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  • Reflecting on #DisabilityAwarenessMonth Focusing on Prisons

    Introduction Note: We juxtapose injustices, within the context of jails and prisons, in the United States and on the continent of Africa; specifically South Africa. We seek to highlight similarities versus differences in an attempt to bridge the gap across the Transcontinental divide. It is our intent to increase awareness and promote solidarity in our quest for systemic reform of institutions of incarceration. A transformative discussion about Disability in Prisons ensued with special guests: Heather McKimmie, Director of Avid Program Disability Rights Washington and Sunjay Smith, Activist & Founder of Crip Justice. In light of the theme for the 2021 International Disability Awareness Day, the theme this year is, 'Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible, and sustainable post-COVID-19 world'. It is thus important that people with disabilities be made a priority especially in terms of access, in all its positive forms. No copyright infringement intended. Image signed by Bazaat & Sins Invalid. Therefore, the trajectories of one’s story usually span deep and that is the reality with this episode: it is a pea with two pods that are different in many ways. And certainly human in every way. “My name is Sunjay Smith, the founder of Crip Justice. I had my negative experiences with policing. But I also started to notice that issues of police violence against people with disabilities were going unnoticed. So I started documenting police violence against people with disabilities.” What is police brutality? The Amnesty Organisation outlines police brutality in-depth and in brevity. The brief is vivid: police brutality is boundless. You find it in the streets of Minneapolis to the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. It manifests as the unlawful use of force by police and it can end in death, injury, and devastation. The organization further mentions that many times, in the USA and elsewhere, police tend to kill or seriously injure people during racism-fuelled protests. Amnesty Organisation holds that it is common for the police to use force in response to protests or demonstrations. Hong Kong police were, for example, repeatedly deployed weapons like tear gas and rubber bullets in an unlawful way against protesters throughout 2019 and 2020. Undoubtedly, there is hardly any justice for victims and survivors as per the realities of brutal policing and the referred article. Hence it is focal to know your rights. Yet, it is more important to be informed about the legal permissions police have to know when they are overstepping their boundaries. Hence it is important to know your rights and to know what police are allowed to do. And to know when they are overstepping their boundaries. The term “police brutality” is thus used to refer to human rights violations by police. This is not limited to beatings, racial abuse, unlawful killings, torture, or indiscriminate use of riot control weapons including guns at protests. In reality, the unlawful use of force by police, unfortunately, deprives people of their right to life. Torture or other ill-treatment comes after the unnecessary or excessive police force. Thus, unlawful force by police violates the right to be free from discrimination, the right to freedom and security, and the right to equal protection under the law. Are police allowed to kill us? To answer whether police are allowed to kill, strict international laws and standards are relevant in how and when police can use force – particularly lethal force. Since the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials (BPUFF) is the key international instrument that deals with police use of force, it becomes increasingly important to know how legislation protects you. Notably, it is obligatory that state authorities, including police to respect and protect the right to life. International law holds that police officers should only use lethal force as a last resort. Thus, this means the deadly force is strictly necessary to protect themselves. Other than that, it should be used to protect others from the imminent threat of death or bodily harm, and only when other options for de-escalation are insufficient. Police brutality is a human issue Many killings by the police that society has seen globally do not meet this criterion. The lives of George Floyd, Michael Brown, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, and too many other Black people were unlawfully killed by police while unarmed. The protests in Iran in November 2019 resulted in police shots that killed hundreds of harmless protesters, including at least 23 children. The Philippines, witnessed the police shooting poor people who were suspected of using or selling drugs. It is reported that the same protectors were on the ground begging for mercy. The brief is vivid: police brutality is boundless. You find it in the streets of Minneapolis to the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. It manifests as the unlawful use of force by police, and it can end in death, injury, and devastation. The organization further mentions that many times, in the USA and elsewhere, police tend to kill or seriously injure people during racism-fuelled protests. Amnesty Organisation holds that it is common for the police to use force in response to protests or demonstrations. What international law says The most relevant thing to remember is that the obligation of state authorities, including the police, is to respect and protect the right to life. Under international law, police officers should only ever use lethal force as a last resort. This means when such force is strictly necessary to protect themselves or others from the imminent threat of death or serious injury, and only when other options for de-escalation are insufficient. Many killings by the police that we have seen around the world clearly do not meet this criterion. In the USA, George Floyd, Michael Brown, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, and too many other Black people who have been killed by police were unarmed. During protests in Iran in November 2019, police shot and killed hundreds of protesters who posed no risk, including at least 23 children. And in the Philippines, witnesses have described seeing police shoot poor people who were suspected of using or selling drugs as they were on the ground begging for mercy. The reality in South Africa: police fatally shoot teen South African police officers were arrested over the deadly shooting of a 16-year-old boy, which had sparked violent street protests. Nathaniel Julius, the police violence victim who had Down's syndrome, had gone out to buy biscuits when he was shot dead in Johannesburg's Eldorado Park suburb. The Julius family said Julius was shot after not answering officers' questions. They added that this was because of his disability. The police initially lied and said Julius had been caught up in a shootout between officers and local gangsters. The BBC reports that Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) held that it had decided to arrest the officers after "careful consideration of the evidence at hand". Archbishop Malusi Mpumlwana, head of the South African Council of Churches, told local media outside the Julius household, "There is no evidence of any provocation and it's difficult to understand why live ammunition could be used in a community such as this. We can't say Black Lives Matter in the United States if we don't say it in South Africa," he said. Summing-up It is a perpetual need that society ensures that police stop using force against the law and that those who kill unlawfully legally account. Watch the rest of the episode on our channel.

