Author Topic: Baltimore Homicide Victim #289  (Read 481 times)

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Mutumbo000

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Baltimore Homicide Victim #289
« on: November 06, 2017, 08:25:59 am »
+3
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-op-1105-homicide-289-story.html

"Someone shot and killed my nephew last month in Park Heights. He was 26.

Like so many other black Baltimore families, I guess it was our turn to huddle outside of the entrance to Sinai Hospital’s emergency room. To look through Justin Fenton’s Twitter feed for confirmation or scroll through the comments of @murder_ink_bmore’s Instagram posts for a hint of wtf happened.

He is murder #289 in the City of Baltimore.

He had just gotten out of jail in July.

Yeah yeah… He could’ve — should’ve really turned it around…

Born to a closet addict in the ‘90s, he landed as a newborn in a rented room off of North Avenue behind the Baltimore City Public Schools headquarters, and in later years was raised by his mother's friend on Castle Street and North Avenue, surrounded by vacant houses. North Avenue is a major corridor that runs west to east through the entire city, and in the ‘90s, nowhere along that road was safe or decent to live.

With lead-infused blood and attention deficient disorder, he was barely literate graduating his zoned elementary school (the ADD pills made him feel sluggish).

Housing agency pays $6.8 million to lead paint victims
By middle school, his mother, who never looked like she struggled with addiction, had died from complications of HIV and a mother figure had died from what appeared to be diabetes. He was now in and out of juvenile group homes, therapy sessions and youth programs.

From selling water and candy up and down East North Avenue, he was promoted to selling weed.

I’m his second cousin. His mother and I were first cousins. He and I adopted the term “aunt” to describe me because it was easier to say “aunt” than give the long explanation as to why and how we were related. Also “aunt” had both authority as well as an endearing nature, as if he was being cared for by his mother’s sister, the next best.

By the time he landed with me while attending his zoned Baltimore City public high school — after stays with other extended family members in more stable home environments and neighborhoods — there was no inspirational chat left that could reach him, no mentor who could connect with him, no amount of new clothes or fresh kicks that could make him feel brand new.

Beleaguered city residents call for peace and solutions to Baltimore's surging crime
Park Heights is where he found his crew — a community among the other lost men and addicts. Like many other regions of Baltimore City, there are large portions in the community of Park Heights (21215) that are socioeconomically depressed. Those areas should be considered third world: a (drug) war zone.

With a forehead tattoo obtained in his late teens, trademark braids, stints in and out of jail, and a long criminal record, his commitment to Zone 15 was sealed. He operated within the blocks of vacant housing and corner stores in Park Heights as a menace to police, unreached by social programs — simply hustling, laughing, drinking, popping pills, smoking and selling weed; picked up, locked up, on probation. Repeat.

Death was a constant factor. Along with the death of his mother and maternal figure, two of his closest neighborhood friends were killed in ‘09 and ‘10 along the Garrison and Liberty Heights corridor. I believe he was present (running for his life) for at least one of those killings. A few years ago he was beat down and left for dead along Liberty Heights and Gwynn Oak, in the space next to the vacant theater across from ShopRite. In addition, another childhood friend was locked up for murder in 2014. That is not including all of the other young men living in Northwest Baltimore City that he may have known who are now dead.

My nephew/cousin was good-natured, light-hearted, funny and forgiving — and high energy, from the time he was a boy. Despite a record (two whole pages on the Maryland Judiciary Case Search website), he did not harm anyone that I know of and was not known to tote a firearm. He just wanted to survive. He was gentle enough to sleep on the couch or in the basement of many friends and older adults who trusted him in their homes for a night or two. Although he was routinely kicked out of my house or his sister’s home, he was still an active and loved family member. We slid him a 20 or necessities if we could. On cold nights we let him stay. He was an uncle/friend to his nephews, picked up his son on occasion after school and had a girlfriend. He was asked to be on time for family functions.

Some days he looked high.

The last time we saw him he looked good.

He just got out of jail in July.

Yeah yeah… He could’ve, should’ve really turned it around…

No excuses… It’s his own personal choice… But…

Yes, he was given a second chance — but not the opportunity.

Who would be willing to legally employ someone with a face tattoo, and a lengthy record without a GED or diploma? Mistakes made as a teenager.


Where do you go when you want to change but burned all of your bridges with family?

Helping ex-offenders stay out of prison
With this last jail stint, exhausted — I just couldn’t do it anymore: be that cheerleader, show up for the counseling sessions, be the contact for his probation, pay for cell phones and research training programs.

I wonder if there really is a clear path of social programs and housing programs that could have assisted with his redemption, especially when he got out of jail. What do you do when you made mistakes in your youth, and are now entering adulthood and in need of a pathway to turn it around?

Jeez — he didn’t kill anyone; he sold weed. Had he been rich, white and lived in Hampden, he could’ve opened a dispensary. Had he lived in the Midwest, the president would have called it all a crisis.

Where do you find hope if your every day is surrounded by vacant housing and addicts?

Were the ADD meds, weed, alcohol and pill popping a direct result of being born from an addicted mother or raised in lead-filled housing?

A menace, my nephew. But he represents our young black brothers, cousins, boyfriends, fathers (he leaves behind a 5-year-old son) — the part of Baltimore, very poor, left behind and Un-Revitalized; Un-Gentrified.

A menace.

He was #289 in a murderous year in Baltimore. Where is the outrage? The benefit concert?

Where are the mental health organizations to assist with the trauma associated with living in a war zone?

In jail or out of jail, chained to mistakes you made as a youth because — why?

Is that a way to live?

Antwan Lamont Bond, #289.

We love you as you are.

You did the best with what was given to you by this great city of Baltimore.

Now we’ve got to do better".


