Help Needed: How The Leopard Can Possibly Change It’s Spots.

by J.C. Riley #288310

Can a Leopard change its spots? If it does, what would it look like? Do we use detergents to scrub it clean? Or do we dye the cat’s fur to cover the spots. That would indeed be “Change”, but would it still be a Leopard?

This is the complexity of the questions we’ve asked ourselves about a Criminal Justice System not designed for Rehabilitation. A Criminal Justice System not intended to Motivate positive Change or recognize Incarcerated People as Human Beings. In order to understand WHY the Criminal Justice System operates this way, to understand what could help create Change, we must first explore the true function of the Criminal Justice System.

Or why the Leopard is Spotted in the first place.

When a Prison opens in the State of Michigan, as in other states in this country, it creates an entire Economic System for cash strapped towns fortunate enough to host such a lucrative business.

Business, you say? Aside from employers such as General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler, the Michigan Department of Corrections employs thousands of employees and support staff. When a prison opens it creates even more opportunities for stores, bars, restaurants, new homes, schools and more to support the new “Business” in town.

It doesn’t stop there. Prisons provide a permanent consumer base for Prison Profiteers like JPay, Access, and Global Tel Inc. It allows these companies to monopolize entire areas of commerce, like clothing, banking, communications, and food services, without competitive overhead or being held responsible for consumer protection laws or standards. Prisons are a Gold Mine for large investment firms, many of which hold lobbying power in State Capitals and even in Washington DC.

What is produced by the Industrialization of a Public Function such the Criminal Justice System? What effect does it have on our Communities and the individuals who -whether deserved or not- have become fuel for the Monster it has become?

What the Criminal Justice System has created are the conditions we see on the streets today, people who are encouraged to operate outside of the laws of society and incentivized to commit criminal rather than civil behavior.

Michigan in particular produces the most untrained, uneducated, and uncultivated prisoners in all social categories.

Because of this many prisoners reoffend, not because they are “bad”, “evil”, or “irredeemable”, but because the only value the Criminal Justice System in Michigan has placed in them is their value to JPay, Access, or Aramark, or the town that benefits from the economic effect of prison industry.

Prisoners in the State of Michigan live in some of the harshest conditions of any other prison system in the country.

Michigan Prisoners do more time, are offered less opportunity for reform, but are more scrutinized for release than any other prisoner in this country. This isn’t by mistake; it is done to create a certain type of individual the Prison

System can advertise to the public to justify their function as an Industry. You know, to justify WHY the Leopard has its Spots.

For people who really do care about Rehabilitation, a Motivation to Change, and the Human Cost of such a System, a wise investment would be made NOT in Prison Reform, but in PRISONER Reform. Investment should be made in the individuals serving LIFE or LONG INDETERMINATE SENTENCES, because these are the people who spend the most Time with the prisoners entering your communities. They spend more time with offenders on their way home than any other prison staff and are more capable of assessing and correcting behavior. Prisons, Prison Staff and Prison Programming have all proven incapable of successfully handling the needs of reform in the prison population.

The truth is, prisoners don’t build prisons, those were built long before most of us were born with an idea of who would fill the cells before we made it to the 6th Grade. We didn’t make the rules, we can only do in prison what we are directed and permitted to do. By showing compassion, generosity, and humility, you encourage it, and by allowing some sense of independence in prisoners, you foster that quality in them.

True, confinement and punishment is necessary. People should pay for the crimes they commit and the wrongs they inflict. But Society must be careful not to give rise to the very thing they wish to avoid in punishing those who do wrong.

So what should we do with the wayward wrongdoers of our society? How about Education? All prisoners should be educated upon entering prison. Not only in the laws that govern the court system, but also in Self Help, Vocational

Training, and any other educational avenues open to other prisoners.

If you allow people to strive for the right things, they will embrace the opportunity and become an inspiration to others. If you educate prisoners and reward the highest achievers in prison with life sustaining jobs, early parole eligibility, preferable transfers to locations closer to their own communities, and access to better conditions of confinement, other prisoners will strive for the same things. They will be encouraged to live within the law instead of occupying their time with slicker ways to circumvent it.

