Will Colorado go back in time or will we continue our forward movement? We will be deciding the position of Governor and we have much to be wringing our hands over. The challenger in this race has set forth some very disturbing justice policies and even overstated his power to change justice policies in this state which suggests that he may rule with an iron fist...so to speak.
Now those of you who may not really be involved with the juvenile justice system, criminal justice system or prisons may wonder why you should care? You should care because of Colorado's historical love affair with prisons, the amount of prisons we house in this state, the rate of incarceration in this state and that we have no reform programs in place for juvenile intervention but choose to send them to detention (prisons). You should care because all of these hard justice policies perpetuate poverty, poor education and unhealthy communities. Why? Because you have to fund prisons at the cost of communities, education and reform programs. This suggest to me that the challenger in the governor's race has a love affair with prison and has no idea the cost to humanity in holding to this love affair.
Overuse of prisons, an undoing of parole systems, and harsh sentencing practices will ravage our education budgets, social systems and our public use budgets. Prisons cost a lot of money and the money has to come from somewhere.
As you can plainly see the positions held by this candidate do not serve our community philosophies of education, reform and strong communities. Not if cutting treatment programs in deemed the right thing to do.
There is another issue at stake here. Anyone who wants to speed up the process of the death penalty and the execution of this sentence shows me they have little respect for human life or the desire to insure that justice has been served before taking a human life.
Another issue that raise question is the platform stand for prosecutors, law enforcement and funding for these departments. So who would this candidate truly be representing, the people of this state or his interest groups? Even to the point where the desire is stated to switch the tax revenue from retail marijuana from education to law enforcement. Our children are not important, a better, stronger and better educated community is not important?
Many of you have already voted so the following information is to prepare you for the future in Colorado should this candidate win. The rest who have yet to vote...this is for your consideration. Read on -
© Beauprez for Colorado 2014 | All Rights Reserved
Paid for by Beauprez for Colorado | P.O. Box 727, Lafayette, CO 80026
A Safer Colorado Public safety is the government's primary role; as such it is the principal job of the governor to ensure the safety of the state’s neighborhoods, and the security of persons and property, from crime. Unfortunately, over the past four years, criminal justice has taken a back seat. The scales have tilted decidedly in favor of those who break the law, and against victims of crime and those who serve to try and keep our communities safe. Criminal justice laws have been written more for the benefit of public defenders and the ACLU than for the protection of the citizens; justice and law and order have been replaced by politically correct social experimentation - with often tragic results. Colorado needs a governor who knows what his responsibilities are, and who is committed to restoring justice to the justice system.
Truth in Sentencing
© Beauprez for Colorado 2014 | All Rights Reserved
Paid for by Beauprez for Colorado | P.O. Box 727, Lafayette, CO 80026
This is a question we should all ask ourselves. What is the purpose of sending a person to prison? Do we want to harm them? Do we want to be sure they are punished, stripped of humanity and demoralized? If that is our intention then what kind of person do we expect to walk out of those prison doors? Because they will all leave prison one day.
Prisons in the United States, the system, the wardens in charge of these prisons and apparently the American public seem to support punishment, dehumanization and oppression. The American public and the prison systems that it funds seek to strip every person held in prisons of their humanity and their dignity. American prisons promote harm and not rehabilitation. So the final question to ask is what makes the United States government and the citizens who support the prison system as it currently operates any better than the people they have condemned to serve time in prisons?
Every day in the United States there are violent events inside of prison. Guards through men, women and kids to the ground with their faces ground into cement floors. Every day in the United Stated there are men, women and kids held in sensory deprivation cells called solitary confinement. Every day in the United States there are men, women and kids who are humiliated, bullied and repeatedly told, through the action and atmosphere of prison, that they are worth nothing. How is this supposed to improve the behavior of anyone and how is that supposed to make our communities better?
We need to take a good hard look at ourselves and then ask if there is a better way? Most other nations do have a better way. We choose to be brutal. They choose humanitarian conditions that promote rehabilitation, wellness and success.
