There is a point, where a life could crash…We can give some hope!

There is a point, where a life could crash…We can give some hope!


ACLU AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION

Because freedom can’t protect itself.

A Living Death: Sentenced to Die Behind Bars for What?
A Living Death: Life Without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses

For 3,278 people, it was nonviolent offenses like stealing a $159 jacket or serving as a middleman in the sale of $10 of marijuana. An estimated 65% of them are Black. Many of them were struggling with mental illness, drug dependency or financial desperation when they committed their crimes. None of them will ever come home to their parents and children. And taxpayers are spending billions to keep them behind bars.

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Stealing tools from a shed Carrying drugs for an abusive boyfriend Taking a wallet from a hotel room Having someone hide drugs in your home Borrowing a co-worker's truck Watch the video: A Living Death

Patrick W. Matthews: Stealing Tools from a Tool ShedPatrick W. Matthews

Stealing Tools from a Tool Shed

Patrick Matthews was arrested while riding in the truck of a friend who pawned stolen tools and a welding machine, which he was convicted of stealing. Patrick is now 25. Since he was sentenced to die in prison three years ago, he has completed his GED, and participates in Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous. “I never in the world would’ve thought that could happen,” he says. “Made one mistake and was treated like a murderer.” Patrick had no violent criminal history and had never served a single day in a Department of Corrections facility. He desperately misses his two young children, Blayton and Hayley, who are eight and six years old. One of the judges who reviewed Patrick’s appeal said he did not “believe that the ends of justice are met by a mandatory sentence for this 22-year-old,” but that legislation mandated sending Patrick away for the rest of his life because of unarmed burglary convictions when he was 17. …

Teresa Griffin: Carrying Drugs for an Abusive BoyfriendTeresa Griffin

Carrying Drugs for an Abusive Boyfriend

Teresa Griffin was sentenced to die behind bars for her first offense. She was 26 and seven months pregnant when police apprehended her with $38,500 of her boyfriend’s cash and half a pound of his cocaine. Several years before, she told her boyfriend that she was leaving him. According to Griffin, he hit her and threatened to kill her and take two of her children away if she left him. He was extremely jealous and controlling, and forbade her to go to school or work. Teresa says her boyfriend used her as a mule to transport drugs between Texas and Oklahoma, and forced her to pick up the cash proceeds of his drug sales. Griffin, now 47, has served 22 years in prison and says she feels immense remorse for her actions. “I would give anything…to be able to make different decisions,” she says. “I know I did something wrong, but not enough to take away my life.”

Video: A Living Death

Can you imagine a mother without her oldest son? A father who will never make it home for his kids’ birthdays?
It’s not too late to give these families hope.
Watch this video and help us fight extreme sentences for nonviolent crimes – sentences that have reached absurd, tragic and costly heights.

 

 
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Anthony Jerome Jackson: Taking a Wallet from a Hotel RoomAnthony Jerome Jackson

Taking a Wallet from a Hotel Room

Andrew Jackson has a sixth-grade education and worked as a cook. He was convicted of burglary for stealing a wallet from a Myrtle Beach hotel room when he was 44 years old. According to prosecutors, he woke two vacationing golfers as he entered the room and stole a wallet, then pretended to be a security guard and ran away. Police arrested him when he tried to use the stolen credit card at a pancake house. According to Jackson, because his court-appointed attorney failed to properly prepare for trial and did not even know the charges against him, Jackson chose to represent himself but did not understand anything during his trial. Because of two prior convictions for burglary, Jackson was sentenced to mandatory life without parole under South Carolina’s three-strikes law. “I felt hurt and afraid [of] the ending of life,” Jackson said. He speaks weekly with his mother, a pastor.
 
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Stephanie Yvette George: Having Someone Hide Drugs in Your HomeStephanie Yvette George

Having Someone Hide Drugs in Your Home

Stephanie Yvette George was a 23-year-old single mother of three when police found drugs hidden in a lockbox in her attic. The father of one of George’s children confessed the drugs were his, and George says she had no idea the drugs were hidden in her home. She was convicted of playing a minor role in a crack cocaine conspiracy. At her sentencing hearing, the judge said George’s role in drug dealing had “basically been as a girlfriend and bag holder and money holder.” He did not want to sentence her to die in prison, but his “hands [were] tied” because of her prior convictions for minor drug offenses three years earlier. George’s children desperately miss their mother. Her daughter, Kendra, says, “I wish she was around to talk with me, see me off to the prom, or come see me graduate from high school…I miss her so much.”