Tragic. The system is failing and needs to be reformed. Imagine if Baltimore spent all the money they spent on incarcerating people on getting them education and most importantly meaningful employment. Too many people are falling through the cracks and are destined to a lifetime of poverty and unemployment for mistakes they make when they were teenagers/young adults. How can people be surprised that drugs and crime is endemic when the whole society is living in misery and hopelessness. It's not a popular opinion but my solution would be harsher penalties for crimes because everyone can agree that "if you do the crime you do the time". However, the carrot in my solution is that once people do their punishment they are given a clean slate (the courts will keep their records in case they reoffend and for sentencing purposes) but their criminal record as far as employers go is effectively expunged. The only exception I would have to that is for sexual predators/pedophiles.  Currently the system works by giving someone a slap on the wrist and a criminal record, which pretty much prevents them from ever obtaining a decent job so instead of doing the crime and doing the time they are getting lifetime punishments.

Just my thoughts.



 
"IMO, It didn't happen if it's not on vid/official"- adarqui

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adarqui

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Re: Baltimore Homicide Victim #289
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2017, 06:16:02 pm »
+1
Tragic. The system is failing and needs to be reformed. Imagine if Baltimore spent all the money they spent on incarcerating people on getting them education and most importantly meaningful employment. Too many people are falling through the cracks and are destined to a lifetime of poverty and unemployment for mistakes they make when they were teenagers/young adults. How can people be surprised that drugs and crime is endemic when the whole society is living in misery and hopelessness. It's not a popular opinion but my solution would be harsher penalties for crimes because everyone can agree that "if you do the crime you do the time". However, the carrot in my solution is that once people do their punishment they are given a clean slate (the courts will keep their records in case they reoffend and for sentencing purposes) but their criminal record as far as employers go is effectively expunged. The only exception I would have to that is for sexual predators/pedophiles.  Currently the system works by giving someone a slap on the wrist and a criminal record, which pretty much prevents them from ever obtaining a decent job so instead of doing the crime and doing the time they are getting lifetime punishments.

Just my thoughts.

Your thoughts are good intentioned, our Prison Industrial Complex is not...

If these people are rehabilitated, or their records are eventually expunged, that's less $$ for the people who run private prisons, state prisons, or politicians who get kickbacks keeping them fully populated. That would also mean there's less of a chance for their children to goto prison eventually, and that's bad news for the PIC. The rates of recidivism are extremely high for a reason. The US is not like most countries who would rather keep people out of jail, the US is constantly trying to maintain its ability to put more people in jail. Sure, do the crime, do the time. But a massive portion of our prison population is in there for non-violent crimes.

The system doesn't really work by giving people slaps on the wrist though .. maybe white collar criminals, but not minorities & people in poverty. I mean people are getting serious time for small crimes, such as mandatory minimums for small time drug offenses/drug possession. There's also 3 strikes laws in several states, you can get life in prison for your third offense, even if that's three grand larcenies of a tricycle.

Was going to post some articles but, need to head out.

TLDR - until we get a majority of "honest leaders", our problem (mass incarceration + recidivism) won't change. There's tons of organizations, people, businesses etc who really make a difference, but it's a small dent in an enormous problem, that comes right from the top.

peace!!!

Mutumbo000

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Re: Baltimore Homicide Victim #289
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2017, 05:46:21 am »
+1
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15IzEQauBHU" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15IzEQauBHU</a>
"IMO, It didn't happen if it's not on vid/official"- adarqui

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Mutumbo000

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Re: Baltimore Homicide Victim #289
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2017, 05:50:57 am »
+3
I wrote to the author of this article as the paper left her contact details at the bottom. This is the email I wrote to her:

"Dear Sunny,

I just wanted to offer my condolences for your nephew. I read your article in the Baltimore Sun and you did a great job of describing the challenges Baltimore and its citizens face. I found your article brilliant and it was great to see a story about a person instead of them just being another statistic. 

The line that particularly struck in your article was:
 
"Yes, he was given a second chance — but not the opportunity.
Who would be willing to legally employ someone with a face tattoo, and a lengthy record without a GED or diploma? Mistakes made as a teenager".


Sadly even if Antwan had no face tattoo, had a GED, and even a college degree he would still be unemployed. What jobs can you even do with a criminal record? Rehabilitation and most importantly giving people the opportunity to gain meaningful employment is paramount if Baltimore and the USA is to reform. People make mistakes. One mistake or even a couple of mistakes made as a teenager should not destine someone to a lifetime of poverty and unemployment. Unfortunately that's the case that we have in the USA with the current system. People say "do the crime do the time". That's fair. However, what is not fair is discriminating that person for a lifetime and discriminating them from ever having opportunity of employment. Is it any wonder that they turn to alcohol, drugs or even crime when society has essentially excluded them.

Personally I think this is where a lot the issues stem from. Education is an issue but in reality what incentives do people have of incurring huge debts for education when the reality is they will never be able to work as a teacher, nurse, lawyer, doctor etc. and utilize the education!? In your nephew's case the fact that he was barely literate is a tragedy but that just goes to show the failings of the current education system. How can somebody succeed when the system all around them is failing. The USA loves their rags to riches stories and creating the impression that everyone has equal opportunity and anyone can become the President etc. The reality is that the rages to riches stories are few and far between and most people are trapped in their environments as social mobility (along with American society) is continually in decline.

Once again thanks for sharing your story and hopefully it helps people open their minds and realise the issue is far from black and white.

Kind Regards,
Michael Lutz"

She actually took the time out to reply back to me, which was really nice of her!!!

"Mr Lutz,
If your preach’n, I will be choir director!
Amen, Amen, Amen!
I’m gonna give you another Amen!

