2 of 8: DOES THE 13TH AMENDMENT APPLY TO ME?

SCHOOL FUNDING vs. PRISON APPROPRIATIONS:

What do I mean? Well, have you ever wondered for example why, aside from demographics, why most, “not all,” but why most doctors across the country are often white or of Asian descent. Well it’s most certainly not because black children don’t aspire to be doctors or aren’t capable of achieving a doctorate. If that’s what you thought then please Google the recently publicized: College Admissions Scandals. And then look up surgeon Daniel Hale Williams, who in 1893 performed the first “successful” open heart surgery shortly after founding Provident Hospital in 1891. Provident Hospital was not only the first black owned hospital, but unlike other hospitals it welcomed an interracial staff, and provided a nurses training school for black women during a time when they were barred from participating in such programming elsewhere.

Then check out hematologist and surgeon Charles Richard Drew, who in the 1930’s when medical science hadn’t yet figured out how to preserve blood for no longer than a few days, he took it upon himself to set up the first blood bank after separating and discovering that blood plasma, which is the liquid portion of blood without cells, can be stored for much longer terms.

While we’re in the researching mood check out scientist and mathematician Benjamin Banneker, who amongst many more things is known as “the man who saved Washington D.C.. From memory Banneker planned the survey and reconstructed the blueprint for the building of the Nation’s capital city – Washington D.C. in as little as two days, after Pierre L’Enfant, a French engineer abruptly abandoned the project and took with him his drafted plans. After executing such an insurmountable task in so little time, this world renowned astronomer, Benjamin Banneker went on to print a series of ten annual almanacs, in which he accurately predicted solar eclipses and the movements of celestial bodies.

How about aeronautical mathematician Katherine Johnson, who graduated from highschool at the tender age of fourteen? Then went on to participate in advanced collegiate programs that led her to perform phenomenal works with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), by helping the country execute feats that never would’ve been accomplished without her assistance for many years to come. What are some of these accomplishments you may be wondering? Well for starters in 1959 she calculated the flight trajectory for the first American to go into space, and three years later in 1962 she verified the mathematics for John Glenn’s orbit around the earth, and most memorable and equally amazing if not more amazing, she calculated the flight trajectory for Apollo 11’s one and only flight to the moon in 1969.

And what about Thurgood Marshall-the Social Architect. He won numerous notable cases in private practice, one of which was 1954’s Brown v. Board of Education. Which challenged and overturned the U.S. Supreme Court’s long standing “separate but equal” standard decided in Plessy v. Ferguson back in 1896, and out of the 32 cases he argued before the United States Supreme Court he won 29 of them. Then followed his flawless record up with becoming a United States Court of Appeals judge who never had not one of his 112 opinions overturned on appeal — before earning the position of Solicitor General of the United States, and ultimately Justice of the United States Supreme Court of America.

And lastly we have billionaire Robert Smith, who recently paid it forward by paying off Morehouse’s entire graduating class of 2019 student loan debts. So hopefully this brief glance of contributions hidden amongst a sea of many more clears up any misconceptions of what blacks are capable of creating, achieving and have contributed to the advancements of this country. However, there’s a whole ‘nother class of students that you may never get to hear about due to the fact that their potential is often stunted far before it can even be nurtured and realized. And this class of students are the products of what’s known as the Preschool To Prison Pipeline.

Have you ever heard of it? In many districts funding for public school education has been etched away so badly that schools are getting shutdown left and right, and for the ones that do remain open, in certain communities teachers sometimes have no option but to spend personal funds on needed supplies, or set up school supply drives just to supplement the lack of resources allocated towards their profession. For more info Google wxyz.com; which is one of Detroit’s leading news stations for reports on school funding, and teacher hosted school supply drives that were orchestrated by teachers.