Aaron Jones: Borrowing a Co-Worker's TruckAaron Jones

Borrowing a Co-Worker’s Truck

After serving two years in prison during his mid-twenties for inadvertently killing someone during a bar fight, Aaron Jones turned his life around. He earned an electrical technician degree, married, became an ordained reverend, and founded the Perfect Love Outreach Ministry. Years later, Aaron was hired to renovate a motel in Florida, and was living in an employee-sponsored apartment with two other workers, one of whom had a truck that was used as a company vehicle by all the co-workers. Jones decided to drive this truck home to Louisiana to visit his wife and four children. When Aaron’s co-worker woke up to find his truck missing, he reported it stolen. Aaron was pulled over by police while driving the truck. He has already served 14 years and will be in prison in Louisiana until he dies. He says of his sentence, “You are just waiting for your number to be called, to heaven or hell.”

Map: A Living Death

Of the 3,278 prisoners doing life for nonviolent crimes, 63% were sentenced by federal courts; the rest are in nine state prison systems. Click here to meet some of the individual prisoners waiting to die behind bars and see where they’re serving time. These accounts include interviews with prisoners’ parents, children, and spouses who have been punished emotionally and economically by their loved ones’ permanent absence.

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GO TO AND Watch more:  https://www.aclu.org/living-death-sentenced-die-behind-bars-what

 

Americans are paying more attention now to the question: “Why do we have so many prisoners?” with so many behind brs for drug charges – when the legalization of marijuana spreads across the country

Americans are paying more attention now to the question: “Why do we have so many prisoners?” with so many behind brs for drug charges – when the legalization of marijuana spreads across the country


English: Leaf of Cannabis עברית: עלה של קנביס
English: Leaf of Cannabis עברית: עלה של קנביס (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Scooped by Circle of Hope
Locked Up in America: Visualizing Mass Incarceration in the United States | CIRCLE OF HOPE | Scoop.it
From                    www.tikkun.org                – October 19, 8:13 AM

With so many behind bars for drug charges at a time when the legalization of marijuana spreads across the country, Americans are paying more attention to the question, “Why do we have so many prisoners?

50 Years After the Community Mental Health Act, the Best Reporting on Mental Health Care Today

50 Years After the Community Mental Health Act, the Best Reporting on Mental Health Care Today


50 Years After the Community Mental Health Act, the Best Reporting on Mental Health Care Today

How far have we come? Journalists take a hard look at our nation’s system of caring for the mentally ill.

President John F. Kennedy signs the Community Mental Health Act into law on Oct. 31, 1963. (Bill Allen/AP Photo)

    by Christie Thompson ProPublica,  Nov. 5, 2013, 10:57 a.m.

Fifty years ago last week, President John F. Kennedy signed the Community Mental Health Act. The law signaled a shift in thinking about how we care for the mentally ill: instead of confining them into institutions, the act was supposed to create community mental health centers to provide support.

But studies on the prevalence of mental illness among inmates [1] and the homeless [2] (PDF) show many patients are ending up on the street or in jail, instead of served by the treatment centers envisioned in the law. The homes that do exist are often subject to loose laws and regulations, leaving already fragile patients vulnerable to further abuse and neglect.

How far have we come? Here are some important reads on the state of mental health care today. Additions? Tweet them with the hashtag #MuckReads, or leave them in the comments below.

Milwaukee County mental health system traps patients in cycle of emergency care [3], Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 2013

In Wisconsin, psychiatric patients are often put through a revolving door of treatment: Experience a breakdown. Get arrested and brought to the emergency ward. Be released just a few days later. Repeat. Overall, “one of every three persons treated at the [psychiatric] emergency room returns within 90 days.”

Schizophrenic. Killer. My Cousin. [4], Mother Jones, May 2013

When a parent is faced with an ill, potentially violent child, where can they turn? Journalist Mac McClelland details how community outreach in the 1970s and 1980s allowed her aunt to stay “independent until the very end.” Thirty-four years and billions of dollars in mental health cutbacks [5] later, her cousin’s battle with schizophrenia came to a much more tragic conclusion.

Nevada buses hundreds of mentally ill patients to cities around country [6], Sacramento Bee, April 2013

Psychiatric patient James Flavy Coy Brown got off a bus in Sacramento [7] with no money, no medication, and no idea why he was there. He’d been sent to the California capital from a hospital in Las Vegas, who had regularly been discharging patients and busing them across the country. Patients are only supposed to be sent to other states when there’s a clear plan for their care. But stories like Brown’s show how many patients fall through the cracks….

