The American Civil Liberties Union and a broad coalition of 60
policy and religious groups today urged states to reject a recent
offer by the nation's largest private prison company to buy and
privatize state prisons.
In a letter sent to governors in every state, the ACLU and 26 other
organizations said a recent offer by Corrections Corporation of
America (CCA) to buy prisons currently run by state officials is a
backdoor invitation to take on additional debt while increasing
CCA's profits and impeding the serious criminal justice reforms
needed to combat the nation's mass incarceration crisis.
Two similar letters are also being sent today by religious
coalitions to governors. One of the letters, sent by 32 faith groups
including the United Methodist Church General Board of Church and
Society, the United Church of Christ/Justice and Witness Ministries,
the Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of
Public Witness, says there is a moral imperative in reducing
incarceration through evidence-based alternatives to imprisonment
and re-entry policies that ease the transition of prisoners back
into society. A third letter, from the Presbyterian Criminal Justice
Network, argues that the principles of mercy, forgiveness,
redemption and reconciliation are largely absent from the private
“Selling off prisons to CCA would be a tragic mistake for your
state,” the ACLU's letter reads. “[CCA's] proposal is an
invitation to fiscal irresponsibility, prisoner abuse and decreased
public safety. It should be promptly declined.”
The "unification" attack on the public schools in Valdosta and Lowndes
County, Georgia is part of a nationwide assault on public schools,
which has nothing to do with improving
public education, and everything to do with private profit and private schools: disaster capitalism right here at home.
And it's not government causing our local disaster: it's local business interests.
What should we do about that?
Critics of America’s public schools always seem to start from the
premise that the pre-kindergarten-through-12th-grade public education
system in this country is failing or in crisis.
This crisis mentality is in stark contrast to years of survey research
showing that Americans generally give high marks to their local
schools. Phi Delta Kappa International and Gallup surveys have found that
the populace holds their neighborhood schools in high regard; in fact,
this year’s survey found that “Americans, and parents in particular,
evaluate their community schools more positively than in any year since”
the survey started.
The first factor: New austerity budgets passed by state legislatures
are starting to have a huge influence on direct services to children,
youth, and families.
Lots of people from Hahira. -jsq
Valdosta, Lowndes County and other concerned citizens marched from the
Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce building through downtown
to Rev. Martin L. King Jr., Monument. There were many speeches given
along with the sharing of ideas at this historic event. The marchers
were lead by Valdosta Police Department and eneded in peace as we all
expected in our beloved community. Peace!
-George Boston Rhynes
George Rhynes talks to No Consolidation marchers
No school consolidation,
Vote No for Consolidation March, Friends of Valdosta City Schools (FVCS),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 22 October 2011.
Videos by George Rhynes for bostongbr on YouTube.
22 October 2011, CUEE, Friends of Valdosta City Schools, FVCS, FVCS, Georgia, Gretchen Quarterman and John S. Quarterman, LAKE, LCBOE, Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange, Lowndes County, NAACP, SCLC, Valdosta, VBOE, Vote No for Consolidation March
Organizers expect hundreds to gather this weekend in front of the
Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce for a march opposing the
consolidation of city and county school systems.
Scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, the march takes the stand that
“our children are not for sale.”
“We intend to put hundreds of people in the streets,” said the
Rev. Floyd Rose, president of the Valdosta-Lowndes County chapter of the
Southern Christian Leadership Conference. “We know and they know that
this has never been about consolidating the school system.”
Interesting that the VDT neither contradicts that nor finds a counterview
Maybe since the VDT did an about-face about consolidation,
it's been able to see more clearly....
Georgia's pardons board rejected a last-ditch clemency plea from death
row inmate Troy Davis on Tuesday despite high-profile support from figures
including the pope and
a former FBI director for the claim that he was
wrongly convicted of killing a police officer in 1989.
Davis is scheduled to die Wednesday by injection for the killing of
off-duty Savannah officer Mark MacPhail, who was slain while rushing to
help a homeless man being attacked. It is the fourth time in four years
that Davis' execution has been scheduled by Georgia officials.
Steve Hayes, spokesman for the Board of Pardons and Paroles, said
Private prison company CCA, which in conjunction with ALEC promotes laws in dozens of states and nationally that lock up more people for CCA's private profit at taxpayer expense, really doesn't like
community opposition to siting private prisons in their communities.
Hm, why would CCA hate community opposition so much, unless it works?
There are Web sites and blogs that are adamantly opposed to your company
and industry, and they provide negative information about you. Why?
Hm, you mean like some of the material on this blog?
CCA and all corrections companies recognize the ongoing efforts
of local, loosely formed grassroots groups and national, well-funded
associations that jointly oppose the establishment of partnership
prisons, many for self-serving reasons. Such groups go to great lengths
to attack, criticize and misrepresent the entire industry. They make false
allegations and often rely on hearsay and unreliable sources. Regrettably,
these biased groups often resort to misinformation and inflammatory
rhetoric to turn isolated incidents into broad generalizations about
the corrections industry as a whole.
Well-funded? Har! OK, not this blog.
That plus we provide evidence, like
After forty years of the war on drugs, America continues to have laws
that stratify society based on race and class and continues to ignore
Dr. King’s lessons on justice, compassion and love.
My favorite quote from Dr. King speaks to the heart of the problem with
America’s criminal justice system. "Power without love is reckless
and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power
at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at
its best is power correcting everything that stands against love."
America’s criminal justice system is reckless and discriminate. America
has five percent of the world’s population but 25 percent of the
world’s prisoners. Blacks are incarcerated at four to five times the
rate of whites for drug crimes, even though the majority of those who
use and sell drugs are white. The majority of those incarcerated are
people who have a history with mental health and substance abuse.
Not only does incarceration impact individuals but it undermines families,
Here's why this matters. Or, more to the point, why it matters more than
if such a statement came from Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton. The NAACP is
not just the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. It
is also its most conservative.
Conservative as in:
...denoting a propensity toward caution and a distrust of the bold, the
risky, the new. And that's the NAACP all over.
...there has always been something determinedly middle class and cautious
about the NAACP. This is the group whose then-leader, Roy Wilkins,
famously detested Martin Luther King for his street theatrics.
For that group, then, to demand an end to the Drug War represents a
monumental sea change.