"I hope someone gets my message..." In the universe!!!
JUST THE FACTS
I broke a promise made to Carter, Ford and dozens of others who had an idea long ago that has become Vote Smart. I had promised to bury my politics into the darkest, deepest, never to be heard from corners of my mind, but last month I wrote a letter that angered a lot of people.
It was a piece about how the carpet bombing attack tactics of politicians from both major parties these past two decades had destroyed the people's trust in our institutions and nurtured such anger they would vote for a volcano just to shake things up.
And now, right here, I am going to break that promise and anger people again. If Vote Smart, which this country needs so desperately, suffers as a result, so be it.
Politicians sell anger and fear, then tell our fellow citizens the other party or candidate is to blame for the horrid state of our society. The media rivets on their most distressing claims or the grizzliest crimes our species is capable of. All the while I just feel so lucky to be me:
1. My life expectancy has increased 17 years since I was born.
2. The chances of my being murdered dropped 50% in the last thirty years.
3. The chances of my being robbed dropped 50% in the last thirty years.
4. The chances of my grandchildren being raped dropped 30% in the last thirty years.
5. I am ten times more likely to die in a traffic accident than in a war and traffic deaths are now the lowest they have been in 80 years.
6. I am more likely to expire in my bathtub tonight than at the hands of a Muslim terrorist.
7. And if I am murdered by a Muslim there is more than a 90% chance I am a Muslim.
8. If someone does take my life here at home the chances are vastly greater that it was at the hands of someone raised a Christian rather than any other faith on the earth.
I have had it so easy: I was not bloodied in the war for freedom; nor was I alive when our nation was invaded and our capitol burnt to the ground. I wasn't there when we slaughtered 400,000 of ourselves in a Civil War, nor did I serve amongst the millions who died in the "War to End all Wars". I hadn't been born in time to go hungry and live in the dirt during the Great Depression, and you did not find my dead body among the 60 million lifeless of World War II.
I experienced nothing of any of that. No, today I had three good meals, none of which I had to grow myself, nor anyone else in my state. I spent some Facetime with my granddaughter who is teaching skiing in New Zealand - and if I want, this afternoon I could go down the street, sit in a chair and be lifted 42,000 feet into the sky, streak at 400 miles per hour while sipping a spritzer on the rocks, and drop in and visit with her.
Sure we have problems. Of course we can be better, a whole lot better, but come on, no people in history have been as lucky as we. I am so thankful to be living in this country at this time. I want to squeal with delight every time I can turn off all the political preaching and think on the truth of my good fortune. If I were sitting in the lap of God and he asked me what American generation I would like to be born into, I would be a fool not to choose my own.
If listening to politicians, news programs or even the local cafe gossip were your only anchor to truth you would never know what a wonder we all are, what a success we have made of life, that our lives are better than any who have ever lived before and can be so much better still.
The only real thing to fear is if we lock into, believe and self-fulfill the political and media mantra of doom and gloom.
If our struggle to self-govern is to continue to pull humanity up out of ignorance, the people must have access to the facts, to reality, not the imagined fears and contrived hatreds that we're bludgeoned with each day.
Just ask yourself this: if Vote Smart only reaches the 8.4 million currently aware of it, how do the other 221 million voting age Americans vote smart? By listening to the candidates, their parties and the $10 billion they're spending to tell people how and who to hate and despise?
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson
I won't beg. This message will make some on the Vote Smart board angry, and upset many of the people receiving it - perhaps you. But if you are one of those who gets it, one who knows how important access to abundant, accurate, relevant information is and how crucial Vote Smart is to that essential component of successful self-governance, please join us at votesmart.org and defend every citizen's right to the facts.
Vote Smart President
The Golden Rule - a Universal Law
Christianity: "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that man should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." - Matthew 7:12, KJV (ca. 1st century A.D.)
Hinduism: "Do not to others what ye do not wish done to yourself... This is the whole Dharma. Heed it well." - The Mahabharata (ca. 13th century B.C.)
Judaism: "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor; that is the entire Torah; the rest is commentary; go learn it." - The Babylonian Talmud (ca. 13th century B.C.)
Islam: "No one of you is a believer until you desire for another that which you desire for yourself." - "The Sunnah", from the Hadith (ca. 7th century A.D.)
Zoroastrianism: "Human nature is good only when it does not do unto another whatever is not good for its own self." - The Dadistan-i-Dinik (ca. 12th century B.C.)
Buddhism: "Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful." - The Tibetan Dhammapada (ca. 6th century B.C.)
Confucianism: "Do not to others what you do not want done to yourself." - Confucius, Analects (ca. 6th century B.C.)
Baha'i: "Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee, and say not that which thou doest not. This is my command unto thee, do thou observe it." - Baha'u'llah, The Hidden Word (ca. 19th century A.D.)
Documentary by Ava Duvernay
Hon. Kanye West
The self-evident - is manifested here - short and so sweet - as Mr. West, nobly advocates, for many, many years there has been a heroic movement to repeal the 13th Amendment legalization of CRIME - of slavery upon conviction of crime clause. See below, p.p.
See also: Michelle Alexander's bk. The New Jim Crow
The United States Constitution Permits Prison Slavery and Involuntary Servitude
SECTION 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, EXCEPT AS PUNISHMENT FOR CRIME whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
WRITE YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO INTRODUCE A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT FOR THE REPEAL!!!
