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Redemption of the Prosecutor

When prosecutor and devout Christian Preston Shipp began teaching in a Nashville prison, he never thought he’d be the one to get schooled. But the friendship he forges with one young prisoner puts his faith in the justice system—and in Jesus—to the ultimate test.


Our Turn to Dream

When Martin Luther King gave the "I Have a Dream" speech 50 years ago, he had no idea that Jim Crow would soon be replaced with another oppressive system: mass incarceration, which has devastated communities of color across America. The struggle against segregation must be reborn as a movement to transform the criminal justice system.


 

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Fight the Prison Profiteers!

Prison Profiteers is a video series profiling the powerful companies and individuals who are profiting off locking up too many people for too long. Get to know the profiteers and then take action to fight their abuses.


Florida Atlantic University is about to let the GEO Group, a notorious private prison company, slap its name on a new football stadium. Don't allow that to happen! GEO has a shameful record of human rights violations, abuse, and neglect at its facilities. Click here to sign the petition.


 

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Have you witnessed the effects of mass incarceration or the War on Drugs first-hand? Are you either a safekeeper or a survivor? Tell us your storyEmail us a LINK TO A YOUTUBE VIDEO or a PHOTO WITH TEXT briefly summarizing what happened to you and what policy changes you'd like to see. We'll post it here.

 

 


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  • commented 2013-11-14 16:28:27 -0800
    As I peer through history, I see countless times where those in authority have acted in contradiction to the law. From the national level of forced sterilization of the mentally ill (Buck vs Bell 1927), to local levels (Jim Crow laws) are just small examples. Again, people fail to realize and re-read the lie of the 13th Amendment, slavery is slavery, there is no grey area.
  • commented 2013-11-12 17:57:53 -0800
    STATEMENT OF ADJUDICATED LAW and STATUTORY FACT
    “Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction” writes the Honorable Mr. Justice ANTONIN SCALIA, “they possess only that power authorized by the Constitution or statute which is not to be expanded by judicial decree”.