Please watch this clip and then join the voices for change. Warden of Attica visits The Norden in Norway.
Here in America, hidden from public scrutiny, are detention facilities for mothers, children and families. Yes we, as American citizens, detain women and children behind razor wire, secure gates in locked facilities and although they are named "residential facilities", they look like prisons to me. The photographs below are from the T. Don Hutto Facility in Texas.
While many in America debate the issue of illegal immigration, the government has instituted more than 70 contracted facilities where immigrants are detained awaiting the outcome of their cases. Mothers, fathers, children. We are truly a nation of prisons. Aside from incarcerating our own population at alarming rates, we choose to incarcerate those who come to us seeking refuge from the conditions in their native countries. It seems that if we don't have a solution to a problem in our society we just build prisons, lock the problem away and pretend like it is all solved. That is called sweeping it under the rug. These are people...people who are in need of help...need a port in a storm and we lock 'em up.
From ACLU: (read more..)
In 2009, the administration wisely decided to stop detaining families at the T. Don Hutto Detention Center in Taylor, Texas, following years of ACLU litigation and other advocacy on the deplorable conditions of confinement and treatment of children at the facility. In the summer 2014, however, the administration reversed course and ramped up its efforts to detain families.
Virtually overnight the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) opened two new family detention facilities in Artesia, New Mexico, and Karnes County, Texas. And in November, ICE will start detaining families at a new detention facility in Dilley, Texas, which will have a 2,400-bed capacity and will be the single largest immigration detention facility in the nation. In just a few short months, family detention will jump from fewer than 100 beds as of May 2014 to nearly 4,000 in 2015.
That's a staggering increase of 3,900 percent in less than one year. That's not a typo.
Many of the moms and kids arriving in the United States have fled gang-related or severe domestic violence in Central America. Nonetheless, a recent complaintprepared by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Human Rights First documents allegations involving guards and staff at the detention facility in Karnes, Texas, engaged in sexual abuse and harassment of detained mothers.
History has shown that imprisoning families limits access to due process, harms the physical and mental health of children, undermines the family structure by stripping parents of their authority, and results in abuse of detainees. Moms and kids should not be locked up by our government. Rather they should be given mental health treatment and care appropriate for trauma survivors. Instead of scaling up family detention facilities, DHS should be investing in effective, humane, and cost-effective alternatives to institutional detention.
Can we not find a better solution? Do we want to be responsible for this? Is this what we want to be known for? We can do better than this! Thank you, ACLU for standing for humane treatment of immigrants in this nation.
Sometimes there are no happy endings. Sometimes there is no GOOD that comes out of a BAD thing.
Sometimes it just IS....broken, painful and very, very sad. The judge in this case is correct. All of this is only a statement about how far we have fallen.
"At Friday's sentencing hearing, Dunn apologized to Davis' parents.
"I want the Davis family to know that I truly regret what happened. If I could roll back time and do things differently, I would," he said. "I am mortified that I took a life whether it was a justified or not."
Davis' mother, Lucia McBath said she always taught her son to love and to forgive.
"Therefore, I too must be willing to forgive and so I choose to forgive you Mr. Dunn for taking my son's life," McBath said in court."
Life for Loud Music Killing
While the high courts of this nation realize that children and juveniles are not capable of understanding the impact their actions may have on human life, apparently it has not changed the practices of charging juveniles. A Pennsylvania boy has been transferred to adult court to face charges of murder. Hopefully someone from the juvenile justice reform community has caught wind of this and is racing to his aid....before it is too late.
Recently in Colorado our juvenile justice system experienced two large victories. Colorado Juvenile Defender Coalition and those associated with this organization worked diligently to get two sweeping changes made regarding the representation and protection of juveniles in conflict with the law. It is no longer possible to have a juvenile case automatically remanded to adult court with an investigation and a hearing. It is also now a requirement for juveniles to be represented by counsel anytime they must appear in court. Thank you for the fight!