  • Dominique Morgan: An Agent of Transgender Awareness

    Note: We juxtapose injustices, within the context of jails and prisons, in the United States and on the continent of Africa; specifically South Africa. We seek to highlight similarities versus differences in an attempt to bridge the gap across the Transcontinental divide. It is our intent to increase awareness and promote solidarity in our quest for systemic reform of institutions of incarceration. Fall/Winter Edition: Issue 5 November observes National Life Writing Month and Transgender Awareness Month. How best to give justice to the untold stories of life after incarceration for persons belonging to the LGBT community! Largest LGBTQ US prison abolitionist organization Black and Pink is the largest United States prison abolitionist organization supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) and prisoners living with HIV. The group organizes a pen pal program. The prison abolitionist organization distributes a prisoner-written newspaper to its incarcerated members, provides court accompaniment, and educates people on their rights. The rainbow that is Dominique Morgan Dominique Morgan, the executive producer of Black and Pink, unpacks the prison experiences of the LGBTQ community. Morgan is an award-winning artist, activist, and TedxTalk speaker. She works daily to dismantle systems that perpetuate violence in the LGBTQ/Gender Non-Conforming (GNC) people and people living with HIV/Aids. How the Black and Pink executive producer is a force Morgan has combined her mass incarceration experiences and 18 months in solitary confinement. as a revolution to abolish prison systems She has coupled the above with a decade of change-making artistry, advocacy, and a background in public health. Morgan works in sex education spaces, radical self-care, and transformative youth development with intentions to dismantle the prison industrial complex and its impact on communities. She is a 2020 Ten Outstanding Young Americans Award (TOYA) recipient. The NAACP awarded Morgan the Freedom Fighter Award. In 2020, Morgan was the JM Capelin Innovation Prize recipient. In 2020, the revolutionary force was completing a capstone project for studies in the Georgetown University - System Involved LGBTQ Youth Scholar Program. Her new album Pisces, an E-Flat Major is available on all platforms. Morgan's book will be available in 2022. From Morgan's mouth “I am a person who identifies as formerly incarcerated. I am a Black transwoman from Omaha, Nebraska. I am a young person that navigated the juvenile system, foster care attention centers and was in the adult system for almost a decade,” shared Morgan. Post prison release in February 2009, Morgan tried to utilize an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Management that she obtained during her incarceration “being a salve to the prison system for 8 to 10 hours a day working in the kitchen,” shared Morgan. Revolutionary. Black. Transgender. Sourced. How Morgan used resources to overcome adversities Her highest hopes included figuring out how to navigate her 30s after living in prison through her 20s. “Activism, community engagement through the pride organization in Nebraska. It is interesting to watch folks who have had access to ways of knowing that prepared them for what they want to do.” Morgan observed teenagers go through experiences that she did not necessarily have. “I watched teenagers, some of my students, they are in their freshman year. They are planning for what they want to do 20 years from now. I did not have that sort of experience," juxtaposed Morgan the teenage and student groups to herself. It was not intentional. It was, ‘this is interesting to me. Let me, volunteer.’ It feels good to be among these people. I feel like I am giving back in some way.” Executive Producer of Black and Pink. Sourced. The event that changed the trajectory of Morgan’s life One thing about Morgan is that she is plenty a woman. With plenty strategy. Upon attending an event, she interacted with someone who had been paid at the event. Morgan was curious as to how they had received the opportunity. “I asked her, ‘how did that happen?’ And she was like, ‘I have a degree in public health.' I did not ask any other questions. I remember feeling embarrassed asking that question in the first place.” If embarrassment is lemons, Morgan turned it into lemonade Morgan “went home and signed up for an online degree program in a public health program that night. Five years later, [I] graduated with a degree in public health focusing on sexual health," said Morgan. "I started working as a comprehensive sex educator at a qualified health center in Omaha, Nebraska. It was exciting to work with my community, the Black community of Omaha, around our access to sexual liberation. And being able to investigate how the lack of comprehensive sex ed[ucation] was a lynchpin." Watch the rest of the episode on YouTube.

