshall Eddie Conway
Former Leader, Baltimore Chapter, Black Panther Party
Marshall was charged with the murder of a policeman and shooting of another. After 12 years It was determined it was a mistake, but it took another 32 years to release him.
Where is your conscious? It’s not about numbers. 5,000-10,000 Black Panther members vs 5m in the American army. Movements were rising. FBI labeled them as radicals, armed Black angry militants, they broke all civil rights laws, burglarized our houses, got members fired from their jobs, sent letters to spouses intimating affairs. They are creating another narrative as they did then.
Movements are afoot in the world – Asia, Africa, worldwide……….
What emerged after Michael Brown’s murder was movement against police brutality, movement of Black liberation, Black civil rights. What is frightening is the fact that what they are doing now has been codified, made legal by the National Defense Authorization Act/Patriot Act.
Constitutional protections have always been unequally applied against Blacks and poor people in this country from the moment we set foot on these shores. We are fighting for human rights. No correlation at all between people being angry against police brutality, no evidence at all. We need to demand a Congressional Hearing.
Today Moorish Temple associates are being singled out.
20 years ago, the FBI created gang books or street organization albums. You practice Islam? You would be added to the book. Black liberation philosophy prisoners were being tagged.
We need alternative media. We must gain control of our narrative. Build muscle capacity to push back. We need to tell our stories from our perspective.
|October 31, 2017 - RETURNING CITIZENS OPPORTUNITY TO SUCCEED AMENDMENT ACTThe topic for the radio show was: RETURNING CITIZENS OPPORTUNITY TO SUCCEED AMENDMENT ACT, "RETURNING CITIZENS" DOCUMENTARY PANEL DISCUSSION WITH RETURNING CITIZENS, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2017, 6:00 - 7:30 PM at the R.I.S.E. DEMONSTRATION CENTER located at 2730 MARTIN LUTHER KING JR AVENUE, SE,WASHINGTON, DC 20032 and the guest was DC COUNCIL MEMBER AT-LARGE ROBERT C WHITE, JR.
COMMENTARY BY MERTINE MOORE BROWN
CROSS ROADS COMMENTARY
OCTOBER 31, 2017
RETURNING CITIZENS OPPORTUNITY TO SUCCEED
Youth sentenced to 8 years for punching guard, way too harsh a sentence
Pre-trial punishment is unjust
Cash cow for law enforcement seizing property with no accountability, over $6B annually in forfeiture fund, many times seized before someone has been convicted
Robert C White Jr, At-Large Councilmember, Washington DC
Initiated “Returning Citizens Opportunity to Succeed Amendment Act”
Councilmember White is a voice and advocate for returning citizens.
6 months prior to release, prepare men and women for the outside world
Provide employment opportunities
Provide transit subsidy up to $100 monthly
Ensure BOP (Bureau of Prisons) ID is available before leaving prison
Being released without exposure to computer usage is a big handicap and unfair to returning citizens.
The response has been positive – Dec 7 is the hearing date, come out and testify, need advocates. There are too many homeless returning citizens.
The DC City Council has become much more receptive
Roach suggests that gate money and monies to start a small business be made available to men and women coming out. Prisons have gratuitous fund or gate money available up to $500 but he knows no one who has ever received the full $500.00.
Telephone companies make millions off phones. A percentage should be set aside, earmarked for entrepreneurship.
Our pain is someone else’s gain.
When Democrats are in control, there is some lead way.
Alonzo Turner Bey brought Roach into Jessup prison along with Ray Lewis, MVP, Superbowl. Turtle also supported – they put quite a program together. Their group is Positive Change. Alonzo has been in 29 years, since the age of 19.
Defacto - Life without parole – Get the Governor out of the parole process – He keeps denying men after 2, even 3 and more times.
Workforce Investment Council – organization to bring Dept of Employment Services, business community - Bring all players in the room to talk.
Job Training programs – are they being productive?
Delbert Jackson, former head of Dept of Corrections, encouraged others to hire the formerly incarcerated. The government should hire; put your money where your mouth is.
You know there is an achievement gap in schools.
The Federal Parole Commission should apply DC Code instead of Federal Code. Highlight individual cases in the news; force change.
Guest Dan is a blind man. He says he always ask himself, “What would Roach do? – patterning ideas - 30 words or less – replay – build a habit.