    To be precise, it is obvious to the naked eye that the language in the text of the OFFENSES and PENALTIES statute, Title 21, United States Code, Section 841, carries no mention of a NEXUS to the Constitution’s Eighteen Enumerated Powers for federal jurisdictional authority to arrest, prosecute, convict, and punish “any person” at random or targeted by Special Agents from the DEA for conduct alleged, admitted, or found to be; “[i]n violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1)”.
    QUESTION
    Does the truncated phrase; “(a) Except as authorized by this subchapter,” in the negative statute of OFFENSES and PENALTIES, Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a) form a NEXUS to the “Authorized activities” of Title 21, United States Code, Section 822(b) for federal jurisdictional authority to arrest, prosecute, hear, convict, and punish any person registered by the Attorney General for conduct alleged, admitted, or found to be; “[i]n violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1)” and any person NOT REGISTERED for federal jurisdiction to be federally regulated is STATUTORILY EXEMPT from the ambit of federal jurisdictional authority?
  • commented 2013-10-04 14:36:07 -0700
    I am glad you were able to get some reprieve on your situation. I attempted to get the ACLU to assist me but I couldn’t get them to give me the time of day. Hopefully you can pull the legs from the tables of injustice, as it is one hell of a fight.
  • commented 2013-10-02 20:04:47 -0700
    I was a victim of L.A.S.D Sheriffs, of a false arrest, being beaten in Twin Towers by a bunch of cowards co’s. Was held for 8 days and must say danced with the devil. My charges were later dropped when I dug in and proved to the judge that I was innocent. It really opened my eyes and I got involved with A.C.L.U and went public against the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Dept and its jail ( Twins Towers ) concrete concentration camp. Now the cowards are under investigation by the feds and many in the department have come forward. I hope these coward cops go to jail and then we can see how tough they really are. Gordon Grbavac
  • commented 2013-02-22 13:02:37 -0800
    I HAVE PERSONALLY BEEN ATTACKED PHYSICALLY ABUSED HARRASSED AND RACIALLY PROFILED ALMOST ON A DAILY BASIS THE AMERICAN JUSTICE SYSTEM IS FUNDAMENTALLY RACIST,BIASED,FLAWED AND RANK WITH CORRUPTION AT IT’S HIGHEST LEVEL! FROM IT’S INCEPTION SINCE THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION HAS BEEN A SYMBOLIC FOUNDATIONS OF HYPOCRISY IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF DE
    MOCRACY IN THIS COUNTRY! WHILE THE SO CALLED PATRIOTS GOT HELP FROM AFRICANS AND INDIANS AND TO FIGHT OFF BRITISH TYRANNY AND UNFAIR AND INJUST RULE AND TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION NO SOONER THAN EMANCIPATED THEMSELVES FOR THEIR OWN FREEDOM. THE FIRST THING DONE WAS TO ENSLAVE AND DESTROY,EXPLOIT,VIOLATE AND BRUTALIZE THE VERY PEOPLE WHO HELPED THEM ATTAIN THEIR FREEDOM. FROM IT’S INCEPTION THE LAWS CONCEIVED WERE WRITTEN WITH A BIASED AND BIGOTED PHILOSOPHY TO ESTABLISH PROTECT AND PRESERVE THE WHITE SUPREMACIST AGENDA FOR PEOPLE OF COLOR IN THIS COUNTRY. WITH RACISM AS THE ENGINE,AND THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM AS THE WHEELS THE VEHICLE OF INJUSTICE HAS RUN OVER THE RIGHTS OF MINORITIES FOR OVER 400 YEARS LEAVING A TRAIL OF DESTRUCTION IN IT’S WAKE WHILE PEOPLE IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM TURN A BLIND EYE TO US AND OUR PLIGHT. MEANING THAT THE JUSTICE SYSTEM IS DEFUNCT AND INCAPABLE OF BEING FAIR WHILE STANDING ON A FOUNDATION OF RACISM! THE LAWS OR BEING USED TO OPPRESS PEOPLE OF COLOR EVERYDAY AND MINORITIES ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THE LAW-MAKING PROCESS BECAUSE OF FALLACY AND INEQUALITY AND INJUSTICES INVOLVED IN MAKING THE LAWS TO TARGET CERTAIN GROUPS FOR MASS INCARCERATION AND EXPLOITATION WHICH VIOLATES AND IS IN DIRECT OPPOSITION TO THE PURPOSE OF THE LAWS IN THE FIRST PLACE! MANY BLACK MEN WOMEN THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE BEEN UNJUSTIFIABLY INCARCERATED AND NOT TILL THE DEVELOPMENT OF D.N.A EVIDENCE THAT THEIR INNOCENCE HAS BEEN PROVEN! ALSO WE MUST TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE POLICE FORCE WAS INFILTRATED BY MANY MEMBERS OF THE KLU KLUX KLAN TO INTIMIDATE,HARRASS,IMPEDE AND OPPRESS AFRICAN-AMERICANS TRYING TO VOTE! AND EVEN WITH A AFRICAN-AMERICAN PRESIDENT RACISM AND WHITE SUPREMACY AGENDA’S AT AN ALL TIME HIGH SO THE QUESTION HERE IS HOW CAN THE LAWS BE JUST IF THE LAWMAKERS ARE FOCUSED ON PREMOTING INJUSTICE!
  • commented 2013-01-13 21:56:30 -0800
    I was a typical, progressive, Anglo woman in her 40’s and always considered myself pretty well-informed and sympathetic to issues of social justice. I look back now in regret and anguish at how blind and ignorant I truly was. I cannot briefly explain how I came to know all of the following, but suffice it to say that in little over a year I have personally seen:
    1) How the mentally ill are abused in our “justice” system by uneducated “professionals” at all levels,
    2) How some local law enforcement personnel profile certain “types” of people, particularly ex-inmates, and their harrassment of those people,
    3) Ridiculous Child Support laws and blatantly biased and ignorant Family Court judges that humilitate men and destroy their lives and any chance of a relationship with their children,
    4) The school-to-prison pipeline, particularly in areas where the majority of families are poor and of color,
    5) The insane Asset Forfeiture/DWI/Child Support/MVD/Magistrate Court Money-Making Machine,
    6) The incestuous Domestic Violence Advocacy/D.A.‘s Office/Magistrate Court/County Jail/Probation Money Making Merry-Go-Round,
    7) The punitive probation system with highly untrained and sometimes mentally unstable P.O.’s,
    8) A man taken to jail and charged with DV with no evidence except a woman’s word, after which she admitted she only did because she was “angry”, but too late to prevent #6,
    9) How the for-profit prison system – from phone charges to food to basic needs – fills the county coffers and corporation bank accounts from the pockets of the poor and degrades the lives of everyone involved,
    10) A man falsely accused of rape by an undocumented woman, and how it is a common practice – that groups of undocumented women plan how they’re going to pick an drunk guy at a party to target – because the “state” is the accuser and they get to stay in the country until the legal proceedings are over,
    11) Laws that make it nearly impossible for a man falsely accused of rape to get any kind of justice, and that was even before the hysteria about “rape culture” that is sweeping the country at the moment, and finally,
    12) How it was there the whole time but I was blinded to it and completely brainwashed by the media and our current culture.