  • Teen Girl Chose Death Over Rapist Dad: Justice for Mikaela Haynes

    Note: We juxtapose injustices, within the context of jails and prisons, in the United States and on the continent of Africa; specifically South Africa. We seek to highlight similarities versus differences in an attempt to bridge the gap across the Transcontinental divide. It is our intent to increase awareness and promote solidarity in our quest for systemic reform of institutions of incarceration. Fall/Winter Edition: Issue 4 Mikaela Haynes, fourteen year old at the time, committed suicide. Haynes refused to be under the care of her convicted rapist father. Image supplied. Why fourteen year old Mikaela Haynes took her life On the day of this episode, the start of Mental Health Awareness Month, our Show slogan hit hard. I began to appreciate that the Justice Beat is “where we discuss what matters to you.” And what should matter to all. The topic was minors’ rights and guardianship cases. And boy, were we all not ready for the forces! Introduction to a powerful, justice feminine force. Our guest on this topic, Evita Tolu, an immigrant and lawyer came to the United States at 25 with more justice determination than the 200 USD in her pocket. In 2006, she started her immigration law practice. As a former immigrant, she has walked the success path in the U.S., and she knows what it takes to comply with immigration laws. She later expanded her legal practice to accommodate domestic and family violence victims. Her motivation was her lived experiences. She suffered personal trauma from domestic violence and family court corruption. Tolu found the court unsupportive of family domestic violence victims and perpetuating them by proxy. She cites the central issue as the involvement of legal professions. Tolu is, therefore, actively involved with Missouri legislators to amend the laws. Her goal is to redress the family court to guarantee accountability for family court professions. Tolu is vivid in her aims to protect children. Louisiana education specialist does justice for education, impairment, and minors Our second guest was Victor M. Jones, is a New Orleans, Louisiana, Education Specialist Counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. (LDF). He focuses on children’s rights and disability rights. Jones engages in integrated advocacy, litigation public policy, and public education. He has educated Louisiana educators, parents, and lawmakers about education equity issues. This includes immigrant children’s rights, special education, student discipline, and access to children’s mental health services. Before practicing law, Jones was a public school kindergarten teacher. He was a graduate student studying risk and resiliency in children and adolescents. Jones is a published author, guest lecturer, and frequent commentator in civil rights issues impacting children and young adults. Husband arrested for molesting his stepdaughter Tolu’s client, Cynthia “Cindy” Randolph, says that “Back on December 1, 2013, my husband was arrested for molesting his stepdaughter. [She] is my daughter from a previous marriage. She was twelve at the time, and he was arrested and then promptly just let out again.” Randolph says that it has been eight years of trying to get a divorce from him. “Time has gone on; more information has come out from more who he has molested,” says Randolph. “He is in prison right now. December 12 of 2018 [five years after the crime] he went to prison, finally. He is in Farmington Correctional Centre for seven years [now]”, says Randolph. It has taken equally long to have justice done for what he did to her and Mikaela and her other daughter. “Time has gone on; more information has come out from more who he has molested,” says Randolph. Yet, despite the established caliber of the perpetrator; nothing has been done for what he has done to Mikaela. “He is in prison right now, shares Randolph.” December 12 of 2018 [five years after the crime] he went to prison, finally. He is in Farmington Correctional Centre for seven years [now].” Randolph holds that “[w]hile he was out, he was using the system against me worse even than he was molesting [Mikaela]. He has used the system to help him, and it has hurt us a lot just having to deal with false allegations.” It is sick to imagine that children in the modern-day are not safe around their parent(s). It makes me wonder, who do you call kin when the person you expect to be king takes advantage of you? Sexual violence perpetrating GAL gets off abuse case Randolph painfully accounts that her husband accused her of educational neglect on her two youngest children that they have together. Randolph’s daughters were taken away and put in foster care because of that. “It has been horrific! They cannot take being taken away from their mother for nothing, especially on false allegations. They appointed a guardian, Jennifer Williams, on my case," Randolph said. Williams was put on the case on January 6, 2016. She got off by being exposed by Evita’s work and some others like Megan Fox, a journalist, that helped get her to get off the case. She is atrocious.” The mother to four daughters shared that Williams is trying to get her two daughters to not testify against Randolph’s husband in court. “The court-appointed the guardian ad litem. Like a GAL,” says Randolph. “This woman was named Jennifer Williams. She was threatening Mikaela and Melissa. And she didn’t want me to testify against him. She’s