Every person in each of the 50 states has two Senators and one Representative. Ask around to find out who they are. Then, write them. Keep your letter to one page and it doesn't need to be typed. Please be respectful and use your own words to explain why this amendment should be introduced.
The addresses of your two Senators are U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510 and the address of your one Representative is House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. 20515. Send CURE a copy of their replies.
by Charles Sullivan and Barbara Koeppel*
The U.S. Congress banned slavery in America 150 years ago (after a 250-year run) on December 18, 1865, when the Thirteenth Amendment became the law of the land.
But it didn't, at least not entirely. The amendment added an EXCLUSION CLAUSE: Slavery would be allowed as punishment for a crime.
To reaffirm the penal servitude, Virginia's Supreme Court declared prisoners "slaves of the state" in 1872.
Thus, prisoners have few legal rights. Theoretically, they can appeal sentences, enjoy limited free speech through the First Amendment, and get limited medical care through the Eighth Amendment. All of these rights are violated daily.
Except for those incarcerated in two states (Maine and Vermont), prisoners cannot vote while incarcerated. In two states (Kentucky and Virginia), they cannot vote even after being released from prison, despite having paid their "debt to society". Nor can they organize, support families, get their children health benefits, or contribute to social security, all job-related benefits.
Most important, they can't refuse to work, choose jobs, or negotiate wages. As the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons 2008 program states, "Sentenced inmates physically and mentally able to work are required to participate in the work program." Nearly all state prisons follow suit.
Such was the rationale for the chain gang "work" programs in many states, especially throughout the South, from 1865 to 1955, and revived in 1995 in Phoenix, Arizona by Sheriff Joe Arpaio. And these programs were not just for men and women. Participation in Arpaio's gangs is unpaid and "voluntary", and juveniles MAY also join.
Even if prisoners could refuse to work, they do not, for several reasons. First, punishment is certain. They are put in solitary confinement or LOCKDOWN (23 hours a day in a cell). Or they are moved to a cell with eight inmates instead of two. Or their access is blocked to family visits, TV, phone calls, the prison commissary, outside yard time, and education programs. Or they lose GOOD TIME, which reduces an inmate's sentence. If they file grievances, the grievances go to the same people making the prisoner's life miserable.
Many current and formerly incarcerated men and women say that nearly everyone wants to work. It's hard to sit in a cell doing nothing.
Most important, prisoners need money, and most prisoner families are too poor to send any. Prisoners might get $20 a year from a relative, but that does not get far. And everything in prison is for sale.
Inmates must buy all their necessities at prison commissaries. The cheapest soap is a four-pack of Ivory for $3.50, Aspirin is $1.50, a small container of peanut butter is $2.90, and toothpaste is $2.90. Emergency medical care is free, and 12 states provide other medical services at no cost. But the others slap on a $2.00 to $5.00 co-payment.
Even uniforms and shoes have price tags. If inmates want items that fit, they must tip the prisoner who dispenses them.
Most inmates' cash comes from prison wages (called GRATUITIES) set by Level 1-5 pay scales. Two states (Georgia and Texas) pay nothing. Others pay next to nothing.
Unskilled Level 5 prisoners mop floors, wash windows, shovel snow, or scrub pots for eight to 13 cents an hour, or $5.00 to $12.00 a month, based on how many hours worked. Level 1 skilled inmates (say, plumbers or mechanics) get $1.50 to $8.00 a day, perhaps $300 a month. But Level 1 jobs are scarce.
State and federal prisons also have on-site factories that sew prison uniforms or military goods (jackets and body bags) or build office furniture for government agencies. They pay inmates hourly or piece rates (for example, 12 cents for sewing three dozen T-shirts), totaling $2.00 to $8.50 a day, for seven-hour days, with no overtime pay. UNICOR, the quasi for-profit federal prison industry, hasn't raised rates since 1987.
With such low wages - just a fraction of the federal minimum, which is being raised in several states and cities to what is considered a living wage - inmates cannot support families or save for when they are released.
Inmates do better in the Prison Industry Enhancement (PIE) program, through which private firms build in-prison factories, train inmates, and pay minimum wage and social security. Inmates can designate a percentage for child support. For example, in Nevada, inmates restore cars. In Washington, they pack Starbucks coffee beans.
Although PIE began 40 years ago, authorities do not welcome it, because they see it as just one more task to do. Thus, PIE affects only 5,000 of the 2.3 million inmates in the United States.
The exclusion clause, which sanctions these low wages, hurts the economy. Before inmates were in prison, 50% were employed. If they were paid more in prison, they would still be in the economy and could send money to families, who would spend more, thus helping the economy grow.
Slavery is the parent of this clause. It springs from the same culture. After the Civil War, Jim Crow laws were passed to justify imprisoning former slaves (e.g., they could be arrested just for looking at a white woman) and get them to work for free. Thus, to save on labor costs, industries contracted with the state for inmates that they then sent back to the fields; some were also sent to mines. Others were sent to railroad companies, such as the C&O, to dig a tunnel to West Virginia, through the mountains. Many died.
Inmates are humiliated, brutalized, and denied human rights. But that is not the job of prisons. Persons convicted of crimes are sent to prison AS punishment, not FOR punishment. They are imprisoned to take away their freedom, not to enslave them.
