Crossroads Radio Show Annual Calendar
|July 25, 2017 - STATUS OF CONGRESSWOMAN NORTON'S BILL TO GRANT AUTHORITY TO MAYOR TO GIVE PARDONS AND COMMUTATIONS TO DC CODE PRISONERS The guests for the show were the Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC City Councilwoman and LaShonia Thompson - El, Director of The "W.I.R.E." Women Involved in Reentry Efforts. ROACH ALSO HAD A MEMORIAM FOR HIS FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE, JIM VANCE.
"During the 1970s at Lorton Reformatory, the inmates requested Jim Vance's support to help resolve the tense situation. Not only did Jim Vance come down, but Larry Bryant accompanied him (Black News, Fox TV). Meeting Jim Vance and Larry Bryant opened my eyes to the world of broadcast journalism and established lasting friendships." - Roach Brown
COMMENTARY OF MERTINE MOORE BROWN- July 25, 2017
Each year in prison takes 2 years off a person’s life expectancy.
Detroit Pistons’ owner buys Secaucus Prison service - charging $22 for prisoners to make phone calls
2014 law enforcement officers took more property from citizens than any other source - legalized theft
Lashonia Thompson El
Women Involved in Reentry Efforts
“RETURNING CITIZENS” documentary
Lashonia’s children were 3 years old and 10 months old when she went in. They are 23 and 25 now. She didn’t have parenting skills and didn’t know what to expect when she returned home.
Suicide by Incarceration - help is needed for those returning to the streets
We experience generations of trauma because of mass incarceration
Lashonia raised funds to send young teen boy to see his mother after 10 years
1 instance where clemency power was used for dc:
Atty Bill Borders
The Mayor should have right to give clemency to dc prisoners
Need to reduce price of inmate calls
It’s been proven that weekly contact with family encourages prisoners to do the right thing to get home
DC inmates are all over the US. Eleanor Holmes recommends that a federal prison close to DC must be converted to DC prison
Cong Eleanor Holmes Norton wrote Bureau of Prisons, Sept 2006 response - Bureau now open to consider possibility of prison close to DC for DC prisoners
Bureau policy of allowing only 2 contacts with children must be changed - children should be able to hug Mom & sit in her lap for the short hours they can see their parent
Halfway House - you must pay 25% when you get out of prison - How can you?
Subsistence fee should be waived
Aug 2, the city will host - Convention Center Job Fair for returning citizens - government, local, county, federal and private employers
Roach suggested that Google implement computer program
Bureau of Prisons has many programs
US Parole Commission needs to judge prisoners based on DC law, not federal code - they need to be sued
Don’t give up because this administration does not belong there
After the radio show, the Honorable City Councilwoman Eleanor Holmes Norton made the following requests: See Letter below:
|Letter from Eleanor Holmes Norton
|Page 2 of Letter from Eleanor Holmes Norton
|Page 3 of Letter from Eleanor Holmes Norton
|July 18, 2017 - FEDERAL WATCHDOG FINDS MENTALLY ILL ARE STUCK IN SOLITARY DEPT OF JUSTICE REPORT CONTRADICTS THE CLAIMThe guest for the show was Phillip Fornaci, Director of The DC Prisoners' Project and the Washington Lawyer's Committee of Civil Rights. Philip Fornaci led the DC Prisoners’ Project since it became a part of the Committee in 2006. He left the Project in 2013, but returned as Project Director in April 2017. He directs the Project’s ongoing litigation on behalf of DC prisoners and formerly incarcerated people on issues related to their conditions of confinement and related matters
Mertine Moore Brown's Commentary
Cross Roads - Federal Watchdog Find Mentally Ill Stuck in Solitary
July 18, 2017
We are a nation overrun by laws. Pregnant women should not be shackled during delivery. Women have to pay for their sanitary needs. 80% of women in prison are mothers.
Phil Fornaci - guest, Director, DC Prisoners’ Project, Washington Lawyers’ Committee
mentally ill in solitary confinement. Kept for weeks, months, years at a time. Filed class action lawsuit. Lewisburg, Pa, one of worse in federal system. Special management unit in solitary confinement. Suicide attempts & successful suicides. DC man has been horribly mistreated. Take mental health medication, solitary confinement, tied to table with arms & legs, cross word puzzles & coloring books are given to inmates to deal with mental issues.
Folk get released directly into streets. Lawsuit - filed about 1 ½ month ago. Lewisburg is changing folks diagnosis, claiming they are no longer mentally ill.
Some states reduced use of solitary confinement. Legal drugs given to inmates. Average stay in federal prison is 5 years in solitary. United Nations and Amnesty are fighting.