As a mature Adult Black Male it hurts me DEEPLY to see the community I grew up in suffer through the crime and violence I once propagated in my youth. It hurts to know there is very little I can do from where I am. But I am inspired to know that one day things can change, and I may have the opportunity to contribute in a positive productive way.

Changing Prisons won’t improve the conditions of the Prison System, but a focus on Changing the minds of people in Prison can change the conditions of our Society. In other words, the Leopard wouldn’t have to change it’s spots if you start feeding a different kind of Cat.

“THE HOOD PRODUCE HOODLUMS”

By Toby R. Davis aka Naeem Nusaga

———————————————————

WHERE I’M FROM we don’t call it the neighborhood, but simply ‘the hood’. Boldly dropping the neighbor part of the word because there’s nothing neighborly about it. It’s not a city of angels but a city of vicious lions, tigers, and bears. All roaming the streets freely and stalking the weak, the vulnerable, and the prey each and every day. It is a far cry from the hit TV sitcom called The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air where the character played by Will Smith was given an opportunity to restart his life in a more affluent neighborhood while escaping the perils of his hometown in West Philadelphia with his preppy cousin, Carlton Banks. But hey, let’s face it. The reality is: Some things are simply out of our control. No one on this planet Earth had the personal option to be born either male or female. No one had the personal option to be born a particular race. And most certainly, no one had the personal option to be born to upper-class parents, middle-class parents, or even lower-class parents. Truthfully, it pretty much all comes down to the roll of the dice!

In a dice game, you’d simply shake up the dice and blow on them for good luck, then hope that the dice hit either winning number 7 or 11, but if by chance the dice rolled and landed on “6 and 6,” “1 and 2,” or “Snake eyes,” you’d lose your dead presidents (or money in the pot), plain and simple. Well, life is like that same game of chance whereas your odds of winning are essentially determined by the circumstances in which you were born into from the very beginning. For instance, if you’re a black baby who was born to the care of middle-class parents, who could afford to live in a decent community with a low crime rate and quality education, then your odds of winning would be relatively high. But, on the flip side, if you’re a black baby who was born to the care of lower-class parents who could only afford to live in an impoverished community with a higher crime rate and substandard education, then your odds of winning would be relatively low. Therefore, we must ask ourselves the question: Why does one environment tends to be conducive to a higher chance of success; while on the other hand, a higher chance of incarceration? It is the child, or is it the environment in which the child is raised in? Just food to thought.

Help Needed: By Charles Jackson Bey

Dealing with the Criminal Justice System we have to be mindful in order for change to actually take place a narrative is needed on the behalf of the men and women incarcerated within these walls. Most of society thinks anyone in prison belongs in prison and for us who committed crimes such as murder, robbery etc. Should never get out! and die within these walls not realizing we have a lot to offer back to society as rehabilitated men & women.

In order to start the narrative from a positive perspective certain programs have to be implemented such as Restorative Justice which allows victims & criminals to mend the broken wires. This allows the victim who has suffered to express their feelings and to release any hate or ill feelings they may have stored in their heart for years! towards that prisoner beginning a healing process.

Also this gives the victim a chance to see & hear the prisoner as a changed human being that might get considered for a future parole or commutation. As they can see first-hand the rehabilitation process through the prisoner showing empathy, sympathy, accountability & responsibility through the programs they have part taken in and not just another number or a caged animal about to be released back in society.

Be mindful not all victims will be willing to have a change of heart! due to the fact not all prisoners deserve another chance at freedom! but for those victims & prisoners that can come together is a major step in the right direction. As well as the way to restore honor by honoring one another, and the way we honor one another is through servanthood. Servanthood must be motivated by love-love for your community, love for God, or love for an honorable cause.

Now in the same breath prisoners need other motivation to change as well, meaning incentives need to be set in place such as good time leading to an early release. Along with more self-help & educational programs, think about this! if a prisoner knew they could go home early by taking more programs & could earn time off their sentence from working, remaining ticket free! and receiving more time off their sentence until they reach the max days that can be rewarded for good behavior.

No one!!! would want to miss or risk the opportunity of getting out of Prison Early! so guess what happens? you cut prison violence down to the bare minimum and give the men and women incarcerated within these walls hope. And hope produce change! and change allows dreams to become reality. But this threatens the order that has been for so long!