After 150 years of constitutionally enshrined slavery, it's time for the U.S. Congress to end it.
* Charles Sullivan is President of the International Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE). Barbara Koeppel is a Washington, D.C.-based freelance journalist. Sullivan can be reached at (202) 789-2126 or email@example.com.
CURE'S POLICY INITIATIVES FOR 2016 (small print but big insights from many of you)
In the last newsletter, you voted by writing "1" next to your first priority, "2" for your second priority, etc. 337 of you voted and the issues listed below with fewer votes indicate the criminal justice areas you felt needed the most reform. Quotes from your letters are in italics.
PRISON - release is not based on time served but on when certain rehabilitation is achieved. Thus, a person is sent to prison as punishment and not for punishment. This means that people in prison should be able to vote, have private family visits and enjoy adequate, healthy meals. There should be access by the media and just like funds were given by Congress to build prisons, funds should be given now to reduce the number of people in prison. There should be transfers to a prison or jail nearest to one's family and good time available for all inmates regardless of crime. Finally, Mandela Rules recently passed by the United Nations should be implemented. It limits, as a maximum, 15 days in solitary; incarcerated veterans facilities should be set up with access to treatment for PTSD and TBI; screening at intake for all and treatment for Hepatitis "C" virus; an independent ombudsman to address and process inmate grievances; access to a comprehensive, up-to-date law library; and training of all staff with due process-based rules and enforced compliance; priority on employable skills (good jobs and good wages), education e.g. Pell Grants, cultural activities e.g. plays and communications e.g. computers which cannot be abused, prisoner-run newspapers, radio/TV.
The most important person in my life, my mom, is handicapped. She can't travel 8 hours to see me and that devastating to her and me... No longer having to sue to get hormone therapy for trans prisoners... Why did the prison take the money when they don't even have the items we order?... A first time offender should never have to spend more than 7-10 years for any crime other than capital... 50% of the jobs in prison should go to those under 30... Prisons or at least pod-dorms where men 48 and older should be housed... There should be a prisoner right to see and keep communication with their children... improved sanitation and nutritional programs... Give a person a chance to help kids by repairing old bikes or the blind by training dogs, it opens up a bigger picture... Upon release inmates (if needed) should receive a FREE bus ticket and "Gate Money" to provide a minimum of 48 hours of food, clothing, and other necessities... Inmate canteens should never be for-profit... allow ALL inmates to take correspondence courses no matter their age, current criminal conviction... Media should have access without hassle or denial... what about a tax break for those sending money to loved ones in prison.
SENTENCING - such as both substantially reducing plea bargaining and increasing diversions to the community; abolish death and life sentences; and the war on sex offenders; reduce 1 to 18 ratio to one-to-one for crack/cocaine.
I was civilly committed without ANY victim contact. My sex offense from years ago was an internet sting where I was encouraged and prodded to meet after repeated refusals by me... Raising present age of 18 for juveniles would give me and so many others - Hope.
PROSECUTION - such as seeking justice rather than conviction and this means the following: restorative justice where offender meets with the victim and agrees on the sentence; a ban on progressive prosecution where priors increase time e.g. three strikes; the present age of 18 for juveniles is raised to 21; and removing immunity for prosecutors who knowingly prosecute illegally such as withholding or twisting information.
Abolish the felony murder rule that a person who is not directly responsible for someone's death can be prosecuted for first-degree Murder... 97% conviction rate is not justice but an act of bully tactics... I was offered 8 yrs, at prelim and wouldn't take it. I was charged as a prior offender (three strikes) and given 25 yrs. w/out parole... I don't feel like garbage, but I feel like I've been thrown away.
DEFENSE - such as public defenders having much lower caseloads; and funding for defense (public defender or hired attorney) in a given case must be at least equal to an independently estimated funding for prosecution of the case.
I signed a plea agreement due to misinformation by my attorney... The law library should give same materials lawyers use including WESTLAW or LEXIS... Repeal freedom of info laws that keeps prisoners from having same public documents others can get.
PAROLE - much lower caseloads with satisfactory ratio of parole officers to parolees, presumptive parole first time up (you make it unless they can prove you are not ready); ban on lie detector tests especially for sex offenders.
Require U.S. Parole Commission to set parole dates for all "old law" prisoners and end its funding... How can they say I am not suitable for parole when there are no criteria for what "suitable" means... No inmate ever sees a parole board member... Parole boards should only be used or involved in release of offenders who have committed major infractions while incarcerated.
JUDGES - such as appointed rather than elected with no conflict of interest; end mandatory minimums; creation of oversight committee on accountability; no judicial immunity from lawsuits and prosecution for illegal conduct.
I am against absolute judicial and prosecutorial immunity. The very least they should be able to claim is qualified immunity like other officials... If a plea bargain is offered, the judge should not be able to sentence you for more time than the plea deal.
CLEMENCY- return to use of commutation, and pardons including those with convictions for violence. Clemency is part of the job for the President or Governor. But, the President or Governor should not make decisions in regard to the parole cases.
Commutation should be utilized more often for those who have been in prison for 10 yrs. or longer with a good institutional record.
JAIL - such as a personal recognizance bond, and not a money bond; pre-trial/misdemeanors voting; no commission kickbacks given to a jail on any purchase made by a person in jail; video visiting as addition not replacement to contact and non-contact visiting; accreditation by the American Correctional Association; Optional Protocol to Convention Against Torture which provides inspections and oversight; the use of work release as much as possible.
