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Free Davontae Sanford Time For Change Bring Me Home Enough Is Enough !
The police know it. The prosecutors know it. The courts know it. Anybody who reads the court records and police reports knows it. This could have been any one of us, or any one of our children who was falsely arrested, railroaded, and imprisioned. If we let this stand, who will be next? Demand that the prosecutors stop covering up their frame-up of this innocent child and come clean. Demand that Davontae be freed to come home You Can Write Him At Davontae Sanford-684070 ionia maxmium correctional fac. `1576 w.bluewater highway ionia,mi 48846
Thirteen students trickled into a classroom from the yard — blacks, Latinos, whites, Asians, old and young. Nash, a tall guy with his dreadlocks pulled back, isn’t a typical college student. San Quentin is home to the Prison University Project, the largest on-site college-in-prison program among California state prisons. Inmates in PUP earn their associate’s degree for free, with volunteer instructors from schools like Stanford and UC Berkeley. Opponents of higher education in prison, like those who voted down a proposal in New York earlier this year, say it’s wrong to give a taxpayer-funded degree to convicts. Some are fine with providing remedial and vocational education, but draw the line at college, a commodity families sacrifice thousands of dollars to give their children. Advocates see inmate education as a question of helping people stay out of prison once they’re released, and furthermore, of putting communities more at ease about the formerly incarcerated returning to their neighborhoods. At the moment, he was working on one that combined Spongebob Squarepants and football, two of his stepson’s favorite things. Nearly two-thirds of California’s released felons end up back behind bars within three years, according to 2012 data from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Inmates who participated in college programs were about half as likely to land back in prison than those who did not, a 2013 study in the Journal of Criminal Justice found. Even if they do return, advocates point out that inmates who receive academic or vocational education cost the system up to $9,700 less, a Rand Corp. study found. Tucked behind the baseball diamond in the prison yard, the classroom at San Quentin looked like any learning space: lesson plan on the whiteboard, periodic table on the wall, old TV cart in the back. Light blue uniforms, stamped “CDCR Prisoner” were the only outright reminder that PUP isn’t regular community college. On this particular day in late July, the lecture covered “The Affluent Society,” the election of John F. Kennedy and the civil rights movement. Without access to the Internet, most students hand-write their papers, and in lieu of online research, instructors print articles for students to read and cite. A lot of people have grown up in very restrictive — culturally or socially — environments where they haven’t been exposed to lots of different communities or cultures or ways of thinking about the world. [...] 1994, when tough-on-crime attitudes wiped out grants that funded college in prisons, many prisons offered higher education. In 1968, a study found that 75 percent of the prison systems it surveyed in the U.S. offered college courses. [...] up to 42 percent of U.S. prisons offer post-secondary education, but for many inmates, correspondence courses, for which funding can be scarce, are the only option, according to a report by the Institute for Higher Education Policy. Some federal grants are available to inmates under 35 years of age who are within seven years of release and who haven’t committed a list of specific crimes, including murder. The college program at San Quentin got its start in 1996 with volunteer teachers, just as classes at other prisons shut down. While that presents the need to fund raise to provide textbooks and school supplies, it also provides insulation from the politics of funding prison education. Many instructors had never met an incarcerated person before they started teaching at San Quentin, and they are asked not to teach differently than they would in the hallowed halls of their traditional institutions. “There’s this sort of running joke at the Prison University Project that it’s actually much easier to teach at San Quentin than it is to teach undergrads who are on their phone, or who might complain and haggle over grades a little more,” said Jake Martín Grumbach, a doctoral student at UC Berkeley who teaches American history at San Quentin. Others work as electricians and truck drivers, or are back in their communities doing social work, violence prevention and gang intervention. “The streets raised me and I became part of the criminal element, and that’s how I ended up in prison, through a long history of drug abuse, of accepting a culture that was not healthy, that was not productive, and not understanding why I was in that culture,” he said. When he got out of San Quentin, Mims worked to develop a program to combat human trafficking with Bay Area Women Against Rape. Lewen and her staff frequently talk about expanding PUP — she’d love to bring it to other prisons in California that are close to colleges and universities, but her first duty is to keep things going at San Quentin, she said. [...] in September, California passed a law that allows community colleges to receive full funding for instruction offered on-site in state correctional facilities, said Millicent Tidwell, the director of the correctional department’s division of rehabilitative programs. The California Department of Corrections now partners with 27 colleges to offer education in prisons, but most of the classes are taught by correspondence or video lectures.