Which is Another issue before we can talk Criminal Justice Reform or Prison Reform, we have to Reform the minds of those in control over the incarceration system. Which is the Law Makers, Judges, Prosecutors, Attorneys, Police Officers, etc. Along with the unsympathetic citizens who believes that prisoners should be the last to receive educational subsidies.

This is the main stronghold that hinders the criminal Justice system to provide a meaningful environment for rehabilitation change on a global scale when those in power view prisoners as their slaves and source of income. Holding on to the mentality of the slave master refusing to let their slaves be free or wanting them to be educated. Because the violent Crime Control Act of 1994/1995 eliminated Pell grant postsecondary opportunities for prisoners. This law presupposes that prisoners are the least deserving of educational benefits.

So reform of the mind is needed from those in power along with programs that benefits those incarcerated as well as those in society. But most importantly laws has to change in favor of providing second opportunities & education for incarcerated men and women.

So when one would pose the question what would really help? consider the above information I have just shared including this, unity is the main key in a restorative justice process whereby all the parties with a stake in a particular offence come together to resolve collectively how to deal with the aftermath of the offence and it’s implications for the future.

As well as using platforms such as this to raise awareness for those who place us all in the same category being bias from a narrative that’s told falsely about all incarcerated men and women. And for those that have a voice and a love one, family member or friend incarcerated your help is needed by becoming involved.

Start by writing the governor on their behalf, attending meetings by organizations such as Safe & Just Michigan that advocates for Prison & Criminal Justice Reform. And become the voice for a new narrative that breaks the cycle of modern-day slavery!

As the famous saying states: United We Stand Divided We Fall! and long as we are torn on the matter at hand we will never have a meaningful environment for rehabilitation.

Feel free to contact me through J-pay. com. or by mail:

Charles A.Jackson Bey#600271

Thumb Correctional Facility

3225 John Conley Drive

Lapeer,MI 48446

Whats Life

Life is what you make it, Life is A Blessing Life is Love, Life Is Pain Life is Being Able to Come Together and Create. Life is Openness. Life is A Gift. Life is Something You Don’t Take For Granted. Life is Seeing the Ones You Love. Happy Life is A Product of What you Think. Life is living your dreams. Life is Planning. Life is Visualization. Life Is Righteousness. Life is Giving. Life is Happiness. Everyday Life Brings You What You Attract. If You Can Think, If You Can Ponder, Then You Have Life. Life Without Love is Death. What’s life when you lose the ones that stand Close.

What’s Life? Its Sacrificing for People You Love most. What’s life? Its A Blessing. What’s Life? Its Everything. The choice We make And the People We are around Will Determine Your Life. The Thoughts You think will Determine Your Destiny. As Coach Albright Use To say, “Control Your own Destiny”. In My Lifetime, Life has Had its Ups and Downs. People came and They Left. But Everything I ask My Self, “What’s Life?” And I reply, “It’s What “You” Make it!

I choose the topic Life because These are The Four Letters That Have Reshaped Me and Transformed My Thinking during the 6years of a being in this Calaboose. My Life Has Changed. My Thoughts Have Changed. The world Has Changed. Everything in the Universe is constantly Changing. Life is Like chess, one bad Move and Its Checkmate.

What’s Life connection? What’s life Openness? What’s Life vulnerability? What’s Life Realness? What’s Life Friendships? What’s Life Being There for The Ones Who are There for You?

Darius (Lewis) #781780

My Voice – R. Carter

BY:AHJAMU KHALIFAH BARUTI(a.k.a.-Richard Carter) HOSTAGE NUMBER:#178539 I was married before my incarceration, held a full time job as a maintenance man at a health club in Southfield Michigan.

I’ve never drank any liquor or abused any type of hard drugs. I’ve always lived a healthy lifestyle: into martial arts, distance running, etc… I’ve engaged in criminal activity, but I’m not a criminal! I’m presently living out my truth taking it one day at a time. I’ve gone through my “redemption” of my past mistakes that brought me to prison and learned from them to “transform” myself.

I’m striving every day to be a better portion of myself than the person I was yesterday, and a better person I’ve yet to become in the future. I’m striving to become the man that the creator created me to be, a “righteous” man, and to be an “example” for the youth to emulate by sharing my own personal experiences with them to give the youth some guidance and direction into their own lives.