No mother should be in jail who has a child age 7 and under, for a non-violent offense. Let the churches step up – adopt a family. Nationally 16 halfway houses have been closed which means longer time in prison instead of the 6 months in halfway house before release.
Councilmember White’s Dad is still living. He volunteers with Catholic Charities program “Welcome Home”.
Roach gave a shout out to William Budd and the barbers at First Cut.
Juanita White, Councilmember’s Great Aunt, works at Ft Stanton. The young guys play ball from 10am – 4pm and she knows they should be in school. What can she do as she doesn’t like to approach the boys. Councilmember will check into it.
RAPP - Release Aging People in Prisons. Prisons are becoming nursing homes.
Discrimination – folk are being denied Habeas Corpus – argue that fact in court – Advocate for independent judiciary regarding convictions in local court – it is over incarceration of local prisoners.
Inmates in prison have the right to vote. Advocate for background check companies to do the right thing.
|October 17, 2017 - DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH REHABILITATIVE SERVICES "CREDIBLE MESSENGER INITIATIVE" MENTORING INTERVENTION PROGRAM FOR COMMITTED YOUTHThe guests for the show were LINDA HARLLEE HARPER, SENIOR DEPUTY DIRECTOR, NORMAN BROWN, CREDIBLE MESSENGER AND WALLEE, CREDIBLE MESSENGER. The program is one year in and has made excellent strides in saving our youth and reaching people of color.
Commentary by Mertine Moore Brown.
CROSS ROADS – CREDIBLE MESSENGER INITIATIVE
OCTOBER 17, 2017
Louisiana sheriff upset because “good” inmates will be going home. Sheriff can take more than half of an inmate’s wages and make them work just as hard. “Good” inmates – those who are washing Sheriff’s car, mowing his lawn etc
As many as 1 in 5 prisoners received medicines for mental health issues.
Inmates and families are taking complaints to court because of extreme heat inside prisons.
The Bureau of Prisons is cutting support for halfway houses. There are 269 halfway houses nationally, and 16 are being closed down across the country. This forces inmates to stay in prison longer because there are no facilities to be released to.
Jeff Sessions wants more aggressive sentencing.
ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) represented a homeless man who was arrested 270 times just for being homeless. The system failed to provide attorneys to this population. A senseless churn through the criminal justice system.
Eddie Ellis of New York City coined “Credible Messenger”. This former Black Panther served 27 years and was innocent.
Tomorrow is dependent on these talented people here today.
Credible Messenger is a one year old program today. “He/she gets it” – the terminology guest Whali Johnson uses in this movement driven by the community - it makes you credible.
Guest Norman Brown goes into institutions like New Beginnings and Youth Service Center – “We caught fire there, have undivided attention with youth. We encourage youth to know they are more than what has been presented to them. They view themselves differently.”
Community involvement made a difference when implementing this program - licensed coordinators, people who care, government employees and a Credible Messenger enhances with parental and grandparent involvement.
Alcatraz has been turned into a community environment by Native Americans.
Guest Linda Harllee Harper is Senior Deputy Director of DYRS (Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services).
What preventive measures can we do? Norman says public schools are adopting restorative justice. Youth need to understand it is not a badge of honor or a rites of passage to go to jail.
Marie – “How do I get help for my son? Talk to the probation officer to see how they can help now before he gets in trouble.
Jackie Carter, Ward 8, trains youth in theatre, wants to know how she can get connected to DYRS. DYRS pays students to learn theater and dramatic therapy activities. Services are contracted. Visit www.dyrs.dc.gov to apply.
Social worker – channel children into what they like doing, keep them busy and involved, many fathers are missing because of long sentences during the totally injustice “3 strikes you are out” mandate.
Family piece changes the culture cycle. Dr Clinton Lacy is from New York City – training is necessary, the solution is in the community.
Linda Harllee Harper is a soldier, the government works with the community, the trainings are like boot camp.
Norman says the agency is very supporting. There is joy and pride in what they do.
As Linda says because of previous efforts in the city by community organizations such as Al Malik, Cease Fire, Don’t Smoke the Brothers and Sisters; Jenese Patterson, Parent Watch; Yango; Tyrone Parker, Alliance of Concerned Men etc. Also MORCA (Mayor’s Office on Returning Citizen Affairs) has been quite helpful.