There is a shred of truth to their statement. There is no systematic use of solitary confinement in the United States, meaning there is no criteria, no rules governing, no safeguards and no accountability for the use of solitary......it is totally arbitrary and without governance. The exact reason we ALL take issue with this practice.
Thank you Solitary Watch for posting this article and for making us aware of the inaccurate stance of our government when confronted by the issue of solitary confinement.
Advocates against the frequent and prolonged use of solitary have done much research, communicated with inmates who have been held for years in these inhumane conditions and heard the heart wrenching stories from mothers whose children were held in solitary "for their own protection". The blatant denial by our government of the use of solitary confinement on a regular basis for prolonged periods of time should be held as a "slap in the face" of the international officials who are seeking entrance and oversight of these practices.
I have personally experienced the prolonged use of solitary confinement with my son. From the time of my sons arrest he was held in solitary confinement "for his protection" with the lights on 24 hours a day. He had never been in trouble with the law before. He had never spent time away from home. He had never even been suspended from school. So here is a kid locked in a cell with no human contact, treated as a criminal and hated by all the staff. Imagine the trauma. I know of many mothers and advocates for teens who tell the same stories. Every investigation done and reported on by Solitary Watch and other prison watchdog agencies report the same information. Solitary Confinement is used far too often for far too long with far too many people in this country. You can deny it all you want in your reports, BOP, but the facts remain the same. We treat people without respect, without concern for their welfare and with no regard for human dignity in our prisons. Prison is supposed to be for correction, not punishment and destruction.
Please read the complete article and the statements made by the United States Government. U.S. Government Tells UN Committee on Torture: “There Is No Systematic Use of Solitary Confinement in the United States”
America is always shocked, bewildered and then angry when a child kills his/her parents. The media goes into a frenzy every time a shooter takes multiple lives. We all wonder why these things happen? Why do these people escape the notice of neighbors, teachers, co-workers and even medical professionals? The truth is they don't.
The American public has been programmed to seek "the magic pill", through suggestive advertising and the focus of the medical community on symptoms instead of life changing cures. We are told that if you aren't quite "feeling like yourself", there is a pill that will make it better. Our friends talk about their medications, it comes up in workplace conversation and drug companies are allowed to advertise, promote and challenge you to ask your doctor about the benefits of their product. As a result of these fabrications and misconceptions Americans have become addicted, if not to the pharmaceutical itself, to the idea that we should always feel at our best.
The majority of addicts are not in prisons but in our communities because the drugs that they are dependent on are legal, publicly accepted and widely prescribed. Some of these drugs may also be the cause of the walking time bombs that go off in the form of mass shootings and other violent disasters involving children, teens and adults in our cities. The travesty in all of this is that the medical community. drug companies and the FDA are completely aware of these potential dangers and have done little to address the problem. While we hear about the teen who was diagnosed as having mental problems, we are not told of the drug cocktail prescribed to try and help him to "act normally". We think that the mentally ill person who just committed that terrible crime was not under medical supervision and he/she committed the terrible act because they were mentally ill. We think that the mentally ill person was probably "too far gone" and needed to be institutionalized. We hear about a person who committed suicide and we shake our heads thinking that they lost the battle with their illness.
Let us deal with the term mentally ill first. This is from the website of "Mental Health America"
What is mental illness?
A mental illness is a disease that causes mild to severe disturbances in thought and/or behavior, resulting in an inability to cope with life’s ordinary demands and routines.
There are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness. Some of the more common disorders are depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders. Symptoms may include changes in mood, personality, personal habits and/or social withdrawal.
Mental health problems may be related to excessive stress due to a particular situation or series of events. As with cancer, diabetes and heart disease, mental illnesses are often physical as well as emotional and psychological. Mental illnesses may be caused by a reaction to environmental stresses, genetic factors, biochemical imbalances, or a combination of these. With proper care and treatment many individuals learn to cope or recover from a mental illness or emotional disorder.