I havta get through all of these emails.
But know that your email really stuck a cord a cord with me.  I’m flagging it.

People are trapped in a Caste system here under the myth of an opportunity society...
This kids make one mistake and doomed...

Thank you for this!
-sun"

"IMO, It didn't happen if it's not on vid/official"- adarqui

It's easier to keep up than it is to catch up...

adarqui

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Re: Baltimore Homicide Victim #289
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2017, 09:29:55 pm »
+1
I wrote to the author of this article as the paper left her contact details at the bottom. This is the email I wrote to her:

"Dear Sunny,

I just wanted to offer my condolences for your nephew. I read your article in the Baltimore Sun and you did a great job of describing the challenges Baltimore and its citizens face. I found your article brilliant and it was great to see a story about a person instead of them just being another statistic. 

The line that particularly struck in your article was:
 
"Yes, he was given a second chance — but not the opportunity.
Who would be willing to legally employ someone with a face tattoo, and a lengthy record without a GED or diploma? Mistakes made as a teenager".


Sadly even if Antwan had no face tattoo, had a GED, and even a college degree he would still be unemployed. What jobs can you even do with a criminal record? Rehabilitation and most importantly giving people the opportunity to gain meaningful employment is paramount if Baltimore and the USA is to reform. People make mistakes. One mistake or even a couple of mistakes made as a teenager should not destine someone to a lifetime of poverty and unemployment. Unfortunately that's the case that we have in the USA with the current system. People say "do the crime do the time". That's fair. However, what is not fair is discriminating that person for a lifetime and discriminating them from ever having opportunity of employment. Is it any wonder that they turn to alcohol, drugs or even crime when society has essentially excluded them.

Personally I think this is where a lot the issues stem from. Education is an issue but in reality what incentives do people have of incurring huge debts for education when the reality is they will never be able to work as a teacher, nurse, lawyer, doctor etc. and utilize the education!? In your nephew's case the fact that he was barely literate is a tragedy but that just goes to show the failings of the current education system. How can somebody succeed when the system all around them is failing. The USA loves their rags to riches stories and creating the impression that everyone has equal opportunity and anyone can become the President etc. The reality is that the rages to riches stories are few and far between and most people are trapped in their environments as social mobility (along with American society) is continually in decline.

Once again thanks for sharing your story and hopefully it helps people open their minds and realise the issue is far from black and white.

Kind Regards,
Michael Lutz"

She actually took the time out to reply back to me, which was really nice of her!!!

"Mr Lutz,
If your preach’n, I will be choir director!
Amen, Amen, Amen!
I’m gonna give you another Amen!

I havta get through all of these emails.
But know that your email really stuck a cord a cord with me.  I’m flagging it.

People are trapped in a Caste system here under the myth of an opportunity society...
This kids make one mistake and doomed...

Thank you for this!
-sun"

whoa nice! awesome that you sent Sunny your thoughts AND awesome that Sunny replied!!

good stuff man!

:highfive:

always feels good when you get a response.. also feels good from Sunny's perspective, receiving a thoughtful message like that.

peace!

Mutumbo000

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Re: Baltimore Homicide Victim #289
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2017, 06:36:02 am »
+1
I wrote to the author of this article as the paper left her contact details at the bottom. This is the email I wrote to her:

"Dear Sunny,

I just wanted to offer my condolences for your nephew. I read your article in the Baltimore Sun and you did a great job of describing the challenges Baltimore and its citizens face. I found your article brilliant and it was great to see a story about a person instead of them just being another statistic. 

The line that particularly struck in your article was:
 
"Yes, he was given a second chance — but not the opportunity.
Who would be willing to legally employ someone with a face tattoo, and a lengthy record without a GED or diploma? Mistakes made as a teenager".


Sadly even if Antwan had no face tattoo, had a GED, and even a college degree he would still be unemployed. What jobs can you even do with a criminal record? Rehabilitation and most importantly giving people the opportunity to gain meaningful employment is paramount if Baltimore and the USA is to reform. People make mistakes. One mistake or even a couple of mistakes made as a teenager should not destine someone to a lifetime of poverty and unemployment. Unfortunately that's the case that we have in the USA with the current system. People say "do the crime do the time". That's fair. However, what is not fair is discriminating that person for a lifetime and discriminating them from ever having opportunity of employment. Is it any wonder that they turn to alcohol, drugs or even crime when society has essentially excluded them.

Personally I think this is where a lot the issues stem from. Education is an issue but in reality what incentives do people have of incurring huge debts for education when the reality is they will never be able to work as a teacher, nurse, lawyer, doctor etc. and utilize the education!? In your nephew's case the fact that he was barely literate is a tragedy but that just goes to show the failings of the current education system. How can somebody succeed when the system all around them is failing. The USA loves their rags to riches stories and creating the impression that everyone has equal opportunity and anyone can become the President etc. The reality is that the rages to riches stories are few and far between and most people are trapped in their environments as social mobility (along with American society) is continually in decline.

Once again thanks for sharing your story and hopefully it helps people open their minds and realise the issue is far from black and white.

Kind Regards,
Michael Lutz"

She actually took the time out to reply back to me, which was really nice of her!!!

"Mr Lutz,
If your preach’n, I will be choir director!
Amen, Amen, Amen!
I’m gonna give you another Amen!

I havta get through all of these emails.
But know that your email really stuck a cord a cord with me.  I’m flagging it.

People are trapped in a Caste system here under the myth of an opportunity society...
This kids make one mistake and doomed...

Thank you for this!
-sun"

whoa nice! awesome that you sent Sunny your thoughts AND awesome that Sunny replied!!

good stuff man!

:highfive:

always feels good when you get a response.. also feels good from Sunny's perspective, receiving a thoughtful message like that.

peace!