acting more as his attorney. Or his representative than the children that she is appointed to protect and to help.” The devastated mother cited media exposure, and family and immigration lawyer’s, Tolu, help through writing paperwork. “I couldn’t find an attorney that was in the area that would do anything to help out. It wasn’t until she got on the case and started exposing what was going on that things started turning around.” Evita Tolu brings context to the case “Cindy was married before, with husband number one, and she had two daughters. And then, with husband number two, she also had two daughters. Husband number two molested Cindy’s daughter from the first marriage from age twelve to fourteen. At one point, her daughter, Melissa, came forward to say, ‘I can’t do it anymore. I have to tell my mom.’” The family lawyer recounts the atrocities in this case. “The moment news broke, he was arrested and charged with multiple counts. One which was deviant, forceful sodomy with a minor. He [w]as released and while being released, he started molesting his biological daughter, Mikaela.” Tolu recounts that “The guardian ad litem appointed in the case, made sure that the abuser had access to his minor children and he had multiple opportunities to molest Mikaela.” When asked by our host, Elaine Sutton, how Mikaela underwent more sexual abuses under an appointed guardian, Tolu was fearless to account. “[Williams] went to the court and said that Cindy fabricated allegations of sexual abuse. That the accused is used, and he must have access to his children. His children were given access to him based on the false allegation of educational neglect”. It is the logic applied judicially in this case that makes me wonder: e is anything sicker than systematization? I find that it justifies more than it resolves. “The children were given to the molester’s mother who was 90 years old at that time. She was blind, deaf, and medicated with painkillers and insomnia pills. They made her the sole custodian of the two girls. While in her custody, the accused-child-sodomizer came to the house and molested Mikaela.” Haynes's cry for help: bloody red and loud Tolu recounts that “Then, Mikaela started cutting herself and telling everyone, ‘Please, stop. I am afraid. He’s in my bedroom in the middle of the night’. Cindy had to take her to the hospital where they treated her for self-mutilation. She disclosed to the hospital and everyone what was going on at grandmother’s house”. It is after this incident that evil roamed around like a predator on the game. “Then, the guardian ad litem seized the children from Cindy and placed them in foster care. The guardian ad litem continues her agenda of reunifying the rape victim with the rapist. That was going on for two years while she was on the case,” says Tolu. The immigration lawyer says that “the final drop in the bucket was when guardian ad litem, Jennifer Williams, testified saying that the already convicted child sodomizer should be placed on probation and not into incarceration.” Following Williams’s testimony, Haynes took her life “If her father, her abuser, is on probation, that means he also has access to her. She was threatened that if she testified against her father, she will be taken and placed in foster care away from her mother. So this girl had no choice of survival. And everything was done by the guardian ad litem.” Sutton questioned Tolu, on whether the second daughter testified and disclosed any information. “She disclosed to the police that she was continuously threatened. That if she ever testifies against her stepfather, Mikaela, who took her life, and [the daughter] who is still alive, they will be either taken into foster care or they will be given back to sodomizer because he will be on probation. The guardian ad litem, threatened the entire family, all the victims in this case. Either foster case; or sodomizer’s probation so he could have access to all of them.” Mugshot of convicted child rapist, Charles Michael Hynes. Sourced from PJ Media. Girl children’s life and sanity turned into securable bags for ad litem guardian When we explore the reasons for Williams’s inhumanity, we are pointed to the root of all evil. Greed. Our executive producer, Sutton, subsequently asked Tolu, whether we get to the root of why Williams appeared to support the accused more than the victims. “[The accused] was paying her money.” Tolu also stated that this was established to be true. “Yes, at one point she received compensation from the sodomizer and the sodomizer’s [90-year-old] mother”. Our host asked whether the previously discussed actions were legal, and the answer blew me away. “Nothing that took place, in this case, is legal. Nothing”, replied Tolu Victor Jones further unpacked the gravity of a guardian ad litem’s role. “In this instance, [Williams, a lawyer] took away from the children’s right to have a voice. I have seen 'in some instances where guardian ad litems have been for the children and have had relationships with judges. And it ultimately benefitted the children. But I think because of instances like this, it does bring back the question, whether or not guardian ad litems should be lawyers.” Perpetual legal profession crimes all connect to the judicial system I remember Shawn "JAY Z" Carter'S, Roc Boys, verse, “[thanks] to boys in blue who put greed before their badge… cheers! Toast to crime”. This particular verse is a signifier that injustices in the justice system