There should be no difference between "first appearance" and "arraignment" hearings. This leaves people in jail longer.
POLICE - such as body-cameras; more training and community policing; higher pay; civilian review boards; as with juveniles, names of those only arrested are released to the public after conviction rather than after the arrest.
When police officers shoots their gun, he or she should be subject to a urinalysis test... An officer should have to get 2 more cops to agree on what should happen before it can be done... More money should not be spent on policing. One city has five police agencies.
PROBATION - lower caseloads; more due process; ban fees; and allow association with other probationers.
My son has been in prison for years. Why? He has anxiety issues and should be in a regimented halfway house where he would be taught a trade and coping skills... I struggled with drug addiction for years. But, I see prisons built and rehab centers shut down.
Thank you for your participation in this survey and for your excellent responses.
What will prisons look like if the punishment clause in the 13th Amendment is repealed? by Charlie Sullivan
In 1984, I was asked by the state of Texas to be its representative at a national conference in Washington that was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice. It was about the role of the private sector in corrections. I was honored, but I told my wife, Pauline, that maybe we had become "too establishment" in Texas, and it was good we were moving to DC to try and expand CURE nationally.
At the conference, most of the talks were about the then-new phenomenon, for-profit prisons. However, it confirmed my and CURE's total opposition which continues to this day. In 2017, CURE aided in stopping the operation of a for-profit jail in DC.
But, there was one talk that overwhelmed me and it was about the private sector in prisoner employment. It was by Fred Braun, a Harvard business graduate, who had made a million in Kansas by the age of 40. Then, after losing a Republican bid to be a state official, he asked the governor how he could help the state. The Governor suggested that prisoners needed real work where they would have "good jobs and good wages".
Fred followed up by buying three plants where people incarcerated would be bused. Over the years, there was only one escape, but this by a prisoner when he was back in the prison. He did not want to jeopardize the work release program for other prisoners.
Also, the plants were not on prison ground because Fred wanted to show other entrepreneurs that employing prisoners does not necessitate a subsidy from the state.
Finally, prisoners there like "free world" workers started off at minimum wage. Stock options were also available which meant that if the plants made profits, prisoners would also benefit financially. Even showing up for work on time could slightly increase wages.
Of course, as you can see on the left [text of chart typed below], prisoner wages, then and now, are pretty much slave-like. This should not surprise us since prisoners are considered slaves in the United States Constitution.
Chart shows Prisoner wages per hour according to Prison Policy Initiative. Empty spaces indicate there is no information available.
Thus, to bring about this new paradigm, Fred had to do a "24-7 selling job" to make the program an astounding success. There were tours where prisoners shared how this job had changed their lives. Yearly, Fred gave a huge check to the state for the savings in taxpayer money.
Then, Fred tied the benefits of taxes and rehabilitation together by humorously stating repeatedly that "if we really want to punish these prisoners, let's make them taxpayers."
Fred died in 2016 at the age of 82. Since 1984, he taught and showed me that "everybody wins" in his program. Also, it was possible to have a very conservative state like Kansas support his ideas. In fact, I am confident that when Fred's ideas are presented to promote our constitutional amendment to repeal the punishment clause, we will have strong conservative support.
Shown is a prisoner worker who is so well trained that he will have a job waiting for him in Kansas City when he is released. Also, these successful workers are proud and they often bring their children back to the plant where they learned their trade and where their lives were changed forever!
Since 2015, CURE has been asking Amazon for a copy of its policy on hiring those with criminal records. We have heard from a reliable source that it is the following:
No person serving a felony sentence on probation or parole will be considered until the probation or parole is completed and another seven years has passed (three years for marijuana possession). If the crime was heinous, Amazon imposes a lifetime ban on consideration of employment.
Amazon has denied that this is its policy, but in early 2017, eight Amazon drivers filed class action complaints in Massachusetts charging that Amazon terminated them on an unreasonable criminal background check policies.
One driver "was successfully delivering packages for Amazon 60-70 hours/week when he was terminated." He was so respected that he had been entrusted to train new drivers. However, one evening his manager called him and told him that 'Amazon is tightening requirements' and ordered him terminated. The apparent basis for his termination was driving on a suspended license, even though his license had been reinstated for more than four years prior to his termination.
In October, CURE will be having its board meeting and will be discussing the possibility of calling for a boycott of Amazon products. We would ask you to respectfully write Jeffrey Bezos, President, Amazon, 410 Terry Ave. North, Seattle, WA 98109-5210. Remind him that prisoners and their families spend a lot of money at Amazon. Whether you receive a response or not, we would appreciate your thoughts on this most important issue.
Responses to CURE's Five Policy Initiatives for 2017.
In the last newsletter you voted by writing "1" next to your first priority, "2" for your second priority, etc. LOWEST NUMBER IS YOUR HIGHEST PRIORITY. Second lowest number is second priority and so forth. Quotes from your letters are in italics.
296 Return of Pell Grants - In 1994, Pell Grants were denied to people in prison. Research tells us that higher education during incarceration significantly impacts recidivism and institutional culture. A limited experimental program by President Obama is now going on, but if the law is not changed, no additional college programs can be Pell funded. Pell Grants allow people to pursue their education through correspondence courses and this could be done at virtually any prison.