Thanks brother  :highfive:
"IMO, It didn't happen if it's not on vid/official"- adarqui

It's easier to keep up than it is to catch up...

Kellyb

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Re: Baltimore Homicide Victim #289
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2017, 01:17:47 pm »
+1
Anytime you have a high density of poor people in one area problems happen. The crime demographic comes from a relatively small subsection of high school dropouts. 88% of people in the U.S. have a high school diploma but over 80% of prison inmates don't.

High school dropouts and single parent homes. Any fix of the problem should start there.

75% of poor children live in single parent homes. 72% of blacks are raised in single parent homes and that number has doubled since the 60s. These children are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison.  Fewer than 30 percent of black male high school dropouts are currently employed. The collective cost to the nation over the working life of each high school dropout is $292,000.  Young female dropouts were nine times more likely to have become single mothers than young women who went on to earn college degrees. There is nearly a 70 percent chance that an African American man without a high school diploma will be imprisoned by his mid-thirties.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2008/jun/23/barack-obama/statistics-dont-lie-in-this-case/

The problem has gotten much worse over time.

The percentage of unwed mothers in the US in the 1960’s was only 5%.

The percentage of unwed mothers in the US in the 1980’s was 18%

The percentage of unwed mothers in the US in 2000 was at 33%

The percentage of unwed mothers in the US in 2015 was at 41%

For blacks, even during slavery, when marriage between slaves was illegal, a black child was more likely to be raised by both parents than today.

From 1890-1940 a black child was more likely to be raised by both parents than a white child

The problem isn't just a black problem, For example, the Appalachian area of Kentucky (90%+ white) has been totally decimated by opiates and the teen birth rate is 68% higher than the country avg.  You see the same trends in parts of the midwest decimated by meth.

The problem feeds upon itself because the poor demographic has the most children:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/241530/birth-rate-by-family-income-in-the-us/

And struggles to move out of that demographic:

http://economy.money.cnn.com/2013/11/13/making-it-into-the-middle-class/

Real unemployment currently hovers around 40% in the best of times. Combine that with a decline of decent paying solid middle class manufacturing and service type jobs in the areas of high poverty and it's hard enough to find a good job without a criminal record.




Kellyb

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Re: Baltimore Homicide Victim #289
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2017, 01:20:33 pm »
+1
As for mass incaceration, I think there's some truth to it, but a lot of myths get spouted by the media and both sides of the political debate making it look much worse than reality.

In state prisons only 16% of incarcerated are in prison for drug crimes, 53% are in for violent crimes. Of those in for drug crimes 96% of those incarcerated are dealers, not users. New prisons do get built and there is industry around it, but thats because most prisons are overbooked and overcrowded. Federal prisons do have more drug offenders, 46%, but those are for high level trafficking offenses of either large amounts or across state lines. For example, it takes 100 lbs of marijuana for a federal offense. Someone dealing with 100 lbs of weed isn't gonna go from that to taking a service job for close to minimum wage, so likely they're gonna stay in the system.


Quote
The Myth of Mass Incarceration

Violent crime, not drugs, has driven imprisonment. And drug offenses usually are for dealing, not using.

By BARRY LATZER
Feb. 22, 2016


It has become a boogeyman in public discourse: “mass incarceration.” Both left and right, from Hillary Clinton to Rand Paul, agree that it must be ended. But a close examination of the data shows that U.S. imprisonment has been driven largely by violent crime—and thus significantly reducing incarceration may be impossible.

Less than one-half of 1% of the U.S. population is incarcerated, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), so “mass” is a bit of hyperbole. The proportion of African-Americans in prison, 1.2%, is high compared with whites (0.25%), but not in absolute terms.

There’s a lot of historical amnesia about the cause of prison expansion, a mistaken sense that it was all about drugs or race and had very little to do with serious crime. This ignores the facts. Between 1960 and 1990, the rate of violent crime in the U.S. surged by over 350%, according to FBI data, the biggest sustained buildup in the country’s history.

One major reason was that as crime rose the criminal-justice system caved. Prison commitments fell, as did time served per conviction. For every 1,000 arrests for serious crimes in 1970, 170 defendants went to prison, compared with 261 defendants five years earlier. Murderers released in 1960 had served a median 4.3 years, which wasn’t long to begin with. By 1970 that figure had dropped to 3.5 years.

Unquestionably, in the last decades of the 20th century more defendants than ever were sentenced to prison. But this was a direct result of changes in policy to cope with the escalation in violent crime. In the 1980s, after well over a decade of soaring crime, state incarceration rates jumped 107%.

When crime began to drop in the mid-1990s, so did the rise in incarceration rates. From 2000 to 2010, they increased a negligible 0.65%, and since 2005 they have been declining steadily, except for a slight uptick in 2013. The estimated 1.5 million prisoners at year-end 2014 is the smallest total prison population in the U.S. since 2005.

Those who talk of “mass incarceration” often blame the stiff drug sentences enacted during the crack-cocaine era, the late 1980s and early ’90s. But what pushed up incarceration rates, beginning in the mid-1970s, was primarily violent crime, not drug offenses.

The percentage of state prisoners in for drug violations peaked at only 22% in 1990. Further, drug convictions “explain only about 20% of prison growth since 1980,” according to a 2012 article by Fordham law professor John Pfaff, published in the Harvard Journal on Legislation.

Relatively few prisoners today are locked up for drug offenses. At the end of 2013 the state prison population was about 1.3 million. Fifty-three percent were serving time for violent crimes such as murder, robbery, rape or aggravated assault, according to the BJS. Nineteen percent were in for property crimes such as burglary, car theft or fraud. Another 11% had been convicted of weapons offenses, drunken driving or other public-order violations.