Thankfulness – Dion

Good Morning,

You have so much in life to be thankful for, such as your health, your family, your friends and the ability to be who you are. However, when you show gratitude and thanksgiving, you activate that divine nature that exist within you. It allows you to be showered with the very things you have given to others.

So please understand that when you give, you receive. When you receive, it is a reflection of what you give. Continue to provide others with love and kindness. Please share this thought of the day, “BE THE CHANGE THAT YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD.”

Have a great holiday!!!!!

Dion

THANKFULNESS

As we approach the “Thanksgiving Day” holiday, we should be consciously thankful each and every day, for we all have an abundance of things to be thankful for. We should employ that knowledge to reduce the stresses of life and better our mental, emotional and spiritual health. Though I don’t celebrate the upcoming holidays in the “traditional” sense, I do recognize that “Thanksgiving” is a day in which to find the things that one is thankful for and hold them in remembrance. As all of you who do celebrate the holiday prepare your meals and what not, be mindful of the condition that the world is in right now and be thankful to God for the health and safety of all of those whom you hold near and dear in your hearts. Be thankful for the memories that warm your hearts and bring smiles to your faces. Be thankful for your triumphs and failures, hardships and successes, for they build your character and make you the person who you are. Be thankful for the boundless blessings that God provides you daily, both those that you see and those that you don’t. Be thankful for His mercy, love, grace and forgiveness!

May the Peace and Prosperity of God forever envelope you and your family!

As-Salaam Alaikum

Bobby X

(Robert Green #210296)

“YOU ARE THE C.E.O. OF YOUR LIFE”

By Toby R. Davis aka Naeem Nusaga ———————————————————–

IMAGINE YOUR LIFE as a motion picture; except it’s in the production phase and not yet ready to be viewed on the big screen. But you are indeed the sole ‘Chief Executive Officer’ of your life movie therefore you have the reserved right and authorization to edit the scenes in the movie how you see fit. So, begin now by exercising your power in the director’s chair. Remember: You control the narrative, the plot, and storyline. There may be some scenes you may need to delete, revise, or simply rearrange by changing up the scenery or the characters in it. You may even feel the need to holler “Cut!” or “Take 5!” just so you can reassess the footage you already have to make sure it conveys the right positive message and shot at the perfect angle. You may also want to fine tune your camera lens to make sure it is picture perfect. Without a doubt this is the biggest film you’ll ever produce in your life!

So, use this time to take pride and ownership of it. Take it all in. Be grateful for this opportunity and for your life. Slow down and bask in the moment. Reflect. Dare to dream outside the box (or block), reminding yourself that the best scenes are yet to come. Be careful who you allow to be a part of it. Consider it sacred. Take the time to meticulously select each scene and carefully vet each character before offering a role. Look for quality of style, grace, integrity, showmanship, potentiality, star performance and sheer drive to contribute meaningful content to your featured film. A line of actors is auditioning all around you right now, mostly as your family members, friends, associates, coworkers, and a plethora of others known as “fill-ins” – which are the ones you really have to be watchful of. A fill-in could be an understudy; or simply someone to fill in a certain part in the movie. They’re not really all that talented and will require a lot of practice, therefore, they should only be used if necessary. As the quality of your film will be determined by the quality of performance given by each actor on the grand stage of your life. Keep in mind that not everyone is worthy of a role in it and business is never personal. So, take the time to streamline your film and write poignant parts that others can relate to, because no movie is guaranteed a sequel.

As the executive director, you call the shots and ultimately decide who will get the leading role and who will be part of the cast based solely on your subjective observation. Control your set and lead by example, exhibiting professionalism at all times and make adjustments when necessary. Because this isn’t just the movie of your life, but also the chance of your life. Don’t allow your movie to be a low budget film when it has the potential to be a blockbuster!

LIGHTS! CAMERA! ACTION!