For more information on Credible Messenger Initiative, contact Charles Dotson on 202.299.3757 or Dana McDaniel on 202.299.3438. Visit www.dyrs.dc.gov.
|October 10, 2017 - NEW YORK & CHICAGO BLACK COPS ARE KNEELING IN SUPPORT OF COLIN KAEPERNICKThe guests for the show were Ron Hampton of Blacks in Law Enforcement and the Institute of Black World and Damon Jones of Black Law Enforcement of America, New York City Chapter.
COMMENTARY BY MERTINE MOORE BROWN
Cross Roads – New York and Chicago Black Cops are
Kneeling for Colin Kaepernick
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Suicide is a major death in jails. 26% of all jail suicides occur within 3 days of arriving in a jail. FBI launched COINTEL II - Black Identity Extremists – dangerous movement FBI is perpetrating. FBI claims police attacks on African Americans could motivate premeditated attacks on police. Research Mark Clark and Fred Hampton – young African Americans, members of the Black Panther Party Movement, who were targeted and killed strickly because of their beliefs that we need to take care of ourselves.
There’s a pretty good chance your flag was made by African American men and women in prison.
Ron Hampton – Blacks in Law Enforcement, retired, Washington, DC
Damon Jones – Blacks in Law Enforcement, New York City Chapter
Why did you take a knee? We announced support when Colin was playing football. When he didn’t get signed, and is being blackballed, as we know now, we speak on boycotting NFL because of punishment for taking a stand. There is imbedded racism in law enforcement. Racism is in the DNA of policing. We become culturally conditioned.
We must protest. Its right to protest. You cannot tell us how to protest.
Police brutality is institutional racism. We cannot be silent anymore. Policing should begin in the community.
National Black Police Association – white cops are afraid of them.
We need to take advantage of October, November and December. Individually we may not have much power, but collectively we got the power – stay out of department stores – buy Black – BuyBlack.com - stand, kneel with Colin Kaepernick – compare this to the days of lynching – slaves and later freed men were forced to watch and the underlying message is “this will happen to you”. Imagine what our ancestors have gone through - and all these wealthy rich athletes, celebrities – come on – stand up – respect yourself – our money is power – hold on to yours.
To reach Damon Jones and New York City Chapter of Black Law Enforcement Association - www.bleausa.org
|October 3, 2017 - SHOULD VIDEO VISITS TAKE THE PLACE OF IN PERSON VISITS IN JAILS AND PRISONS?The Radio Show was informative as usual and the guest was Alex Friedman, Associate Director of the Human Rights Defense Center and a writer for Prison Legal News. Mr. Friedman was very knowledgeable about the services provided to inmates and the companies that are making big money off of minorities.
CROSS ROADS COMMENTARY
SHOULD VIDEO VISITS TAKE THE PLACE OF IN PERSON VISITS
IN JAILS AND PRISONS?
OCTOBER 3, 2017
More folk arrested last year over pot than for all other crimes, according to the Washington Post, a year in which medical marijuana is legalized, it’s over 5% of all arrests. A Judge in Louisiana is allowing a company to charge others for rehabilitation fees, including ankle monitors. You cannot go to your parent’s home if they live in public housing. A new Maryland law lets some prisoners seek reduced sentences under the Justice Reinvestment Act.
Alex Friedmann, Founder, Prison Legal News. He is calling in from Nashville, Tennessee. “Stop Prison Profiteering” Campaign is also another website they have created. Mom has to use video visits to see her baby and she has to pay for it. Video visiting in prisons and jails – video conferencing – teleconferencing – removing in person visitation and replacing with for profit video visits is a travesty. The bigger issue is the family is treated as criminals, disrespected and undeserving to be harassed and humiliated – unnecessary shake downs. The justification is that video visits will cut down on contraband but most contraband are smuggled in by staff, not visitors. Authority has been taken too far. Most attorneys have in person visits. The trend is to take away in person visits. They claim they can save on staffing cost and financial kickbacks. Same model re prison phones. Financial kickback goes back to prison. Secaucus Technologies is raking in $1.6b yearly. All visits have become monetized. This system offers cruel and unusual punishment, this seriously injustice system. Video visits are growing by leaps and bounds. 650 facilities are using video visits, it’s the growing trend. Video visits stifle those with disabilities.