Minor violations can warrant silent torture. Penitentiary - human death house. Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has secure mental health facilities but they don’t fund them. People need to educate themselves on solitary confinement. Politically we can change the system. 96% of folk arrested & confined are African American.
Black folks are the ones who are targeted, put in jail, serve longer time. Poor people get arrested & sent to prison.
Homeless Ike from Balltimore - Castle in the Sky - hard core Madison Avenue
Rodecia - Saw program on PBS - Frontline - Returning citizens are focused for prisoners - Connecticut has reformed its probation system.
Parole - new Chairman of DC Parole Board has been invited to come on Cross Roads. DC Code law should follow DC prisoners confined in federal prisons. 2,000 or so are serving way too long sentences.
DC system is run by federal government. We need to take back control. The parole system is wrong. DC has highest rate of incarceration. Poor people pay, rich don’t. We need social movement to protect rights of poor people.
Germany - youngsters are listening. Mental illness & desire for early premature death; a family has laid prostrate in front of mental health. In prison they do whatever they want - caller is just outside of Munich.
Prison life has been compared to concentration camps; bunk houses, don’t romanticize; don’t compare shelters to concentration camps.
Imperialism attitude that has enslaved our people; no change in attitudes.
We are in control; its more of us than others. We need to assert our will here. DC officials need power to control DC Parole Code law.
|July 11, 2017 - "RETURNING CITIZENS" MOVIE SCREENINGToday's show was entitled, " "RETURNING CITIZENS" MOVIE SCREENING. The Guest speakers include: Kevin Donahue - Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice, District of Columbia; Gretchen Rohr - Program Officer, Open Society Foundation, Kara Gotsch - Director of Strategic Initiatives, The Sentencing Project; Deanna Hoskins - Senior Policy Advisor for Corrections & Reentry, Department of Justice. As well as activists from the film:Lashonia Thompson-El - The WIRE; Tyrone Parker - Alliance of Concerned Men; Charles Thornton - DC Office of Human Rights and Roach Brown - The Inner Voices and The Host of Crossroads Radio Program at WPFW 89.3 FM
|July 4, 2017 - IS THERE AN OPIOD CRISIS IN DC, VA & MD ? THE OPIOD CRISIS: NOW ITS MEDICAL, IT USED TO BE CRIMINALThe guest for this show was Will Bonnette, Administrator of Hampshire Health Solutions. Mr. Bonnette was very astute in his knowledge regarding the opiod crisis. He spoke about the designer drugs that are killing addicts at a rate of more than 9 people per day. The phone lines were flooded, because almost everyone knows someone who has died of an overdose or who are still using heroin.
Cross Roads - July 4, 2017 - Is There An Opiod Crisis in DC, VA & MD ?
Mertine Moore Brown's Commentary
Undercover cops claimed they were scared by 2 young African American teenagers selling water on the National Mall. These teens were handcuffed and later released and picked up by parents. There is a 65% dropout rate in high school. Thankfully an entrepreneur opportunity arose for these young people. They never would have been handcuffed if they were young caucasian youth.
Texas inmates are dying because of being overheated. Inmates need to buy cups to get room temperature water.
Trump is sending 20 Alcohol Tobacco Firearms agents to Chicago to deal with over 1,000 shootings this year. If he truly desires to help that population, he would send social workers, health providers and job counselors with job opportunities.
Two DC jail inmates were found dead from opiod overdoses. Ruled accidental.
Will Bonnette is a great guest. Young children out here hustling. School is not a good option, no car, no resources, don’t have social economic resources nor support to achieve.
Trust in America’s Health - an agency that tracks health outcome data - In 2016 we were #23 out of 50 states with drug overdose deaths. We are a community that embraces recovery. Drug overdose is the leading cause of death in those under age 50. A drug stronger and more potent than heroin - blend of gasoline & codeine called Krocodil - eats your flesh. Many Russians have perished.
People today live longer, there are more chronic diseases, more drugs available.
Roach used drugs back in the 60s. Drugs were sold in the inner city and allowed. Now prescription drugs are widely abused by everyone. Oxycotin is the poor man’s heroin. Black tar heroin is from Mexico; the process.
Men overdosed on fentanyl at DC jail. Roach used dolofein in jail, now called methadone.
Caller Rich from Germany - illegal drugs cause physical & emotional pain. Hospitals are closing. Where do you go for treatment? DC is #1 in infant mortality for the last 12 years running. One hospital in SE Washington. No insurance or access - huge teenage pregnancy rate - huge single family outcome. Contributors build infrastructure. Addiction is criminalized.
Caller Anthony - Pharmaceuticals are flooding neighborhoods - politicians need to look at data - public safety & health - no “harm reduction” program - support needle exchange that will eliminate unnecessary overdoses.