“HELP NEEDED”

When I read that a “Reader” requested this title for the month of December, I had to pause my thinking. Because I knew when selected members of society saw it, many would have preconceived concepts about what kind of “Help” prisoners “Need”, and how they can (or if they should) provide it. To those I would say: Don’t take it personal, look at it in a broader sense (unless you know an individual prisoner(s) who relies on your support). The “Help Needed” is that which would provide a more conducive prison environment for Rehabilitation. This in turn will ensure that prisoners being released back into their respective communities, will no longer pose a threat therein, and too, be a productive member thereof.

I’m sure that many prisoners writing under this topic will address the many needed programs that has been removed over the years, and some may even come up with some fresh ideas for additional programing. My primary focus in this post will be “Rehabilitation” … not for prisoners, but for those that the Michigan Department of Corrections hold out as our examples … Corrections Officers!

When I entered the system in 1977, I had a healthy respect for the “Prison Guards” and very little for the “System”. This role has been reversed. I have learned to respect the system and the “Corrections Officers” (most) have shown they’re no longer worthy of respect. What does this mean?

When “Corrections Officers” are not trained to deal with human beings, they come in with a cavalier attitude that’s centered around imposing their wills, and control. This is a direct result of training that consist primary of dealing with aggressive and animalistic behavior, as opposed to dealing with thinking, inspiring human beings.

So I think that the most profound change that can take place, is reinstating the training of the Corrections Officers to include dealing with human beings; thus, making them fit and worthy of the very title they prefer to be called these days: “Corrections Officers.” You can’t correct the behavior of those with whom you’re given charge, if your behavior is identical to theirs (like trying to remove the mote in someone else eye, with a beam in your own). I have watched to many men leave prison with the wrong attitude because of petty harassments & tickets from “Corrections Officers”, just prior to their release. This is not to say that all Corrections Officers are bad, they’re not. I’ve had intelligent conversations with many of them. However, under these adverse conditions, “One bad apple, can truly spoil the whole bunch”, with trickle down effects on members of society.

Re-training/Rehabilitating the “Guards” will go a long way in Motivating, and bringing about, The Change the reader spoke of.

“My dedication is keeping the promise I made to myself” (Duval Newsome El #149982/November 28, 2020)

THE LAST “TRUMP” CARD

[Hypothetically speaking: WHAT IF … ?] Most Americans are familiar with the card game “SPADES”. The game is usually played with four players (partners or every man for himself … cutthroat). Bids are made according to the strength of each player’s hand. If s/he has Aces or Face Cards, the bid is high (higher still, if they are SPADES). Counting cards is essential to making ones bid. Of course, SPADES are always “TRUMP”, with the ability to cut other suits if that player has none. The person or team, holding the last “TRUMP” card, WINS!

American politicians has been playing a SPADE game for the past four [hundred] years, and very few players and onlookers has accurately coined the cards. Donald Trump’s (D.T.) bid to win a second term, seems to have come up short, as it appears he has lost the SPADE game to Joe Biden (J.B.). Yes, the Democrats played their ACE in the hole by getting out the (so-called) Negro, Black and Colored (NBC)(SPADE) vote. The NBC came out in droves in support of J.B. and propelled him to (what appears to be) victory.

So why is D.T. and Republicans refusing to acknowledge J.B. as the victor? Why are they claiming that “The Democrats stole the election” and that “Millions of votes were cast ILLEGALLY?” What are we missing? Have we not counted the cards correctly?

D.T. has fired top Pentagon Officials and replaced them with D.T. loyalist. Look at some of the statements of key Trump Ad. & Sen. Sec. of St. Mike Pompeo stated: “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump Ad.” Att. Gen. Bill Barr has ordered Fed. Pros. to: “Find voting illegalities”. Sen. Ron Johnson(?) when asked if he called J.B. to congratulate him, responded: “Why, he hasn’t won anything.” Sen. Rick Scott also refused to acknowledge J.B. as the President Elect. Sen.Lynsey Gramm & Ted Cruz, not only refused to honor J.B., but encouraged D.T. not to concede and to “fight on”. The Sen. Majority leader, Mitch McConald, stated that D.T. was: “well within his rights to challenge the wide spread voting fraud in key battle ground states and to pursue his claims in a Court with the appropriate jurisdiction.”(The U.S. Supreme Court) All this while D.T. has ordered all Fed. Agencies: “Not to cooperate with J.B.’s transition team … no White House Intel Briefings and continue with normal operations.”