Pell Grant Preservation & Expansion Act (HR 2451) has been introduced in the House by Davis (D-CA) and Scott (D-VA) and in the Senate (S. 1136) by Hirono (D-HI) and Murray (D-WA). Incarcerated students are given Pell Grants in this bill.
416 Video visiting cannot replace in-person visiting - Over 5 million kids have or have had a parent in prison. In some prisons and jails, in-person visiting has been replaced by video visitation, which often is expensive for families, removes the option of visiting their loved ones and further dehumanizes people serving time. Video visiting is only an addition! Wonderful idea if loved ones live far away. Horrible to use in place of contact visits... I don't even call it a visit, but a video phone call.
474 Released from prison with "paperwork" done for WOTC and FBP - The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit given to employers for hiring those convicted of a felony while the Federal Bonding Program (FBP) is an insurance program that reimburses the employer for any loss due to employee theft of money or property. Rather than filling out the forms after release at a state agency as is done presently, people would fill out the forms BEFORE leaving prison and have the necessary documentation to help in getting a job immediately after release. This would take some of the time we spent in lines filing paperwork and give us productive time looking for a job with the necessary papers to give us an edge.
591 Forwarding first class mail - From our experience, prisons and jails do not do this. Besides not receiving letters from loved ones and vital info about such things as future employment upon release, not forwarding first class mail is a violation of first class requirements. New address post office forms must also be available to those to be released or transferred. My mail is the window to the world. The impact of this NOT happening is criminal and causes complications for people in transition.
592 A good night's sleep - Why cannot people incarcerated be able to sleep uninterrupted by sight (e.g. lights always on) or sound (e.g. clanging keys)? There are security reasons such as counts and making sure no one is abused, but a good night's sleep is important to health and harmony in the prison. Feel free to suggest solutions to interrupted sleep. Sleep deprivation as a tool of torture has been around a very long time... The science could not be any clearer - humans need sleep - restful, not napping desperately - in order to maintain physical and mental health.
For free copies of these decisions and others this term, contact the Public Information Office, Supreme Court, #1 First St. NE, Washington, DC 20543 202-479-3211. Limit of five decisions for each request. www.supremecourt.gov
Death Penalty: 15-9173 Bosse v. Oklahoma; 15-8049 Buck v. Davis; 16-6316 Rippo v. Baker; 15-797 Moore v. Texas; 16-5294 McWilliams v. Dunn; 16-1116 Jenkins v. Hutton; 16-6219 Davila v. Davis.
Qualified Immunity: 16-67 White v. Pauly; 16-369 County of Los Angeles v. Mendez; 15-118 Hernandez v. Mesa.
Sex Offense: 15-7250 Manrique v. United States; 15-1256 Nelson v. Colorado; 16-54 Esquivel-Quintana v. Sessions; 15-1194 Packingham v. North Carolina.
Trial: 15-537 Bravo-Fernandez v. United States; 15-599 Shaw v. United States; 15-606 Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado; 16-240 Weaver v. Massachusetts; 15-1503 Turner v. United States; 16-327 Jae Lee v. United States.
Sentencing: 15-8544 Beckles v. United States; 15-9260 Dean v. United States; 16-142 Honeycutt v. United States; 16-1177 Virginia v. LeBlanc.
Pre-Trial Detention: 14-3496 Manuel v. Joliet; 15-1358 Ziglar v. Abbasi.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org OR write Stop Prison Profiting campaign, PO Box 1151, Lake Worth, FL 33460 if money was taken from your phone account due to inactivity or other reasons, or upon arrest or release and returned on a debit card with fees, or paying a lot of money to accept just one collect call.
$$$ SORT Needs Help! $$$
Pictured on the right is Wayne Bowers who came to the 1989 national CURE Convention shortly after he was released from prison for the second time for a sex offense. This was almost thirty years ago and he has been our most valuable advocate for effective treatment and stopping the war on sex offenders.
He does this mainly through the issue chapter, Sex Offenders Restored through Treatment, and its quarterly newsletter. However, the chapter is hurting financially and, unless it receives more money, it will have to cut back on frequency of mailings, number of pages, and free mailings to indigent prisoners.
Can you give a contribution to CURE-SORT, PO 1022, Norman, OK 73070 NOW?
Photo by Alan Pogue
The cost of civil commitment is one of many reasons why it should be abolished. In New York, it cost $900 a day which is almost five times more than the daily cost in the state prison. When longtime CURE leader in New York, Jim Murphy, heard this, he quipped that "it would be cheaper to house them in Trump Tower."
CURE Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants
An International Grassroots Effort by People in Prison, their Families, and Other Concerned Citizens to Reduce Crime Through Criminal Justice Reform
202-789-2126 email@example.com www.curenational.org
Human Rights and Prison Reform
Eighth International Conference
3 Days & 4 Nights in May 2018, Kigali, Rwanda
On the left is a picture of the sun coming up. Restorative justice has brought a new day of love and peace to Rwanda rather than revenge. The Conference will explain and show Rwanda's healing response to violent crime.
Pius Nyakayiro directs Good News Jail and Prison Ministry and will host the Conference.
Heidi Cerneka will coordinate the conference with Pius during this year that she will be in Kenya.
Sylvester Uhaa is founder and the director of CURE-Nigeria.