According to the first sentences of the description we could all be classified mentally ill because of the life events we have endured. Lost your job of 10 years and can't find comparable employment? Is this leaving you anxious, depressed, hopeless? Do you spend most of the day staring out the window instead of doing your chores, interacting with your family or taking a walk? You are mentally ill. Yet these life events are something every single one of us experience (or something like it) in the course of our years on earth. There are wonderful professionals who help by listening, encouraging and motivating individuals. They help develop action plans, changes in habits and encourage and applaud every little victory. More often than necessary professionals prescribe drugs to help these individuals get through those little bumps in life....just until they can get back on track. The same holds true with our children. Ask any parent who has dealt with a teenager and they will tell you that those years are more difficult that the terrible two's and three's. Teenage kids have mood swings, they rebel, they talk back, they argue, they ignore their responsibilities in favor of hanging with friends and they make questionable decisions. There are professionals that help parents deal with this time of raging hormones by prescribing medications "just until they get through this phase".
The most dangerous of all this information is that the drugs often prescribed for these life events have lethal and debilitating side effects and consequences. Even more important they have been prescribed for our children without clinical trials, without medical research and we have paid a very high price. The death of our children.
Most of America is aware of the Columbine Shooting that happened in Colorado in 1999. Many were horrified by the scenes unfolding on their television sets as police surrounded a school that was under attack by shooters. America was equally shocked by the revelation that the shooters were boys and members of that school. What was never widely publicized was the connection between that day and prescription drugs.
Between 1988 when Prozac was approved and 2006, there were 46 incidents of school violence involving 48 children and adolescents. Of these, 38% were reported in media, websites or books to be taking psychiatric drugs or were withdrawing from them at the time of their shooting spree. The relationship of psychiatric drugs in the remaining incidents of violence has not been publicly disclosed or the person’s records are sealed. Frequently, antidepressants were implicated.
April: In Idaho, 15-year-old Shawn Cooper fired two shotgun rounds in his school,
narrowly missing students. He was taking a prescribed SSRI antidepressant and
April: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold went on a shooting spree in their Columbine,
Colorado school, killing 13 and wounding 23. CCHR and others pressured to have
the Coroner re-test the teens’ blood for psychiatric drugs. The Coroner subsequently
confirmed that Harris’ blood contained a therapeutic dose of the SSRI antidepressant,
Luvox. Clinical trials showed that 4% of children taking the drug experienced mania,
a condition known to result in violent behavior. Colorado State Rep. Penn Pfiffner,
chaired a hearing on the possible connection of violent behavior and psychotropic
drugs, stating, “There is enough coincidence and enough professional opinion from
legitimate scientists to cause us to raise the issue and to ask further questions.” “If
we’re only interested in debating gun laws and metal detectors,” said Pfiffner, “then
we as legislators aren’t doing our job.”105
May: CCHR produced a White Paper Psychiatry and The Creation of Senseless Violence
detailing examples of psychiatric-drug induced crime and medical studies proving
that such drugs precipitate murderous acts. More than 10,000 copies of the report
were distributed to legislators, educators and media in the U.S.
May: Kelly Patricia O’Meara, a former Congressional staff who was writing for
Washington Times’ Insight Magazine wrote a story based on CCHR’s and her own
research, titled “Guns and Doses.” It showed the common link between high-school
shootings and psychiatric drugs.
March 1: Matthew Smith, aged 14, died of a heart attack after being prescribed Ritalin
for several years. A Michigan coroner determined that his heart showed clear signs of
the small blood vessel damage caused by stimulants, concluding that he had died from
the long-term use of Ritalin. Matthew was forced onto the drug through his school,
with the parents threatened with charges of medical and education neglect if they
refused to put him on the drug.112 Psychiatrists at the time dismissed the coroner’s
findings. [See January 5, 2006 entry on warnings the FDA eventually issued, more than
40 years after Ritalin had been on the market.]