That leaves about 16%, or 208,000 people, incarcerated for drug crimes. Of those, less than a quarter were in for mere possession. The rest were in for trafficking and other crimes. Critics of “mass incarceration” often point to the federal prisons, where half of inmates, or about 96,000 people, are drug offenders. But 99.5% of them are traffickers. The notion that prisons are filled with young pot smokers, harmless victims of aggressive prosecution, is patently false.

The other line of attack is that the criminal justice system is racist because blacks are disproportionately imprisoned. About 35% of all prisoners, state and federal, are African-American, while blacks comprise about 13% of the U.S. population. But any explanation of this disparity must take blacks’ higher rates of offending into account.

From 1976 to 1995, blacks were identified by police as the perpetrators in more than half of homicides, according to FBI data compiled by the BJS. During this same period, individuals interviewed for the national crime-victim survey described robbery perpetrators as black more than 60% of the time. While the rate of black violent crime fell dramatically after the mid-1990s, it remains disturbingly high. From 2000 to 2014, African-Americans were murdered eight times as often as whites per capita, nearly always as a result of black-on-black assaults.

Such serious crimes are still the main driver of African-American incarceration. The latest BJS figures, from the end of 2013, show that 57% of blacks in state prison were convicted of violent crimes. Only 16% were in for drug crimes. Those numbers nearly match the figures for the state prison population overall.

Nor have blacks always served longer sentences than whites once incarcerated. In 1993, at the peak of the prison buildup, blacks and whites in state prison served identical terms, a median 12 months, for all offenses. For drug crimes, whites actually served slightly more time than blacks, 12 months to 11 months.

A growing consensus now supports making the criminal-justice system less punitive. But prison rates won’t drop dramatically unless serious crime declines further, which is unlikely. It certainly didn’t happen in 2015, when homicides in the 50 largest U.S. cities increased 17%. Nor are racial disparities likely to diminish so long as African-Americans commit a disproportionate number of violent crimes.

Mr. Latzer, an emeritus professor of criminal justice at the City University of New York, is the author of “The Rise and Fall of Violent Crime in America” (Encounter Books, 2016).

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-myth-of-mass-incarceration-1456184736


At the state level most offenses amount to a slap on the wrist and drug court, drug programs, and education programs. 2nd, 3rd, 4th, chances. It really takes a lot in most states to do any real time and they do try. The problem is largely cultural. If you grow up in the bad parts of a place like Baltimore the thought of working for a living probably isn't much of an option. Add to that there probably aren't many jobs even under the best of circumstances. However, for people that are really dedicated to make it work, there is opportunity.  The part missing from that article is I highly doubt that individual made any real effort at getting clean and working a real job.


so the solution??

Do not have kids you can't afford
Graduate high school
Do not do things to get in trouble with the law.
If you go to college do not major in stupid stuff


Obama tried to make that a theme, at least early on. I just don't think many people listened.

adarqui

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Re: Baltimore Homicide Victim #289
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2017, 11:09:25 am »
0
Anytime you have a high density of poor people in one area problems happen. The crime demographic comes from a relatively small subsection of high school dropouts. 88% of people in the U.S. have a high school diploma but over 80% of prison inmates don't.

That's an interesting quote + stats, the simplicity of it could be perfect in explaining that portion of the problem. I imagine getting to the root of the poverty itself & perhaps the failure of the "education system" is where it becomes much more complex.

I personally believe the US has a long history of trying to "fail" various groups of people, rather than trying to set them up for success. Anyone can overcome those odds, but it's just alot harder when they are born into that situation. Obviously there's alot of blame to be placed onto parents & their bad parenting, but they are also part of the cycle (I imagine).

As for my own personal experience with this stuff: I had lots of friends I grew up with, go down that bad road (using/dealing drugs, in & out of prison) etc. The one who got the worst of it, never had a dad in the home. Everyone else had two parents and pretty much the same environment as me. The biggest differences between them and I, were:
1) I took sports more seriously
2) I'm pretty much immune to peer pressure

That's pretty much it. #1 bought me enough time to realize that education was important and gave me more than enough reasons to stay away from drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, stay out of trouble, and just keep me focused. #2 just allowed me to navigate the field of landmines that they all blew up on. When someone would offer me drugs/alcohol etc, i'd refuse. If they pressured i'd tell them to fuck off. I imagine if I had done drugs just once and "fit in" more, my life would be completely different than it is right now.

Most of those friends I mentioned, I grew up playing basketball with etc. At some point, i'd be at the basketball court hooping/practicing, and they just started disappearing, one by one. As they disappeared, they'd transition from sports into nefarious activities.

We all had the same (crap) schooling. My parents probably didn't do anything different than theirs when it came to school - my parents would just ask for my report card and if it looked good, i'd get some extra money. They weren't on my ass though, day in day out. They were never able to convince me why school was actually important. I basically found all of that out on my own - when they got me a computer. That was the "seismic" shift in my life, IMHO. They also didn't regulate it, try to figure out what I was doing, tell me to get off it, etc. I'd be on it all night learning to program, then go to school and pass out. They began to realize it was doing some good, because I started buying books - programming books. I'd never bought a book, or wanted a book, prior to programming. Eventually, when i'd go to the "book store" with my mom, where we usually just looked at music (separately), i'd then be in the computer programming book section, and asking her if I could get a book. Probably one year after having a computer, I had ~10 programming books. So from a parenting perspective, their "lazy education approach", resulted in me taking education more seriously: not high school, but my own education (programming) and college. One thing I do recall very vividly was how proud my mom was when I graduated a 4 year college. Her parents didn't, brothers didn't, she didn't, my dad didn't, my dad's sister didn't etc. So looking back it's more like one of those moments when someone in the family is "first to graduate". Meanwhile, at this point, some of my old "friends" were addicted to crack and in/out of prison. I guess the point here is, being addicted to "good things"  (sports, education) when one is young, will help to prevent them (not always obviously) from being addicted to "bad things" in the future.