Caller Michael is an ex-heroin user. He had a friend who came home on Wednesday, died on Friday. He’s been home 3 years. There definitely is an epidemic.
Re-entry Sanction Center - DC General - CSOSA - 28 day program - need to offer returnees re-entry course, class etc.
Caller woman - Drug companies make much money.
We need social health care.
Wilhelm Bonnette talking about the 90s. Caller remembers the 60s. East Coast & around the country, white kids are dying of opiods; even introducing overdose pens in schools.
Our son Harri got shout out on show - “Tell the young Chef hello”
Soboxtin is offered from Hampshire Health Care Solutions, a company Wilhelm has interest in. Report to 64 New York Avenue - APRA - PIW - Seaton House, available resources. We need non-medical detox. RAP is still around, in partnership now. Second Genesis got Wilhelm clean 30 years ago. It saved his life. He grew up in treatment. So grateful today for Freedom from active addiction.
Caller - People living longer? The Washington Post says not as long. Street drugs are bigger than pharmaceutical drugs. Folks are dying from routine surgery.
Caller Rashid - was influenced by instrumental programs; Black Man’s Development Center was around in those days (back in the 60s).
Read Gabor Mate’s book “In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts”- they are solving problems in other countries.
Men who have gone through this issue reach out to those in recovery, become productive citizens.
|June 27, 2017 - ARE FEDERAL PRISONS AT A CROSSROADS ? NEW ANALYSIS OF SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN FEDERAL SENTENCING ?THE RADIO SHOW WAS PRE-EMPTED
The guest for the show would have been Marc Mauer, Executive Director of the Sentencing Project.
|June 20, 2017 - "HOW A HOT DOG SAVED A MAN'S LIFE" AFTER SPENDING DECADES IN PRISON, THE CHALLENGES OF ADJUSTING TO SOCIETY The guest for the show were: Norman Brown who was incarcerated 24 years, Stanley Mitchell who was in for 36 years and Crossroads newest friend; Raymond Garrett who was incarcerated for 40 years. These gentleman who spent the vast majority of their lives in prison gave others who are experiencing what they've gone through, hope, dignity and strength.
Mertine Moore Brown's Commentary
“How A Hot Dog Changed A Man’s Life”
June 20, 2017
TANF spent $1.3m to find 369 drug users. To receive benefits, potential candidates must take drug tests. ⅓ of adults have criminal records in America. Unemployment is the most significant factor. Expand hiring pool - reduce recidivism, increase public safety. 75% of formerly incarcerated still do not have jobs.
Fee based debit cards are unlawful. Money returned to inmates via debit cards. First Century Bank includes weekly service fees, every transaction has a fee. Nationwide class action suit needed immediately. Such horrible abuse of the least of these.
Raymond Garrett - 40 years - “airport looks like a shopping mall - didn’t know how to use cell phone - I thought swipe meant get fly swatter, like rubbing a woman, loneliness, all my family members are gone, Ricky, my brother does his own thing. I went to visit my Mom & sister’s graves, built courage & resolved to join them in the grave, they are my lifeblood, for 20 minutes, then I walked away, a quiet calm came over me. I’m gon kill myself, as I was driving across New York Avenue bridge. I stopped at Ben’s Chili bowl, asked for Mrs Ali, said she’d be right down. “My life has value, I’ll be your family”, she told me. Mrs Ali called Roach, now my life has been transformed, I’m moving forward, stunned, emotional, Mrs Ali hugged me and kissed me on the cheek.”
Stanley Mitchell - 34 years - Unger decision released him early, along with hundreds of others. Today is exactly 4 years on the street! Things change every hour inside. The mood of the individual who is in charge over you, dormitory with 50 men, the next day you in downtown Baltimore with $18.00. I had a social worker team, new wife, no one has reoffended, four years out, wife paralegal, even parking is a huge deal. Even after four years, sometimes I find myself asking to go to the bathroom. Paranoia is the biggest thing - moments of depression. I used to Inhale food, used to having to eat fast. Stop looking at us as we were. We are not the same. Guys meet monthly, talk to each other. Don’t accept being over age 65, got disability, wife must take care of you now. Don’t feel defeated. After 3 decades in prison, life is even better now.
Norman Brown - 24 years - Presidential Commutation from Obama. Visited the White House. “You spend years fighting courts, being denied, then you’re called up, no one told me what call is about, you’re thinking a family member has passed away, getting ready for another blow, your life is about to change from 3 life sentences to freedom in 4 months, was I dreaming? After doing time in unnatural environments, we still don’t know what we are holding onto from the past, how do you deal with a female friend. I was making egg salad at home, thinking I had to go to the toilet to keep the food cold, There are psychological issues as Black men, stigmatized as being animals, images marginalized to make us look bad. We need Offender Anonymous, to love & be secure with each other. It’s a hard thing making the transition. I was 22, came out at 47. I’m smiling because to shake off prison mindset, mentality, OK. You’re going through, don’t be too hard on yourself, share with everyone so they understand & help us. The pride of man, let folk know stage by stage what we are going through.