May 25: An Australian judge blamed an SSRI for turning a peaceful, law abiding
man, David Hawkins, into a violent killer. Judge Barry O’Keefe of the New South
Wales Supreme Court said that had Mr. Hawkins not taken the antidepressant, “it is
overwhelmingly probable that Mrs. Hawkins would not have been killed….”
June: A Wyoming jury awarded $8 million to the relatives of a man, Donald Schell,
who went on a shooting rampage after taking Paxil and killed his wife, daughter,
granddaughter and himself. The jury determined that the drug was 80% responsible
for the killing spree. (excerpts from Citizens Commission on Human Rights)
You can read the full report from Citizens Commission on Human Rights on the testimonies, clinical studies, reports and hearings concerning the documented dangers of drugs like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Ritalin and others. Not only are the drugs dangerous when the patient is taking the drug but the effects of withdrawal from the medication can be equally as dangerous. It was also finally admitted that there was no lab test available to prove a chemical imbalance in the brain causing any mental disorder. It was all a marketing hoax. (see the closing quote).
Most outrageous of all is the extremes with which drug companies, medical institutions and even our government have kept this information from being widely distributed to the public. The public has been submitted to the pain and loss from violent outbursts but has not been made aware that it's own actions (or inaction) may very well be the cause. We have and continue to give very dangerous drugs to our children. We have questioned the increase of depression, suicidal behavior, the increase of violence, the increase of obsessive behaviors such as cutting and eating disorders that have become all too familiar in our youth. The answer may well come in the form of drug treatment given to children and our own lack of connection to each other as people.
What are we too expect? We are a nation that looks for the quick fix for everything from depression to weak knees to sore muscles and a lack of energy. We don't exercise, eat right, sleep well and we don't connect with others, the very things that promote wellness in people. We don't take the time to educate, direct and listen to each other....we certainly don't have the time to do it with a teenager who is trying to figure out the world.
We need to take a good hard look at ourselves, our decisions, our lack of knowledge and our ability to be deceived by pharmaceutical companies (the modern day snake oil salesman). Then we need to ask the most difficult question: Who is ultimately responsible for Columbine, Virginia Tech and others? These kids were under the supervision of adults who trusted medical professionals. These kids were under the jurisdiction of their parents and doctors and ultimately had to take (or in some cases, refuse to take) mind altering drugs with KNOWN side effects that destroyed their lives and the lives of others. We are responsible. the adults, and they have payed the price for our ignorance with their very lives. It is time to stand against drug companies and FOR OUR CHILDREN. Then we need to figure out how we are going to correct the damage caused families, to the lives of the children who have been sentenced to dwell in cages for the rest of their lives, and to the communities who have witnessed these tragedies. We need accountability from the professionals and the drug companies who cared more about profits than our children. We allowed this to happen through our ignorance and it is time we acted responsibly to fix it. Only by repairing the harm can we truly heal and become stronger.
In 2005, the APA’s president, Stephen Sharfstein and other psychiatrists were forced to
admit there is no lab test to prove a chemical imbalance in the brain causing any “mental
disorder.” The marketing hoax was finally exposed but by then 30 million Americans
were taking the drugs. In January 2008, the New England Journal of Medicine vindicated
CCHR when a study it published revealed the effectiveness of antidepressants had
been exaggerated and that many negative studies of the drugs were never published.
In fact, the drugs are no more effective than taking placebo (dummy pill).
This video needs no description...the torture is evident in the pictures. When did it become acceptable for us to cage children in conditions that we find reprehensible for our pets? These are kids, human children, people. We hold PEOPLE in cages and are not outraged. We need to advocate for people held in cages. Watch the video. WARNING! There are images you may find shocking.
Thank you Nell Bernstein for writing Burning Down The House. May we change the broken system of juvenile justice and incarceration.
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