Video visits are good for those who live far away, are disabled, have busy schedules etc., but should not replace in-person visits. None of these companies are operated by a minority. Everything is for profit.
What can we do?
Go to local offices to complain, protest outside, pick up the phone, make a call, send an email. There is always the risk of retaliation against prisoners and family members - destroying mail, making up allegations. Complain without revealing the name of your loved ones. The reason the criminal injustice system is so resistant to change is because so much money is being made.
To learn more, visit:
|September 26, 2017 - Incarcerated Veterans & Reentry ProgramThe guest for the show were Charles Avery, Executive Director of Veterans on the Rise, Floyd Palmer, Air Force Veteran and Returning Citizen and Monica, Army Officer and Combat Veteran.
CROSS ROADS COMMENTARY – September 26, 2017
INCARCERATED VETERANS & REENTRY PROGRAMS
With all the stories of heroism and tragedy in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, one group of people, based on reports from several of those facilities, prisoners were not evacuated, could not flee and continue to suffer. 2,109 prisoners in Beaumont, Texas were left in their cells to face the flooding, water shortages and power outages. Water rose above their ankles and the smell of sewage from backed up toilets grew so intense they had to wrap towels over their noses just to fall asleep.
Nearly 6,000 inmates in 5 Texas prisons were evacuated. The same happened in south and central Florida, where over 7,000 prisoners were moved across the state in anticipation of Hurricane Irma.
It is not known yet if prisoners have been evacuated or relocated in Puerto Rico. Because power, communications and internet services on the island are down, it is unclear how many people are being held in Puerto Rico state prisons, but the facilities can house more than 12,000 prisoners in total, including women.
Prisons use TTY or TTD to communicate. Deaf inmates’ needs are not being supported as they should be. Telecommunication devices for the deaf in prisons are usually outmoded or non-existent.
Texas prisons eliminate use of solitary confinement. Said Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark of the September policy change, “When reviewing solitary confinement as a policy and practice, we determined that as a department we can effectively operate without it.”
Massachusetts aims to keep children and parents together through the criminal justice system. Mothers with young children should not be sentenced. Community-based sentencing is a healthier and fiscally responsible alternative.
Veterans on the Rise, Charles Avery – In 1999, 3 veterans formed this organization that takes care of the needs of homeless veterans. They partner with Veterans Administration, provide temporary housing when available, severely mentally ill can stay for 6 months, and their flagship program is “Transition in Place”. 15%-20% referrals have criminal background. 85 of every 1,000 incarcerated are veterans; 38% in prisons, 44% in jails. Over 200,000 veterans have been sentenced to prison.
Floyd Palmer, home only 6 months after serving 18 ½ years, was released from a Durham, NC prison with bus fare, $25.00 and no ID, missed the Richmond, VA bus, finally arrived at Central Mission homeless shelter Washington, DC where he was then connected to Veterans on the Rise. Veterans on the Rise was a welcome turnaround.
Monica, US Army Combat Veteran, and a medical student at Georgetown University, had been stationed in Iraq. The armed forces radio is heard worldwide and Monica noticed that the radio was pinpointing certain audiences but not catering to our community. Monica submitted a written request and because of Monica, Cross Roads radio show and Pacifica radio WPFWFM is now heard around the world, including Korea.
Homeless and veteran in the same sentence is heartbreaking.
Floyd says veterans need to come together and work as a unit. If you don’t stand, you are going to get rolled over. He has gotten plenty of runaround, and still is not receiving benefits because he has no disability.
Your benefits stop when you are sentenced to prison. Veterans are meeting weekly inside prisons but no one is there to assist them. PTSS – Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is a real issue with returning citizens and veterans. Homelessness prevention is necessary because veterans are losing out after so many months of not receiving adequate support. “Support Independent Living”!
Ian - Hunting, seeking and killing – Veterans on the Rise needs contributions.
Amin Muhammad – prison ministry – incarcerated veterans and assisted programs – young brothers who have served must go through too many hoops to get what they deserve.
Cuff – Vietnam Veteran – it took 17 years just to get his benefits – had infected skin disorder – fights constantly for brothers and sisters – Veterans have no one else to turn to but themselves.
Floyd says it gets too frustrating and overwhelming – there are so many homeless veterans – He sees them in Georgetown, Foggy Bottom, Minnesota Avenue etc. He is thankful and grateful for Veterans on the Rise. He is working steadily at Dog Tag Bakery and will be starting business school at Georgetown University.