Again, what are we, as onlookers in this national SPADE game missing? Why is D.T. and his political cronies in the senate & House so confident that he will be declared the victor of the 2020 Elections? What do they know that “we” don’t? (WHAT IF …) D.T. was gearing up to play: “The Last TRUMP card” in the national SPADE game? All other cards have been played in what appears to be a winning hand by/for “President Elect” J.B. Now the world awaits D.T. to play.

Can America’s democratic process be “Trumped”? Sec. of St. Mike Pompeo also stated: “There is a process, and the Constitution says it pretty clearly … this process is going to be methodical and America need to be patient.” What’s in the U.S. Constitution that will allow for millions of votes to be declared ILLEGAL? Does not the constitution state that all citizens have the “right to vote”? So how could millions of “lawfully cast votes” be ILLEGAL? Are not so-called NBC people citizens of this great nation? According to the Constitution, NO!!! They have n Nationality! These “marks/names” were given to slaves by slave holders, and have never given those clinging to them, full citizenship. This is why the 14th & 15th Amend. were added to the U.S. Const. to give the NBCs the “privilege to vote” and Congress, in 1965, passed and signed into law, The Voting rights Act, to enforce that “privilege” unmolested by voter intimidation, etc. This Voting Rights Act has to ratify every 25 years by Congress and signed BACK INTO LAW by the sitting President. (WHAT IF …?) Ratification was due last year, and this “BILL” was currently on Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConalds desk UNSIGNED! And the Constitutionality of the names/marks of Negro, Black & Colored is challenged (in The Supreme Court) as not reflective of a Nationality under the 14th & 15th Amend.

What would this mean? It would be the ONLY WAY that D.T. could declare that millions of votes cast by NBC people were/are ILLEGAL and be right! [T]his would be “The Last TRUMP Card” in this National SPADE game. NBCs would have had NO LEGAL CONSTITUTIONAL ATHORITY TO VOTE IN THE 2020 ELECTIONS! And ALL ballots cast by those identifying themselves as Negro, Black or Colored would be voided under the Constitution, and there would be nothing anybody could do about it!

And, after a “Smooth transition of the second Trump Admin.” has taken place, D.T. could “Sign the Voting Rights Act of 1965” back into law, abolish the 14th & 15th Amend., and accurately claim to have “Done more for Blacks since Abraham Lincoln.” D.T. stated Nov. 5, 2020: “If you count the Legal Votes, I win easily.” He was right. His consolidation of power and refusal to conform to presidential norms, would be powerful indicators of him knowing the team/person holding the last TRUMP card … WINS! The ramifications of such a card being played would be huge! The world would shocked! NBCs awakened! And the Moorish Science Temple of America, Inc. would be overrunning with and by, NBCs seeking to proclaim their Nationalities and finally be recognized by this government as full American Citizens, under their Free National Name … MOORISH AMERICANS!

What makes the MSTA Inc., uniquely qualified to solve the NBC problem and nullify the SPADE game? Because:

“There is but one issue for them to be recognized by this government and of the earth and it comes only through the connection of the Moorish Divine National Movement, which is incorporated in this government and recognized by all other nations of the world. And through it they (NBC) and their children can receive their Divine (inalienable) rights, unmolested by other citizens that they can cast a free national ballot at the polls under the free national constitution of the States Government and not under a granted privilege as has been the existing condition for many generations.” (Moorish Literature, pg. 6) This is why its founder, Noble Drew Ali, said: “It’s going to take 10 secretaries (in some areas) and 16 secretaries (in other areas) just to write down the names (When He open the floodgates, and drive the Asiatics in).” Oral Statements No. 54 & 55.

In the Holy Bible, I Corinthians 15:51 & 52 it states: “Behold, I shew you a mystery (something we never knew); we (Asiatics) shall not all sleep (remain unconscious), but we shall all be changed (made aware, conscious). In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye (while nobody expected it), at (the playing of) THE LAST TRUMP (card): for the trumpet shall sound (the massage will be loud and clear), and the dead (Black people) shall be raised incorruptible (no longer able to be enslaved), and we (as Moors) shall be changed (from non-citizens to citizens).”

Peace.

By: D. Ismel Newsome El #149982

November 13, 2020