Kassi Djeinzou is the founder and director of Ghana-CURE.
DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Jean Didier Mboyo, Vice-President of International Prison Chaplains Association Worldwide.
USA (United States of America)
Hans Hallundbeck, CURE's prison reform advocate at the United Nations in New York City.
The total cost of the Conference is $25,000. International CURE has donated the first $5,000. However, the Organizing Committee will not sign the Hotel contract until the needed $20,000 has been raised (not just pledged).
Therefore, please contribute now! Mail a check to CURE at P.O. Box 2310, Washington, DC 20013 or go to www.curenational.org, click on the make a donation button on the front page and send your payment through PayPal. This can be a tax exempt donation in the United States.
To receive more information fill out the form below & email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please print legibly.
I wish to receive the details of the Conference when they are finalized.
CURE SUPPORTS BIPARTISAN BILLS IN THE 115TH CONGRESS
[table of bills, sponsors and summaries]
The Everlasting Ties That Bind!
No doubt!!! These rabid! Insane!! Character assassinations bind the wonderful West-Kim [Kardashian]-Jenner clan into an unbreakable and unshakable family circle bond! (Esp. against the fakers! Liars and haters!!!)
"The Evolution of the Supreme Court"
"The nation's highest court dominates our politics. But it didn't start out so powerful."
For the rest of the story, see www.theweek.com October 12, 2018, p. 11
Politik in the seat of justice!
Justice Brett Kavanaugh was selected by multiple political bodies, viz, the Federalist Society, thefederalist.com, Heritage Foundation, Trumpedo, Jesus Party, et al; all with a political agenda!!!
Who Was Wade in Roe v. Wade?
Wade, as a symbolic force and active agent, straddles both the disciplining of women's bodies through law and medicine and the brutalization of a criminalized underclass, largely delineated along racial lines, through the prison industrial complex. Wade's surname, depersonalized, is now a metonym for patriarchy, but the association ought to extend to mass incarceration and white supremacy as well.
- From the Exhibit "Cottage Industry" by Mary Walling Blackburn and Rafael Kelman, The Brooklyn Art Gallery, Brooklyn, New York (November 13 - December 29, 2015)
A tantalizing glimpse at Henry Wade has found its way into an exhibit in a Brooklyn art gallery. But who was he? We know that "Jane Roe" in the Roe v. Wade class-action lawsuit filed by attorneys Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee was Norma McCorvey, a young, down-and-out Dallas waitress who couldn't get an abortion and in fact never got an abortion because the lawsuit dragged on until terminating the pregnancy was no longer a possibility. She later became an anti-abortion activist, and in 2003 she sued the Dallas district attorney in a futile attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade, claiming that she didn't understand what an abortion was when she signed on as a plaintiff in 1969.
Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade was an accidental defendant. If Coffee and Weddington had found a client in El Paso or Houston, Henry Wade wouldn't be "Wade". He didn't even argue the Supreme Court case that made him a symbol of "the disciplining of women's bodies through law". The landmark lawsuit wrote him into the wrong historical narrative.
Wade made his name as a prosecutor. He holds the record for the highest felony conviction rate (92 percent) in a state that perennially ranks in the top five in percentage of residents incarcerated.
He was better than 92 percent. Early in his career, when he was prosecuting cases himself, he had a 100 percent conviction rate. In capital cases, he asked for death sentences 30 times and sent 29 men to death row.
In 1969 he wrote a prosecutors' manual that ensured that blacks in Dallas County were almost always excluded from criminal juries. The manual was cited in a 2004 Supreme Court decision that granted a retrial to African-American defendant Thomas Miller-El, because one of Wade's assistant district attorneys had excluded 10 of 11 African-Americans in the jury pool from the jury that convicted Miller-El of capital murder and sentenced him to death.
In 2006, Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins, the first African-American ever elected to the office, began a systematic examination of Wade's convictions. By 2008, Watkins's investigation overturned the convictions of 19 men sent to prison by Wade's office, three for murder and 16 for either rape or robbery. Ten of the men released are black.
After Watkins's defeat by a Republican challenger in 2014, the Innocence Project of Texas continues to investigate false convictions. Five of nine men cleared by the Innocence Project were African-Americans wrongly convicted by Wade's staff; one was serving a life sentence for murder, three were serving life sentences for sexual assault, the fourth had been sentenced to 99 years for sexual assault.
With 24 DNA exonerations, Dallas County has far surpassed all other counties in Texas in overturned convictions. The current Dallas District Attorney, Susan Hawk, a part of a concerted Republican campaign to oust Watkins, has not pursued her predecessor's examination of questionable convictions.
Wade died in 2001. The Henry Wade Juvenile Justice Center memorializes him in the city where he made his name putting men behind bars.
Sources: The Sentencing Project; The Texas Innocence Project; The Dallas Morning News; McCorvey v. Hill (U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, September, 2004.)
Where is my drinking buddy!
Mr. Kavanaugh AA author friend...
No wino goes out to party with a saint!!!
Hey!!! See you all at AA!
Two faces has he!!
Mr. Brett Kavanaugh
"Kavanaugh: Was his display of anger justified?"
Oct 12, 2018, p. 6
The side of his angry and violent face shown to the Senate Judiciary Committee Democrat members is that same side shown to sexual assault victim Madam Christine Blasey Ford!!!