PLEASE; READ WHOLE ARTICLE HERE: http://www.propublica.org/article/50-years-after-the-community-health-act-the-best-reporting-on-mental-health?utm_source=et&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailynewsletter

With so many behind bars for drug charges when the legalization of marihuana spreads across the country? Circle of Hope asks

With so many behind bars for drug charges when the legalization of marihuana spreads across the country? Circle of Hope asks


English: Leaf of Cannabis עברית: עלה של קנביס
English: Leaf of Cannabis עברית: עלה של קנביס (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Scooped by Circle of Hope onto CIRCLE OF HOPE
German Firm Blocked Shipments to U.S. Distributor After Drug Sent for Executions!

German Firm Blocked Shipments to U.S. Distributor After Drug Sent for Executions!


Scooped by Circle of Hope onto  CIRCLE OF HOPE
From         www.reuters.com                – October 14, 5:56 PM
Who Knows, Really Knows, what´s Going on in Prison? Par Example Glenn Miller, Best Selling Dug War and Prison Author

Who Knows, Really Knows, what´s Going on in Prison? Par Example Glenn Miller, Best Selling Dug War and Prison Author


Sunday, April 14, 2013

O.k. it´s over: BUT here is a Video:

Best Selling Drug War and Prison Author Glenn Langohr Speaks to the Producer of “Legalize It” and Judge Gray

Best Selling Drug War and Prison Author Glenn Langohr Speaks to the Producer of “Legalize It” and Judge Gray

http://bit.ly/132NR1j Here I am at the film “Legalize it” with Judge Gray, discussing the Drug War. Good times.

“Backbone” of mental illness stigma common in 15 countries studied

“Backbone” of mental illness stigma common in 15 countries studied


Rethink Mental Illness
Rethink Mental Illness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

‘Backbone’ of mental illness stigma common in 16 countries studied
April 11th, 2013 in Psychology & Psychiatry

An international study found that despite widespread acceptance that mental illness is a disease that can be effectively treated, a common “backbone” of prejudice exists that unfairly paints people with conditions such as depression and schizophrenia as undesirable for close personal relationships and positions of authority.

This backbone, say the Indiana University sociologists who led the study, spanned the 16 diverse countries examined. While the findings might be discouraging to mental health advocates, the data can be used to reconfigure public health efforts to reduce stigma and to determine important issues for treatment providers to consider.

“If the public understands that mental illnesses are medical problems but still reject individuals with mental illness, then educational campaigns directed toward ensuring inclusion become more salient,” the authors wrote in “The ‘Backbone’ of Stigma: Identifying the Global Core of Public Prejudice Associated With Mental Illness,” published online early in a special issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

The researchers analyzed data from the IU-led Stigma in Global Context – Mental Health Study, which talked with 19,508 study participants about customized vignettes. The vignettes portrayed someone suffering either from depression, schizophrenia or, the control group, asthma. The countries represented a diverse range geographically, developmentally and politically, with at least one country on each inhabitable continent.

Even in countries with cultures more accepting of mental illness, the “backbone” of stigma was detected, encompassing issues involving caring for children, marriage, self-harm and holding roles of authority or civic responsibility. The stigma was even stronger toward people with schizophrenia.

Stigma is considered a major obstacle to effective treatment for many Americans who experience these devastating illnesses. It can produce discrimination in employment, housing, medical care and social relationships, and have a negative impact on the quality of life for these individuals and their families and friends.

“The stereotype of all people with mental illness as ‘not able’ is just wrong. No data supports this,” said Bernice Pescosolido, sociology professor in the IU College of Arts and Sciences and an internationally recognized expert in the field of mental health stigma. “With the prevalence of mental health problems being so high, no individuals or families will go untouched by these issues. They need to understand that recovery is not only possible but has been documented.”

Pescosolido chairs the international advisory council for Bring Change 2 Mind, a not-for-profit organization established by actress and activist Glenn Close to reduce the prejudice and discrimination associated with mental illness. BC2M was cited in the journal article, along with Mental Health First Aai, an organization that helps people understand and assist others who might be experiencing a mental health crisis.

“Forward-thinking organizations base their work both on community ties and science—this works best in terms of making change efforts realistic, effective and resonate with individuals, families, providers and policymakers,” Pescosolido said. “Hopefully the work of organizations like these can find the support necessary to create personal and institutional social change.

Provided by Indiana University

“‘Backbone’ of mental illness stigma common in 16 countries studied.” April 11th, 2013. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-04-backbone-mental-illness-stigma-common.html