    Our “criminal justice” system is an abomination. There are mostly good people in it….public defenders and criminal defense attorneys come quickly to mind….but most of the others are also trying to do good work. I do not blame the humans, it is just that the entire system has been corrupted and politicized and turned into something that has nothing to do with “public safety and rehabilitation” and everything to do with “punitive population control and profit”. My dream is to do a documentary series on each of these topics to expose the general public to the sides of the issues that they never hear and never knew existed….just like I used to. But I will do whatever I can to expose this Mass Injustice System.

    Blessings to all!
  • commented 2012-10-31 22:18:12 -0700
    Greetings,
    I was recently arrested; in fact it was on my birthday, the 27th of October 2012. I turned 44.
    Granted I have had my run ins with the law, mostly related to alcohol, so I don’t drink much. But it was the morning of my birthday (Saturday morning) and though I had things to do in the dawn, I thought it would be nice to have a drink before bed, and as I live right in downtown Boise, Idaho, I walked to a few nearby pubs.
    I later had an encounter with the police on the way home, one that I will surely rue.
    During the stop and frisk, these police officers found a pipe and some pot in the chamber. Off to the jail I go. $300 per charge each was needed to make bail, being four of them, the previous charges as well as public intox and resisting. I am a college student (yes at 44). I have a VERY limited income. I make extra money by fixing computers and other electronic equipment, so as not to have to use any student funding or aid for my personal necessities, leaving my loans for rent and classes and books.
    These charges, being misdemeanors, are punishable in Idaho with up to 6 months in jail for each charge, 1 year’s probation and fines up to $2500. I haven’t a dime now. It’s going to be a ruff couple of months.
    I was diagnosed with Bipolar/Manic Depression at the age of 11. It has progressed, as most types of this illness do, to clinical depression needing medication to keep in check. This disease has impeded much of my ability to live up to my potential and to have a ‘normal’ life. I have had many types of prescription drugs over the years, written by well intending doctors, wanting only to help relieve my obvious pain and help increase my productivity and quality of life. Some medications worked, for a while, and then stopped. Some meds had awful side effects (some included death, right on the list next to may cause depression. How about that? An anti depressant, that would cause depression as a side effect). Many I couldn’t take, physically or emotionally. Some would leave me lethargic, others would hype me out, never a good thing either way.
    I used cannabis for the first time in the 8th grade. Yes, it made me stoned and giggly. It was quite the experience. Latter, on the second use, I was able to appreciate what it was doing to/for me. I was more focused, centered. My thoughts weren’t racing and I was calm in a way I had never felt before. I was able to reflect on things around me, and organize my thoughts and I was able to see how I fit in to the world around me. It was amazing. I felt…normal.
    I paid for that “normalcy” and on more than one occasion.
    On my 13th birthday I came home, stoned. I had missed a surprise birthday party in my behalf. My father was furious. I got the belt, and then he called the police. I got the lecture. I got grounded for a month, no jail. (I think the cop knew I had taken a beating, and that arresting me would just be insult to injury, quite literally.)
    Funny how life comes full circle; The cops really laid on a beating this time (I got charged with resisting, go figure). 4 days later I am still sore.
    If I am convicted of misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, I lose my ability to get financial aid for college (need two more years to graduate). I risk not getting a decent job, plus everything that being punished by the law will entail.
    With no money for a lawyer, I will be left to the public defender’s office or representing myself.
    I have had to take some considerable thought with what I am about to tell you next. It comes as no easy thing, nor have I taken its considerable consequences too lightly.
    I will plea “Not guilty” and trust a jury to decide my fate. I can only hope that my argument will bare weight upon their conscious, if I am able to tell my story of the darkness and discomfort of depression. To tell how I have gone through all types of medications, and even nothing at all. I’ve used diet, exercise, the holistic approach as well as the medical. I have gone to all ends to find relief, and I am convinced, beyond any doubts, cannabis gives me relief and helps me to live a productive and active life. This isn’t anecdotal. For me, this is a fact.
    Facts being facts, most likely I will be convicted, as Jurist Prudence isn’t something the courts like, nor openly allow. But I will have my say before the court, before sentencing. And I will speak my truth clearly and precisely. I will not acquiesce, nor be forced into thinking that I am doing wrong by self medicating with a natural plant. They may call me a criminal, but I will never take that moniker for myself. I am a freedom fighter, and my own man. Nothing stands between me and the divine. I will lay down my life (though I would hope to not have to for a very long time to come) for what I believe in, for the sake of others.
    If I am jailed, I will not eat their food. I will not drink their water. I will not participate, even to the point of remaining static and non-threatening, but not fallowing any commands. I will not play along, though I will play nice, explaining to all that I interact with, that I do this for them as well, I will not play their game. I will do as my heroes have done, I will be passive, but resistant. This is my pledge.
    Outside of my family and a few friends, and all of you, that read and share this letter, no one will know what I do. My hope and prayer, and my reason for writing this essay, is that my actions don’t go unnoticed or fall by the dim hum of the wayside, and I will have only my four gray walls and my suffering as a companion for my thoughts, as I have little doubt that my actions will do naught but make my life more miserable, by standing up to the powers that be. Such is been the fate of many a good soul, who believes in the cause more than the need for their own freedom, or life. I have neither issue nor qualm taking up my banner and walking upon that road less taken, that path that leads to freedom. I would be my honor to repay the debt left to me, by all those others, which fought and gave their all, for what they believe in.
    My eternal thanks to those that paved the way before me, and my thanks to you, for reading my word, and perhaps that will help carry me through this journey of which I am about to embark upon.
  • commented 2012-10-28 21:13:55 -0700
    My husband and I have a blog that tells our story. Here is an entry that talks about our case: http://walkingintosunlight.tumblr.com/post/3105113693/prosecution-for-profit-in-cuyahoga-county

    the blog is: http://walkingintosunlight.tumblr.com/

    There is no justice in any of it.
  • commented 2012-10-19 08:33:16 -0700
    My son and I are 2 of the millions who have been punished unjustly and I am preparing our story now to publish on your website.. Thank you for your interest and help… LInda Jolly Taylor, mother of Randy Daniels, FBOP Inmate since October, 2005.. Jailed 18 months prior to sentencing for 1st time offense w/drugs..
  • commented 2012-09-02 14:46:33 -0700
    The prison and Criminal injustice system is inefficient and wasteful!!! A few years ago the police woke up my parents and then 14 year old sister by knocking hard on the door, demanding them to come out!! They forced my parents and little sister to come out, my dad with his hand behind his head!! After everything was done, it turns out they were looking for our neighbors, and that they had made a mistake!!! My parents tried doing a report but as of now we have not had any compensation!! This was a dehumanizing and terrifying experience for my parents who are good citizens. Its for this criminal injustice system’s stupidity and inefficiency that we continue to have all these mistakes and wasteful spending!!! (As is the case with other bureaucratic systems in this country.)

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