You say you want a revolution!!!
Those old feeble! Fumbling! Stumbling! Mumbling! And scary angry white male Republican senators viciously rammed through the U.S. Senate Brett Kavanaugh appointment to U.S. Supreme Court over the ladies and good men just opposition.
Oct 06, 2018.
I see a bad moon on the rise!!!
Don't look back!!!
- Bob Dylan
When Justice Clarence Thomas was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, there was no potent "social media" (Tweeter!!!!) to keep the never-ending "passion" white burning.
Two too many!!!
Now we have two justices credibly accused of sexual misconduct; as well as the current Prez.
The current "civil war" will become a tragic "shooting war"!!!
"Is a second Civil War possible?" by Robert Reich (July 1-15, 2018) www.robertreich.org
Other noted seers:
Sen. (R. KY) Rand Paul!
Bill Gates' wise father!
Rush Limbaugh (10-11-2018)
Sean Hannity (10-11-2018)
Megyn McCain (ABC.com/The View)
Al Cardenas NBC.com/MTP.com (10-07-2018)
(Commended: New bk. "Fields of Book")
Sen. (R. NC) Lindsey Graham
A fake media phenomenon
In 2016, Sen. (R. NC) Graham ran in the Republican presidential primary race. Won: 0
Nonetheless, ostensibly every media programs (e.g. Fox! NBC.com/MTP.com/CBS.com/Face the Nation). Ad nauseaum regular force his rejected at the polls insubstantial "chatter"!!! On the viewing public!!!
Here comes Kavanaugh savior
Fake old white guy anger!!!
This notoriety allowed Graham to steal the mic to jump in between Sen. (D. Ill) Dick Durbin is powerful, skillful and devastating interrogation, which forced NOW Justice Brett Kavanaugh into a "beat down"! "TKOD" stone cold dazed silence. (Closely examine his countenance!!!)
The big save!!
Thus Sen. Graham rescued - saved his nomination!!!
"New Hope" in San Fran
San Francisco will toss out thousands of marijuana-related convictions dating as far back as 1975. With recreational pot legal in California as of January 1, District Attorney George Gascon said the city was once again "taking the lead" to undo the damage of a failed War on Drugs and the federal government's "backwards" marijuana policy.
Prosecutors say they will dismiss and seal 3,038 misdemeanor convictions as well as consider downgrading 4,490 felony convictions to misdemeanor crimes, with no action necessary from those convicted.
While Proposition 64 legalized recreational cannabis use in the state and allowed those convicted of pot-related crimes to appeal for dismissal, the process itself can take months and often requires the petitioner to hire a lawyer - a barrier to those who can't afford the costs.
The announcement is especially significant to the city's African-American citizens, who have borne the brunt of these arrests. In 2010 and 2011, African Americans made up only 6 percent of San Francisco's population but accounted for around 50 percent of all marijuana-related arrests. A criminal conviction can bar someone from obtaining employment or housing and void certain professional licenses.
"This... underscores the true promise of Proposition 64 - providing new hope and opportunities to Californians, primarily people of color, whose lives were long ago derailed by a costly, broken and racially discriminatory system of marijuana criminalization", said Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom. - Safiya Charles
Trump is... Forever?
Presidents come and go, but they pick judges for lifetime appointments - and Trump is picking them in his image.
2009 - 2017: Republicans block Obama from appointing federal judges.
They also refuse to vote on his Supreme Court nominee. (Ha-ha!)
2017: An ultra-right extremist gets the stolen Supreme Court seat.
R's quickly start filling over 100 openings on the federal bench.
Under discussion: adding more seats to stack the courts even further.
And if another Supreme Court seat opens up:
Eventually, political tides turn... (Yay! Health care and breathable air!)
But he's still everywhere. (No. No. No. No.)
C 2017 Jen Sorensen. www.jensorensen.com Twitter@JenSorenson
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D. ND)
Tues 10-09-2018 6:30 p.m. CDT
Profile in courage!!!!
Pussy Riot USA!!!
No!!! On Brett Kavanaugh!
Sat. 10-06-2018. See NBC.com MTM.com Sun. 10-07-2018...
Y.E.S.!!! I say for U.S. President 2020!!!!!!!
Pussy Riot USA!
The lady is a champ!!!
Sen. (R. AK) Lisa Murkowski
Profile in courage!!!!
The lady say:
No! On Brett Kavanaugh!!!
Praying 2020 VP!!!
The chickens are coming home to roost!!!
The #metoo movement!!!
See Ed Rompell's "Interview: Gloria Allred talks #metoo, and 'seeing Allred'" progressive.org see also progressivepopulistspot.org May 1, 2018, p. 21.
The noble #metoo movement no win assertion of "believe her" standing alone is now being evilly, albeit - cleverly politically exploited by Prez Trumpedo and his gang!
Thanks to former federal prosecutor @ Sunny Hoston, ABC.com/The View co-panelist, and "Echo Box" etc hectoring in opposition to the application of the U.S. constitutional 5th and 14th amendments "due process clause" opened up a festering self-inflicted wound.
Do not debate!!! See NBC.com/MTP Sun 10-07-2018
Our new mantra ought to be:
Believe her but verify!!!
AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION
ACLU 50-STATE SURVEY
Complete our 50-State Survey to share your opinions about threats to voting rights and other fundamental freedoms.