Roach says toilet flushed by itself, looking for someone.
Ray - “no knobs at sink, water came out, I jerked my hand back, playing back & forth, technology is amazing & awesome, I thank God for Catholic Charities, gave me a mentor who has taken me to such great restaurants, learning to live a little.
Caller - Nkechi Taifa -
Stanley met Nkechi at the White House with his Pastor, has been on radio show with Roach, sometimes would feel guilty with wife & family, we represent our peers who are still inside.
Norman stays in contact with the brothers inside, we represent them, there is reform, change, we have to prove to society that we can outgrow immature choices, you saw us position ourselves to come out here, live life again, we are being scrutinized, we have to stay the course.
Roach visited Coffeewood, ran into a brother who’s been in 34 years, got 10 more to go, says he’s “short” - we must share with insiders, you end up crying in the parking lot.
Raymond, we are proud of you, there was no support, no preparation. Nkechi says policies need to be changed, reach within, think creatively, cannot continue to warehouse, throw away key, envision, band aid approaches for too long, need complete overhaul, other developed nations do not lock up like this. Nkechi is here to help, connect to womb of life.
OA - Offender Anonymous - help reduce fears & anxieties’ reentry into society. If you have served 10 years or more - we will meet weekly to talk.
Roach kept riot bag next to his bed - cookies, candy. Stan would still carry his cosmetic bag around. Everyone in the studio was smiling because they can identify. Ray keeps fruit, peaches, grapes, plums, watermelons - food he couldn’t eat before. Today a case of soup is money inside, stamps are out because they became the new cash. Stanley was a microwave chef.
Caller Antonio was a partner with Norman. Recently spent 3 days in a youth facility. After 24 years, he’s incredible. These men are entrepreneurs today. DYHS - Dept of Youth and Health Services - you took our families, our hearts, our parents, our dreams, we are not mad, we are not broken, we are speaking like diamonds.
|June 13, 2017 - IS THE RETURNING CITIZEN COMMUNITY IN WASHINGTON DC MARGINALIZED AND MOTIVATED?The guest for the show was BRIAN FERGUSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE MAYOR'S OFFICE ON RETURNING CITIZEN AFFAIRS (MORCA)
NOTES FROM MERTINE MOORE BROWN, ASSISTANT PRODUCER OF CROSSROADS - June 13, 2017
Voluntary probation for children struggling in schools ? school based supervision in California
5 states have office of offender affairs. DC tremendously ahead of the curve. What is the purpose of MORCA?
Brian spent 11 years in prison for a homicide he did not commit. Was going to law school. Case overturned. No prior criminal record. Absolutely followed his own case in the law library. Always had hope; never did feel like he wanted to commit suicide. Jimmy Gardner did 27 years - was innocent. When convicted unlawfully, financial compensation should be given. Returning citizens are lost when they return home - even with just 4 years inside.
OA Offender Anonymous - pps - post prison syndrome. Is MORCA fully funded? MORCA connects you with various agencies. Do more than basic referrals, actually assist with identifying where they need to go. Remove all barriers to reentry.
Family reunification program - families need to be taken to see their families. District defendants housed across the country, even as far away as Colorado and California. Family connection needs to take monthly trips to see inmates.
Tyrone Parker - Fatherhood - Our Savior Church Sunday, Father’s Day - 1616 Irving st NE - it all began in Lorton Reformatory.
Fred Washington - Philadelphia - commends you - PIPS - Previously Incarcerated Persons - Brother Azziz
SE Washington - Feb 1972 stripped federal courts’ right to review illegal incarceration - appellate process in federal court different from district court
Dc has best public defender service in country
Clinton watered down habias corpus - time barred - hopeless, useless
Fenale - we are property of the white man - 800 block Pratt Street, Baltimore has exhibit
Is MORCA budget sufficient? Resources - over 67,000 returning citizens in DC - $2.3m reentry portal - available to DOC inmates as they are being released - over $100m funding in affordable housing
ASPIRE supports business endeavors
Brian Ferguson - 202.715.7670
Saturday, June 17 - Legal rights information session - DOES - across from Minnesota Avenue metro - 10am
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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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CROSS ROADS RADIO SHOW
HOSTED BY ROACH BROWN
ADDRESSES ISSUES FACING THE FORMERLY INCARCERATED
HEARD EVERY TUESDAY
10:00am - 11:00am EST.
WPFW-FM 89.3 PACIFICA RADIO