. NATIONAL ACTION AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY IS BEING DEMANDED. IT IS A DEMAND FOR POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY "ACROSS THE BOARD" FOR WHICH THE U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL MUST TAKE ACTION. A PETITION HAS BEEN CREATED WHEREBY PEOPLE MAY SIGN THE DEMAND. JOIN THE DEMAND FOR ACTION - SIGN IMMEDIATELY! www.change.org/petitions/national-action-against-police-brutality.
About 200 people gathered Saturday at the Pink Houses in East New York, Brooklyn, for a march to protest the death of Akai Gurley, who was shot and killed inside the housing project by an NYPD officer in November. The march was organized by AnswerCo...
The latest rainstorm had just flooded everyone’s tents with San Joaquin River water and mud, turning sleeping bags and clothing into gray lumps. Which meant it was a dandy time for street outreach counselor Felton Mackey to show up at the Antioch riverside outpost with offers of housing, welfare and counseling in hand. [...] with the wet, chilly weather setting in hard, their presence is needed now more than usual — especially in the wide-open rural stretches of the Bay Area, like the empty edge of Contra Costa County that Mackey was patrolling one recent morning. Unlike cities such as San Francisco or San Jose — which recently oversaw the dismantling of the 300-denizen “Jungle,” the biggest encampment in Northern California — emptier patches and suburban archipelagos don’t have shelters or assistance offices within easy reach. Outlier homeless people who wind up there find woods, riverbanks and gullies to hide in, making them tougher for police to spot — but also for outreach workers who might be able to get them under a roof. With no doorways, alleys or respite centers to dash to in nasty weather, the outliers are even more exposed to the elements than their urban counterparts. Mackey, 53, works with Contra Costa’s main nonprofit homeless-aid agency, Shelter Inc. He’s among more than 20 outreach counselors with various agencies who troll central and eastern Contra Costa County, where the task of finding the vulnerable outliers often has a haystack-needle aspect to it. [...] its homeless population is bigger: at least 7,500 by social service agency estimates, compared with San Francisco’s 6,500. “Shelter Inc. here, how you doing?” Mackey called out to one of several bearded men, grizzled beyond their middle age, who were shambling about the dozen tents in Antioch assessing wind and water damage. Like many rural homeless, Woodmancy had a government-subsidized, free cell phone. Mackey’s specialty is military veterans, which means he has more to offer than most outreach counselors because as a specialist he can more quickly hook them up to vet programs. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and President Obama set a goal of ending chronic veterans homelessness nationally by the end of 2015, and that has resulted in $3 million in extra housing and counseling funding pouring into Contra Costa alone in the past three years. An estimated 20 percent of the nation’s homeless were veterans in the mid-2000s, but with aggressive federal funding and attention in the past few years, that number has dropped to 9 percent, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. San Francisco is on track to meet Obama’s 2015 goal, and a handful of cities — notably Salt Lake City and Phoenix — have already all but eliminated chronic homelessness among veterans by creating supportive housing away from troubled parts of town, with high ratios of on-site counselors per residents. Shelter Inc., Contra Costa’s biggest nonprofit serving the homeless, helped the county reduce the number of veterans who have spent a year or more on the streets by 48 percent since 2011, to 188 today, according to VA figures. “I think we can hit that mark set by the president, I really do,” said Tracy Cascio, homeless program manager for the VA Northern California Health Care System. For some veterans such as Woodmancy, who hit the streets eight months ago after losing his job as a tow truck driver, the path to stability may be fairly quick. Tim O’Keefe, executive director of Shelter Inc., said the key to helping the hard-core homeless like Wayne is repeated engagement, and it’s counselors like Mackey who accomplish that by never giving up on anyone.
Sean McLean's first day of college at the University of Massachusetts Boston came on the heels of sobering news: The night before, he and his family were evicted from their home in Woburn, 9 miles north of Boston.
The wrongful convictions data coming from the Innocence Project provide all the proof we need that all things are not equal in the application of American justice. Justice is color coded, and truly a matter of black and white. Now is the time to ch...
By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO, Dec 23 (Reuters) - For Teresa Sigerson, a former waitress who has lived under a Chicago expressway bridge for three years, the camp she shares with eight others provides shelter, companionship and some me...