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High school dropouts and single parent homes. Any fix of the problem should start there.

75% of poor children live in single parent homes. 72% of blacks are raised in single parent homes and that number has doubled since the 60s. These children are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison.  Fewer than 30 percent of black male high school dropouts are currently employed. The collective cost to the nation over the working life of each high school dropout is $292,000.  Young female dropouts were nine times more likely to have become single mothers than young women who went on to earn college degrees. There is nearly a 70 percent chance that an African American man without a high school diploma will be imprisoned by his mid-thirties.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2008/jun/23/barack-obama/statistics-dont-lie-in-this-case/

The problem has gotten much worse over time.

The percentage of unwed mothers in the US in the 1960’s was only 5%.

The percentage of unwed mothers in the US in the 1980’s was 18%

The percentage of unwed mothers in the US in 2000 was at 33%

The percentage of unwed mothers in the US in 2015 was at 41%

For blacks, even during slavery, when marriage between slaves was illegal, a black child was more likely to be raised by both parents than today.

From 1890-1940 a black child was more likely to be raised by both parents than a white child

The problem isn't just a black problem, For example, the Appalachian area of Kentucky (90%+ white) has been totally decimated by opiates and the teen birth rate is 68% higher than the country avg.  You see the same trends in parts of the midwest decimated by meth.

The problem feeds upon itself because the poor demographic has the most children:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/241530/birth-rate-by-family-income-in-the-us/

And struggles to move out of that demographic:

http://economy.money.cnn.com/2013/11/13/making-it-into-the-middle-class/

Real unemployment currently hovers around 40% in the best of times. Combine that with a decline of decent paying solid middle class manufacturing and service type jobs in the areas of high poverty and it's hard enough to find a good job without a criminal record.

adarqui

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Re: Baltimore Homicide Victim #289
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2017, 11:30:32 am »
0
As for mass incaceration, I think there's some truth to it, but a lot of myths get spouted by the media and both sides of the political debate making it look much worse than reality.

In state prisons only 16% of incarcerated are in prison for drug crimes, 53% are in for violent crimes. Of those in for drug crimes 96% of those incarcerated are dealers, not users. New prisons do get built and there is industry around it, but thats because most prisons are overbooked and overcrowded. Federal prisons do have more drug offenders, 46%, but those are for high level trafficking offenses of either large amounts or across state lines. For example, it takes 100 lbs of marijuana for a federal offense. Someone dealing with 100 lbs of weed isn't gonna go from that to taking a service job for close to minimum wage, so likely they're gonna stay in the system.


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The Myth of Mass Incarceration

Violent crime, not drugs, has driven imprisonment. And drug offenses usually are for dealing, not using.

By BARRY LATZER
Feb. 22, 2016


It has become a boogeyman in public discourse: “mass incarceration.” Both left and right, from Hillary Clinton to Rand Paul, agree that it must be ended. But a close examination of the data shows that U.S. imprisonment has been driven largely by violent crime—and thus significantly reducing incarceration may be impossible.

Less than one-half of 1% of the U.S. population is incarcerated, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), so “mass” is a bit of hyperbole. The proportion of African-Americans in prison, 1.2%, is high compared with whites (0.25%), but not in absolute terms.

There’s a lot of historical amnesia about the cause of prison expansion, a mistaken sense that it was all about drugs or race and had very little to do with serious crime. This ignores the facts. Between 1960 and 1990, the rate of violent crime in the U.S. surged by over 350%, according to FBI data, the biggest sustained buildup in the country’s history.

One major reason was that as crime rose the criminal-justice system caved. Prison commitments fell, as did time served per conviction. For every 1,000 arrests for serious crimes in 1970, 170 defendants went to prison, compared with 261 defendants five years earlier. Murderers released in 1960 had served a median 4.3 years, which wasn’t long to begin with. By 1970 that figure had dropped to 3.5 years.

Unquestionably, in the last decades of the 20th century more defendants than ever were sentenced to prison. But this was a direct result of changes in policy to cope with the escalation in violent crime. In the 1980s, after well over a decade of soaring crime, state incarceration rates jumped 107%.

When crime began to drop in the mid-1990s, so did the rise in incarceration rates. From 2000 to 2010, they increased a negligible 0.65%, and since 2005 they have been declining steadily, except for a slight uptick in 2013. The estimated 1.5 million prisoners at year-end 2014 is the smallest total prison population in the U.S. since 2005.

Those who talk of “mass incarceration” often blame the stiff drug sentences enacted during the crack-cocaine era, the late 1980s and early ’90s. But what pushed up incarceration rates, beginning in the mid-1970s, was primarily violent crime, not drug offenses.

The percentage of state prisoners in for drug violations peaked at only 22% in 1990. Further, drug convictions “explain only about 20% of prison growth since 1980,” according to a 2012 article by Fordham law professor John Pfaff, published in the Harvard Journal on Legislation.

Relatively few prisoners today are locked up for drug offenses. At the end of 2013 the state prison population was about 1.3 million. Fifty-three percent were serving time for violent crimes such as murder, robbery, rape or aggravated assault, according to the BJS. Nineteen percent were in for property crimes such as burglary, car theft or fraud. Another 11% had been convicted of weapons offenses, drunken driving or other public-order violations.

That leaves about 16%, or 208,000 people, incarcerated for drug crimes. Of those, less than a quarter were in for mere possession. The rest were in for trafficking and other crimes. Critics of “mass incarceration” often point to the federal prisons, where half of inmates, or about 96,000 people, are drug offenders. But 99.5% of them are traffickers. The notion that prisons are filled with young pot smokers, harmless victims of aggressive prosecution, is patently false.