Veterans on the Rise is partnering with a red carpet premiere major motion picture; more info will be posted. Charles Avery, Veterans on the Rise, may be contacted at 202.388.4090.
Monica – InTheCcommunityTV.com – Shahid – veterans have been helped; a specific situation moved a female veteran from squalor conditions into her own home.
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Washington Post Article: Dr. Frances Cress Welsing
The Washington Post
March 18, 2016
Memorial service to be held for celebrated, controversial Frances Cress Welsing.
Psychiatrist and author Frances Cress Welsing was known for her controversial views on race. (Elvert Barnes/elvertbarnes.com)
By Hamil R. Harris
March 17 at 10:32 PM
When family members, friends, and colleagues of Frances Cress Welsing began planning a memorial service for the psychiatrist and author who devoted her life to studying racism and its root causes, they knew they would have a tall order trying to capture her impact.
She was both celebrated and controversial, but never wavering in her belief that the persistent struggles of people of color were the results of the racism they had endured. Welsing died Jan. 2, a few hours after suffering a stroke. She was 80.
Welsing provided psychiatric services to D.C. government agencies and institutions for 27 years. She also maintained a private practice in the District beginning in 1967, counseling patients until days before her death.
Several of those she helped, such as motivational speaker and radio host Roach Brown, say they owe her their lives.
In 1965, Brown was a 21-year-old inmate at the D.C. Department of Correction’s prison in Lorton, Va. A year earlier, he and two other men had been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a “local fence in a dispute over the price of hot jewelry,” Brown said.
[The price of redemption]
No weapon was ever recovered, and Brown, now 72, has always maintained that he was not the triggerman.
Welsing testified during his trial that his actions were consistent with someone whose environment had led to mental-health problems.
“They ended up giving me life in prison because Dr. Welsing spoke up on my behalf,” said Brown, who went on to start the prison theatrical group Inner Voices. “She saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself.”
Brown, who had his sentenced commuted in 1975, will be among those in attendance at the memorial service for Welsing on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. at Metropolitan AME Church in the District. “Dr. Welsing turned me and other guys around,” Brown said. “She was our Harriet Tubman to get out of mental slavery.”
Welsing first gained notoriety in 1969 after she wrote an essay, “The Cress Theory of Color Confrontation and Racism (White Supremacy).” In it she theorized that racism was rooted in the varying degrees of melanin and the “color inferiority” of white people. She argued that the lack of melanin led white people to develop “hostility and aggression” toward people darker than themselves.
“She had a theory about race and why white people do what they do and I dealt with the what,” said Neely Fuller, author of “The United Independent Compensatory Code System Concept: a textbook/workbook for thought speech and/or action for victims of racism (white supremacy).”
In her 1991 book, “The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors,” Welsing again looked at the origins of white supremacy and its impact. She wrote that “black males must help one another to understand that they are being led by the dynamic of white supremacy to inflict extreme damage upon themselves and each other.”
[Welsing’s work provokes different reactions]
“Dr. Welsing’s major contribution as it relates to black mental health was that she had the capacity to challenge the dominant prevailing thought of our society and she gave it the name global white supremacy,” said Kevin Washington, president of the Association of Black Psychologists.
Ray Winbush, director of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University and former director of the Race Relations Institute at Fisk University, said Welsing drew heavy criticism for her views, which she expected. She frequently engaged her detractors.
In 1974, she and Stanford University physicist William Shockley, who had argued that blacks were genetically inferior to whites, engaged in debate on the syndicated television show “Tony Brown’s Journal.”
Welsing was born in Chicago in 1935.Her father, Henry N. Cress was a physician, and her mother, Ida Mae Griffen, was a school teacher, and there were high expectations.
“We were taught that we were special,” said Welsing’s older sister, Lorne Cress-Love. “We were encouraged to read and discuss all types of issues.”
Cress-Love said their father and their grandfather, who also was a physician, were passionate about fighting for equality. “My father told us that our grandfather spent more time fighting for the race than practicing medicine.”
In 1957, Welsing earned a bachelor’s degree from Antioch College and in 1962 she earned a medical degree from the Howard University College of Medicine. After graduation, Welsing completed a residency at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington. From 1968 to 1975, she taught in the pediatric department of Howard University’s Medical School.
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