i am

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harlem, usa
same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. mjt975@msn.com.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Trump's deportation plans will likely benefit private prison companies

president donald trump promised to deport upwards of two million immigrants upon taking office. last week, a series of high-profile crackdowns put the country on alert. but when trump issued two major executive orders regarding immigration, the pending arrests and deportations struck fear into brown families.

in the same executive order calling for construction of a southern border wall, trump instructed immigration and custom enforcement (ice) to build out its sprawling network of immigration detention centers.

trump's executive order said starting "immediately," ice should construct new facilities, lease space for immigrants alongside inmates in existing local jails, and sign new contracts. these contacts are most likely to go to private prison companies.

in late january, a memo to top homeland security officials called for raising the number of immigrants ice incarcerates daily to 80,000 people. the number of detainees held daily - between 31,000 and 34,000 - reached a historic high of 41,000 last fall. ice detained over 352,000 people last year.

carl takei, staff attorney for the aclu's national prison project, said doubling the daily capacity to 80,000 "would require ice to sprint to add more capacity than the agency has ever added in its entire history."  and, takei warned, "we don't know if 80,00 if where he'll stop." detention experts have estimated it would take an extra $2 billion in government funding annually.

the private prison giant corecivic (formerly known as the corrections corporation of america) sees the expansion as a business opportunity. corcecivic president and ceo damon hininger said, "when coupled with the above average rate of crossings along the southwest border, these executive orders appear likely to significantly increase the need for safe, humane and appropriate detention bed capacity that we have available."   

another private prison company, management & training corporation, reportedly wants a contract with ice to reopen the willacy county correctional institution. this facility, known as a 'troubled detention camp,' held up to 2,000 ice detainees in kevlar tents between 2006 and 2011.

margo schlanger, a former obama administration official who served as homeland security's top authority on civil rights, opposes trump's bigoted initiatives. schlanger is deeply concerned about the improper oversight and potential overuse of inadequate safety measures, insufficient medical care, poor nutrition and solitary confinement.

schlanger said, "there are a lot of bad things that happen if the number of beds is ramped up fast, without appropriate controls, monitoring, supervision and care...that means detainees could die... you're vulnerable to the government saying to you, look, we'll let you out from detention, but you have to give up your immigration case."




Sunday, February 05, 2017

Serena Williams and Roger Federer win 2017 Australian Open Singles Titles

serena williams defeated her older sister and fellow american venus 6-4, 6-4 to win the 2017 australian open singles championship in melbourne park. williams now has 23 major singles titles, one more than steffi graf of germany. the all-time leader is margaret court of australia with 24.

during the awards ceremony, williams said, "i really would like to take this moment to congratulate venus. there's no way i'd be at 23 titles, or i'd be at one. she's my inspiration. she's my world. thank you venus for inspiring me to be the best player i could be." 

williams, 35, regained her number one ranking from angelique kerber of germany. kerber beat williams in the 2016 australian open, and became number one after winning the u.s. open last year. serena improved her career record against venus to 17-11, including 7-2 in major finals.

roger federer of switzerland defeated rafael nadal of spain 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 to win the 2017 australian open singles championship in melbourne park. federer now has 18 major singles titles, which is the most all-time among men. federer improved his world ranking to #10 with his victory.

federer, 35, said afterwards, "against rafa it's always epic. this one means a lot to me because he's caused me problems over the years. federer beat four top 10 players - tomas berdych, kei nishikori, stan wawrinka and nadal - which is extraordinary; he missed six months last year due to injuries.

federer had not won a major since 2012 at wimbledon. his career record against nadal is now 23-12. federer said, "i'd like to congratulate rafa on an amazing comeback, too. i don't think either one of us thought we would be in the final at the australian open this year. i am happy for you. i would've been happy to lose to you tonight, too, really." 

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Life Parolees are serving substantially longer prison terms

the sentencing project on tuesday released its latest report entitled, delaying a second chance: the declining prospects for parole on life sentences by nazgol ghandnoosh, phd. the report found tens of thousands of people serving life sentences eligible for release are now serving longer prison terms than their counterparts.

over the past three decades many governors, legislatures and parole boards have toughened lifer parole policies and practices - effectively increasing prison terms for over 110,000 individuals serving parole-eligible life sentences.

in eight jurisdictions for which data is available since the 1980s, average time served by paroled lifers with murder convictions doubled from 11.6 years for those paroled in the 1980s to 23.2 years for those paroled between 2000 and 2013. the report studied data in arkansas, california, florida, montana, nebraska, south carolina, washington and wisconsin.

the growth in time served among people with parole-eligible life sentences is prevalent at a time of increasing bipartisan support for criminal justice reform. furthermore, given the criminological evidence which shows as people in prison age, their risk of recidivism greatly diminishes.

the report's findings draw on a national survey in which 31 states and the federal government provided data for available years since 1980. a supplement document provides overviews of lifer parole policies and outcomes in each of these jurisdictions.