The other line of attack is that the criminal justice system is racist because blacks are disproportionately imprisoned. About 35% of all prisoners, state and federal, are African-American, while blacks comprise about 13% of the U.S. population. But any explanation of this disparity must take blacks’ higher rates of offending into account.

From 1976 to 1995, blacks were identified by police as the perpetrators in more than half of homicides, according to FBI data compiled by the BJS. During this same period, individuals interviewed for the national crime-victim survey described robbery perpetrators as black more than 60% of the time. While the rate of black violent crime fell dramatically after the mid-1990s, it remains disturbingly high. From 2000 to 2014, African-Americans were murdered eight times as often as whites per capita, nearly always as a result of black-on-black assaults.

Such serious crimes are still the main driver of African-American incarceration. The latest BJS figures, from the end of 2013, show that 57% of blacks in state prison were convicted of violent crimes. Only 16% were in for drug crimes. Those numbers nearly match the figures for the state prison population overall.

Nor have blacks always served longer sentences than whites once incarcerated. In 1993, at the peak of the prison buildup, blacks and whites in state prison served identical terms, a median 12 months, for all offenses. For drug crimes, whites actually served slightly more time than blacks, 12 months to 11 months.

A growing consensus now supports making the criminal-justice system less punitive. But prison rates won’t drop dramatically unless serious crime declines further, which is unlikely. It certainly didn’t happen in 2015, when homicides in the 50 largest U.S. cities increased 17%. Nor are racial disparities likely to diminish so long as African-Americans commit a disproportionate number of violent crimes.

Mr. Latzer, an emeritus professor of criminal justice at the City University of New York, is the author of “The Rise and Fall of Violent Crime in America” (Encounter Books, 2016).

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-myth-of-mass-incarceration-1456184736


At the state level most offenses amount to a slap on the wrist and drug court, drug programs, and education programs. 2nd, 3rd, 4th, chances. It really takes a lot in most states to do any real time and they do try. The problem is largely cultural. If you grow up in the bad parts of a place like Baltimore the thought of working for a living probably isn't much of an option. Add to that there probably aren't many jobs even under the best of circumstances. However, for people that are really dedicated to make it work, there is opportunity.  The part missing from that article is I highly doubt that individual made any real effort at getting clean and working a real job.
Quote

Quote
so the solution??

Do not have kids you can't afford
Graduate high school
Do not do things to get in trouble with the law.
If you go to college do not major in stupid stuff

Right, but being born into the world as a result of those failures, sets one up for failure right from the start. Much more of a battle. Breaking that cycle is important, yet seemingly difficult. I feel like kids & adults are much more capable of doing so nowadays though, the internet is powerful.

As for the government, I think it's a mixed bag of "leaders" who care, do not care, and those who literally execute agendas knowing full well it hurts the country - or specific groups of people within it.

Quote
Obama tried to make that a theme, at least early on. I just don't think many people listened.

I'm sure some did though, which is definitely important. Even just a few good branches that sprout, leave me with some optimism. :D

pc!

undoubtable

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Re: Baltimore Homicide Victim #289
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2017, 11:39:05 am »
+1
Some good data and info in Kellyb's post but I'd imagine it being very difficult to envision a happy family home and further education in an environment where drugs, crime, and low opportunities are prevalent. One of my good friends is a school psychologist in the Philadelphia area and statistics show that test scores between inner city kids and suburban kids are very similar in the early years of education but the inner city kids always take a hit when summer vacation rolls around. This adds up over the years and you get the lower secondary education rates and high dropout rates your statistics show. The separation that is created is mostly environmental where suburban families can encourage and invest in further opportunities and provide a vision of a successful future. I highly doubt inner city kids are getting that type of exposure.

My point being, that like adarq mentioned in failure setting up failure, you cant discount environment and place the same expectations across socio-economic lines. There needs to be additional support and vision created in low income neighborhoods to create the foundation to encourage education and healthy relationships.

Love this Kendrick song to share some of the feels of growing up in low income neighborhoods.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPAxrGT2emw" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPAxrGT2emw</a>
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adarqui

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Re: Baltimore Homicide Victim #289
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2017, 11:16:58 pm »
0
Some good data and info in Kellyb's post but I'd imagine it being very difficult to envision a happy family home and further education in an environment where drugs, crime, and low opportunities are prevalent. One of my good friends is a school psychologist in the Philadelphia area and statistics show that test scores between inner city kids and suburban kids are very similar in the early years of education but the inner city kids always take a hit when summer vacation rolls around. This adds up over the years and you get the lower secondary education rates and high dropout rates your statistics show. The separation that is created is mostly environmental where suburban families can encourage and invest in further opportunities and provide a vision of a successful future. I highly doubt inner city kids are getting that type of exposure.

My point being, that like adarq mentioned in failure setting up failure, you cant discount environment and place the same expectations across socio-economic lines. There needs to be additional support and vision created in low income neighborhoods to create the foundation to encourage education and healthy relationships.

Love this Kendrick song to share some of the feels of growing up in low income neighborhoods.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPAxrGT2emw" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPAxrGT2emw</a>

great post. you worded those few sentences pretty perfect IMHO: amen @ "additional support and vision".

Kellyb

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Re: Baltimore Homicide Victim #289
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2017, 10:19:57 am »
+1
Yes I agree it's definitely the environment. A war zone like environment. The support system needed to make it out of that environment probably doesn't exist for most kids. But my problem is why would anyone want to raise a kid in that environment? It should be borderline illegal.