How does lack of funding contribute to this “so-called” Preschool to Prison Pipeline that I speak of you’re wondering? Well, it contributes because lack of funding leads to a lack of opportunities, and the lack of opportunities creates disparities in success. And as Thurgood Marshall stressed: whether it be by statute or through unspoken rules, the practice of separate treatment can never be equal. In an effort to avoid these unspoken practices you have individuals like Tanya McDowell and Kelly Williams; wherefore one of them, if not both found themselves sentenced to time in jail for simply changing a zip code to get her child into a good school district. While individuals of affluence who went to unacceptable extremes to get their unqualified children into college were sentenced to only a few days, if any at all. Now one thing that I do know is that our children are smart. Many of them have the ability to be lawyers, doctors, astrologers and more, but the reality for the ones caught up in the judicial system is that from day one many of them have been streamlined through the educational system and right into the prison system, or perhaps on their way, and here’s how it breaks down.

What is “Defunding the Police”?

Don’t be alarmed by Black Lives Matters call to “defund” the police. Defunding the police means that we set up community security to protect us. Community officers will still have the power to make legal arrest and perform the same duties that police perform right now. However, the “Peace-Officers” will be people who come from our communities, not infiltrators who come in and murder us.

Under the present system, police officer have “qualified immunity” that protects police officers from law suits even if they intentionally murder someone without good cause. Why can doctors be sued if they accidentally kill a patient in the operating room, but the police cannot be sues for murdering someone in cold blood.

The reason that police officers get away with murder and still keep their jobs is because the “Police Officer’s Union” has too much power. The Police Union has tens of thousands of members who stick together. They lobby the government and use their voting power to get politicians to make laws in their favor. More importantly, Police Officer Unions use their negotiation power to force cities and states to expand the rights of police officers. For example, it is hard to fire a police officer because the Police Union negotiated a deal that makes it mandatory that fired police get many opportunities to appeal their job loss. And there is a high burden of proof to uphold the firing of a police officer. That is why most police officers get their jobs back.

The Police Officer’s Union negotiated deals that protect police at the expense disregard for citizens.

By Defunding the police, we can take the power away from the Police Union. We can reinvest tax money into community based law enforcement, crime prevention, education, community recreation and other programs that will uplift the community, instead of destroying it.

We are intelligent enough to find good people within our communities to protect us. There is no need for outsiders to come in and occupy our communities. Police officer are coming in and intimidating, exploiting and murdering black people. White People commit three times as many crimes in this country and they are arrest three times more often then African Americans, yet the police kill three times as many Black People than White People. This is nothing new, it has always been this way. So it let’s you know that white police officer’s don’t value Black Lives. They kill us like were dogs in the street and don’t lose an ounce of sleep over it.

We need to stop spending our tax money to pay police officers who have immunity to murder Black People. And don’t be fooled. If police reform does not get rid of qualified immunity that protects murderous police officers, then it is not dealing with the systemic part of racism in the police department.

P.S You can write to me at
Ernest K. Hall El #196363
Thumbs Corr. Facility 
3225 John Conely Dr.
Lapeer, Michigan 48446

Please put your return address on the letter itself because the prison does not give me the envelop, or you can go to J-Pay.com to send me an email. I will respond to all messages.

Funding Our Own Incarceration-Charles A. Jackson

FUNDING OUR OWN INCARCERATION
BY CHARLES A. JACKSON BEY
As we know the cost of living in the outside world has been going up and the battle for minimum wage has reached nearly ten dollars per hour throughout Michigan. Be mindful the institutional factory jobs has been removed throughout Michigan prison system, as well as our work bonuses for the remaining jobs such as food service. Over the last 30years prison wages have not gone up! throughout Michigan, it is widely known that state prisoners such as myself can barely support ourselves with a prison job adding to pennies a day. We are considered blessed if we have the help of family and friends. It should be noted once again that prison wages have not increased in over 30years. Yet the prison store prices have gone up! Along with prison job pay scales going down. On top of limiting us to only 200 hours as food service workers, with a starting rate at 17.5¢ unskilled, 23.5¢ semiskilled, and 32.5¢ skilled per hour, consider how prisoners are being held responsible for the following living expenses toward funding our own incarceration:

A. Hygiene supplies including sales tax

B. Over-the-counter medications,
including sales tax

C. Co-payments for medical, dental, optical services, in the amount of $5.00 per visit individually

D. Legal photocopies along with notary
services in the amount of $1.00 per notary.

Pursuant to MDOC policy directive PD 03.04.101, which governs medical service providers to charge prisoners a $5.00 medical co-payment for all medical services as delineated above, placing extreme hardship on all prisoners! so this alone does save the state and prison system thousands of dollars. This is in addition to the fact that all the work we do would otherwise cost the state money to hire people from outside to do, which means prisoners are taking on the many facility operations.

Also look how we add additional funding to our own incarceration, comparing store prices from 2008 to those of 2020:

*noodles then 20¢ now 35¢
*white rice then 65¢ now $1.39
*chili no beans then $1.45 now $3.33
*peanut butter then $1.70 now $3.29
*tuna fish then $1.30 now $4.42
*footlocker then $79.40 now $112.00
*protein powder then $10.90 now $15.51
*cough drops then 65¢ now 93¢
*stamped envelope then 41¢ now 59¢
*Colgate toothpaste then $1.50 now $2.80 
*Soap then 40¢ for Ivory, 60¢ for Dial, now 65¢ for off-brand

Keep in mind that in reality we are unable to actually afford any of these items on a 17, 23, or 32¢ income, so that means that those of us who are blessed to still have family, friends, and love ones to help support us are the ones actually being fleeced. Which they are the actual tax paying citizens funding our own incarceration through the Securepak ordering system, phone system, J-pay Music, and the fee for sending financial aid to our accounts just so we can keep funding our own incarceration through the system of highway robbery with no gun!

My last critical point which I want to enlighten readers to is this Safe & Just Michigan gave the two following statements in the spring of 2019:

1) People incarcerated in Michigan are serving some of the longest sentences in the nation, with an average minimum sentence that is 10.3 years and growing, and
2) Michigan’s prison population has fallen 23% between 2006, when it reached its largest size of 51,515 people, and 2017.

These two statements might sound like they cancel each other out, but both statements are true. The paradox is one of the interesting facts brought to light in the Michigan Department of Corrections’ 2017 statistical report, which was released in January 2019. It’s no coincidence that the average minimum prison sentence is rising at the same time the overall prison population is declining. In fact, the two are related. In recent years, efforts have been made to find ways to divert people from prison for offenses that bring shorter prison sentences. Problem-solving courts, such as substance use courts and mental health courts, offer treatment programs instead of prison time. This has reduced the state’s prison population. However, that has done nothing to reduce the number of people who are still serving long-term sentences. While people serving sentences of 20years or more comprised 18.3% of the prison population in 1998, as of 2017 they represent 31.7% of the population. We have fewer people coming to prison, but those who are coming are coming for a longer time, adding to the system of funding our own incarceration along with the tax-paying citizens of Michigan being fleece.

According to a report by the Senate Fiscal Agency, a reduction in 13,000 prison beds would result in a $494,000,000 savings. Even with this decrease Michigan still has an incredible amount of work to do in order to lower the prison population further. Even with that cut over the last 14years, Michigan still spends over $2 billion on corrections alone. Like many states, Michigan has reached a critical point in the status of it’s corrections department. Instead it should be Michigan Department of Corruption or Misusing Michiganders’ Deposits on Corruption because the MDOC has deviated from the concept of Michigan Department of Corrections. Because in reality that term would represent an individual being corrected from their error by being rehabilitated through adequate programming, restorative justice, and prison reform.

So you citizens should be fed up! with the lies and misuse of your tax dollars going towards the funding of our own incarceration!!! I know I am, what about you???