Our country is engaged in a mighty struggle over the vibrancy of our democracy and the strength of our commitment to the fundamental freedoms that define America. Every day, Donald Trump and his administration demonstrate an utter disregard for the Constitution and a terrifying willingness to abuse power and trample on people's rights.
Meanwhile, extremists are moving aggressively in state after state, seizing what they hope is an unprecedented opportunity to advance their dangerous agenda.
As the ACLU leads a determined, passionate movement to defend people's civil liberties, we need your ideas and opinions. That's why I am hoping you will take a moment right now to complete and return the enclosed ACLU 50-State Survey. We especially want to hear your thoughts on the use of aggressive voter suppression laws and tactics as the critical 2018 midterm elections approach.
Now more than ever, our country is counting on the ACLU to do what we always do in moments of crisis - wage a vigorous, robust and effective defense of freedom. And, as our nationwide network of lawyers, advocates, policy experts and organizers works to do just that, we need your strength and your personal support.
That's why your voice is so important to us.
We want to know what YOUR biggest concerns are in the face of escalating attempts at voter suppression and other threats to our civil liberties. And we want your assessment of how you and your community are feeling the impact of policies that run contrary to the Constitution and the rule of law.
Completing the enclosed ACLU 50-State Survey is one important way you can help us as we work to protect people's basic rights in the face of extraordinary challenges.
Please seize this opportunity to speak up. And, if you're ready to take one more step to defend freedom, don't just return your survey response to ACLU headquarters...
Send along a donation of $25, $35, $50 or more to add energy and momentum to the ACLU's vigorous effort to defend the Constitution and the rights it protects.
If you answer "Yes" to any of the following questions, I urge you to respond to this letter:
* Are you alarmed that abuses of power by Donald Trump and his administration will do deep and lasting damage to our democracy?
* Do you believe a new round of voter suppression laws and baseless claims about voter fraud will impact the outcome of the 2018 elections?
I hope you will take a few moments to answer questions such as these by completing our survey about freedoms at risk in your state and across the country.
It's going to take bold strategies and energetic, passionate activism to protect civil liberties in the weeks and months ahead. The ACLU is moving on multiple fronts, and your voice can amplify our strength.
That's why I hope you'll take this chance to speak out loudly and clearly on issues that will define the future of individual freedom across America.
But, we're not just asking you to make clear what you believe. We also need you to tell us how strongly you support some of the ACLU's key strategies for defending the Constitution and the freedoms it protects.
That's why, in the second part of our survey, we ask you to evaluate from your own point of view key ACLU strategies for protecting our constitutional rights in one of the most difficult climates we've ever faced. For nearly a century, the ACLU has been advancing and protecting the liberties guaranteed to us all by the Constitution.
With our members behind us, we sound the alarm when our freedoms are in jeopardy, and we work relentlessly to protect the rights and liberties we cherish whenever and wherever they are at risk.
Right now, we're fighting voter suppression efforts in the courts and state legislatures. And we are mounting a major effort to mobilize ACLU members and other supporters of civil liberties to vote in this year's elections. Our ACLU Voter grassroots campaign is built around a simple, straightforward theme: "Vote like your rights depend on it."
ACLU legal teams, featuring some of the brightest legal minds in the country, are pursuing smart litigation strategies for defending the right to vote, immigrant rights, freedom of speech, religious liberty, reproductive rights and other essential freedoms.
Our advocates, working in Congress and in 53 state offices around the country, are monitoring bills being introduced, building alliances and creating legislative roadmaps to block dangerous proposals.
These are just a few examples of the work that ACLU members make possible every day in response to ever-present attacks on people's fundamental freedoms. And our work has never been more essential or more urgent than it is right now. That's why it is so crucial for you to immediately [illegible] [text upside down]
Today is Yesterday - Again!!!!
"#metoo" "Hang em up high list"
Actor, author Jamie Lee Curtis, Halloween, was screaming out how "#metoo" movement scored "Hang em high" - only one hit to a black man! Fragile! Old! Blind! Dr. Bill Cosby!!!!
ABC.com/The View Mon. 10-08-2017. See also, below P.
Hell is never satisfied! More! More!!!
"Inside Montgomery's powerful memorial honoring 4,400 lives"
Tues. 10-09-2018 5:30 p.m. CDT
Anchor Lester Holt, and the founder of "The Memorial Museum of the Victims of Lynchings" - Hon. Byron Stevenson, attorney and author, took us viewers on "a look and see" tour!!!
"Look at em and weep"!!!
Mr. Holt seeing the name of a family member, weep (on air)!!! "Wept"!!! Look out for upcoming movie!!!
Mr. Stevenson's book: "Just Mercy" shall become a new movie...
Inside Montgomery's M
That N-word is crazy!!!
The next day. Tues. 10-09-2018, ad nauseam!!!
The View crew (absent: Mon. guest star Jamie Lee Curtis...) took Mr. Kanye West out to lunch castigating and castrating him for his ostensible "red cap" support of Prez Trumpedo!!!
She gotta be mad! Mad!
Co-panelist Megyn McCain had the new "slave master" audacity to summon Mr. West before her royal a--, on the ABC.com/The View, to humbly explicate and manifest his bonafides in her kind of "conservatism"!!!
Hell no!! Mr. West is a "red cap"!! Trumpedo!
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