But instead of addressing root cause issues they blame the schools, blame the cops, blame the cities etc and the root cause issues are never, or barely, mentioned. Baltimore wastes billions on bullshit and the problems don't change:

http://www.newsweek.com/baltimore-burning-its-not-matter-money-we-tried-329515

In general I think a lot of the problems we're seeing here in the U.S. is due to idiocracy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwZ0ZUy7P3E

Smart people on avg. don't reproduce anywhere near replacement rate. Dumb people on avg. reproduce to a much greater extent. So over time the avg population gets dumber. A natural effect of that is you're gonna have lots of wealth inequality, etc.  It's compounded by the fact that in this country most of the job creation is technology oriented, which benefits the smart/educated demographic, while the trend is less industrial and manufacturing jobs, which the uneducated demographic would typically work in.

So smart/uneducated demographic = more jobs, less population growth

uneducated/blue collar demographic = less jobs + more population growth

I also like to call the smart demographic the Starbucks demographic, because Starbucks does a good job putting stores in those areas. But anyway, they are usually segregated from others via property taxes and high rents. ALL of the media and a majority of college students are from these areas. These are utopian areas, and getting more utopian due to the above described trends.  So their view of the world is from a very idealistic perspective and NOT based on reality for anyone that lives outside those areas, but they also have the loudest voices. This creates a lot of angst for the other groups, when the media spends 23 hours a day freaking out over stuff like transgender bathrooms etc instead of talking about REAL LIFE problems and solutions they're having.

So basically the U.S. is further evolving into 2 distinct very different countries. One very real world and truly tough. And the other very utopian and idealistic where most problems are manufactured.

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Re: Baltimore Homicide Victim #289
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2017, 11:31:54 am »
+1
Yes I agree it's definitely the environment. A war zone like environment. The support system needed to make it out of that environment probably doesn't exist for most kids. But my problem is why would anyone want to raise a kid in that environment? It should be borderline illegal.

But instead of addressing root cause issues they blame the schools, blame the cops, blame the cities etc and the root cause issues are never, or barely, mentioned. Baltimore wastes billions on bullshit and the problems don't change:

http://www.newsweek.com/baltimore-burning-its-not-matter-money-we-tried-329515

In general I think a lot of the problems we're seeing here in the U.S. is due to idiocracy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwZ0ZUy7P3E

Smart people on avg. don't reproduce anywhere near replacement rate. Dumb people on avg. reproduce to a much greater extent. So over time the avg population gets dumber. A natural effect of that is you're gonna have lots of wealth inequality, etc.  It's compounded by the fact that in this country most of the job creation is technology oriented, which benefits the smart/educated demographic, while the trend is less industrial and manufacturing jobs, which the uneducated demographic would typically work in.

So smart/uneducated demographic = more jobs, less population growth

uneducated/blue collar demographic = less jobs + more population growth

I also like to call the smart demographic the Starbucks demographic, because Starbucks does a good job putting stores in those areas. But anyway, they are usually segregated from others via property taxes and high rents. ALL of the media and a majority of college students are from these areas. These are utopian areas, and getting more utopian due to the above described trends.  So their view of the world is from a very idealistic perspective and NOT based on reality for anyone that lives outside those areas, but they also have the loudest voices. This creates a lot of angst for the other groups, when the media spends 23 hours a day freaking out over stuff like transgender bathrooms etc instead of talking about REAL LIFE problems and solutions they're having.

So basically the U.S. is further evolving into 2 distinct very different countries. One very real world and truly tough. And the other very utopian and idealistic where most problems are manufactured.

The reason is simple- It's the only place they can afford. As for blaming the Government I'm very empathetic to their reasoning. The Republicans have just passed company tax cuts that will increase the budget deficit by $1.5 trillion!!! No doubt the Republicans will than use the 'budget' as justification to cut expenditure on health and education. Furthermore, you've got a situation where foreign investors can purchase houses at will in the USA, which increases the price of US real estate (good for the wealthy). You can go onto Australian property forums and you'll see people bragging about how they own 10 houses in Atlanta etc. 

As for the reason people chose to have kids it's an emotional decision. If people all took having children as an economic decision nobody except the wealthy would have children as they are a financial liability. Yet as we all know life is more than just about money. We have the same situation in Australia. Educated people have lower birthrates than people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

As an outsider the solution to the problem is simple- JOBS & EDUCATION. However, the difficulty is in providing the jobs and education and accommodating people's exceptional circumstances e.g. criminal record.
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Kellyb

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Re: Baltimore Homicide Victim #289
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2017, 10:13:10 am »
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That's very true problem is jobs can't just appear out of thin air and these countries are already fully industrialized. Jobs appear due to businesses expanding and requiring employees. The trend for the service and manufacturing sectors is less people needed for a given amount of production. As an example my neighborhood grocery store just installed 4 self check out lines. Instead of people manning a register they now have computers. You go in, scan your groceries, and pay, no human involved. The store is open 24 hours and those 4 lines used to employ 10 people full time. That's 10+ lost full time jobs just from those 4 registers.

That trend is happening everywhere in every industry and will accelerate exponentially.

People complain about schools, but everyone in the U.S. gets 12 yrs of free education with qualified teachers. If kids don't wanna go to school you can't make them.

I wouldn't get too caught up in what you see in the media about drama between republicans and democrats. The problems are so far gone now the end results will be the same regardless of party.** Go look at Bernie Sanders tax plan. That's the future, or close.  Add a VAT to that and that's how things will look in ~12 yrs or so.

**To clarify what i'm referring to here, world debt is at a massive level. U.S. debt is well past levels that have always impeded growth. Both federal and state pensions are massively underfunded. Clearly much more tax revenue will be needed at some point.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2017, 12:36:48 pm by Kellyb »