are often controlled by the very people who are appointed by the system: law enforcers and hence legal professions. The issue of legal professions and corruption is currently manifesting in endless commissions of inquiry that are constitutionally provisioned in South Africa. Unfortunately, corruption never hits a singular; it destroys a collective. That is something very evident in this case. Randolph says that “[Willams] eventually went and testified at my husband’s sentencing. She said she was saving herself for that testimony. She didn’t even want to talk to my other daughter, who is in prison for now. She didn’t want to talk to her", said the mother of four. “One could argue”, said Jones, “that a disciplinary complaint must have been filed against Williams. I can tell you”, said Jones, “that in the legal system, lawyers protect each other a lot. Do you know how you hear about the blue code among policemen? That exists in the legal profession. The chances of a lawyer being sanctioned for misconduct are very slim. Especially when it comes to children’s rights cases and child welfare cases. You could have that recourse. But attorneys are down for each other.” A handful of injustices First, stepfather molests stepdaughter. Secondly, the stepdaughter, Melissa, cries for help. Thirdly, child-sodomizing-molesting father molests biological daughter, Melissa. Fourthly, the appointed guardian makes the girls (that she should be protecting;) vulnerable to their sexually abusive (step)father. Lastly, by the time Williams is removed from the case; Micaela’s life is unaccountably lost. Legal profession hosts perpetrators Sadly, it is people who have studied and practiced law who are found to be involved in perpetuating injustices. I revisit Immortal Technique’s (an underground hip-hop rapper) lyricism; before unpacking the toxicity in the legal profession. The rapper raps in Poverty of Philosophy that, “they don’t realize that [the] America[n] [the legal system] can’t exist without separating them from their [legal] identity. Because if we had some sense of who we are [as legal professions], there’s no way in hell we’d allow this country to push [systematically] its genocidal consensus on us”. “There is a lot of debate whether or not guardian ad litems should be attorneys for this very reason. GALs do not have to be an attorney. But they can be. Oftentimes, though, if you have a guardian ad litem who is an attorney, they tend to have relationships with attorneys and judges in the case. That can spew the entire process”, said Jones. The root of the matter is quite deep following what Tolu shared during the show about the role of Missouri judges. “There were therapists involved. The court-appointed psychologists wrote multiple letters to the judge saying, ‘Please protect these children! Please tell me, what is going on. Why is the guardian ad litem scampering the witnesses? Why is the guardian ad litem threatening the witnesses?’ There was no reaction from the court.” Williams, the ad litem guardian, is no longer on the case Tolu says that “this case is set for trial in February [2022]. This is the pattern of what convicted child deviant child molester is doing. Each time the case comes for trial, he fires his lawyer. Then the new lawyer gets appointed and asks for a continuance. This case has been going on for eight years.” After this long, one presumes that substantive probes are made towards justice. Sutton proceeded to ask, whether there was no one questioning these things. And whether the court system was not wondering why this case was not coming to trial. “I am the only one who is questioning. I wanted the trial yesterday [on 3 October 2021]. The judge did not give it to me. The soonest we could do it is in February. It has been eight years of hell where children are dying is enough.” In terms of resolving the twelve-year-old daughter’s, who has not been sodomized yet, custody; Tolu says that the court is considering giving the accused child abuser prison visitation rights. “They want the child victim to do jail visits so the parent can masturbate in there. That is what the judge is thinking about as of this moment. The child’s father is asking for jail visits. And we cannot resolve this issue. No case in Missouri says it has to be done. That the convicted child sodomizer has access through jail visits to a minor”. What about Micaela’s suicide? “No one cares about Micaela’s death. Micaela died because she wanted to save her little sister. She wanted to draw her under the rug”, said Tolu boldly. It is gruesome that such carelessness has been applied in this case despite a life lost. The media’s involvement in this case The passionate immigration lawyer, Tolu, says that the media attention came strenuously. Tolu has been talking through a New York journalist. The journalist started covering the story. “There is no one in the state of Missouri who is covering it. Trust me, I contacted every outlet in Missouri. No one is talking about it. No one is talking about courts that do not protect minors. The [outlets] say it is impossible. [I] am a conspiracy writer. The [court] record is clear, what is going on in this case for eight years. We have a dead child.” Missouri journalism channels question deceased child’s lawyer legitimacy Sutton asked Tolu whether Missouri journalists did not ask for supporting documentation to prove from their end, that she was a conspirator. “I write a story. I send it. I get a response, ‘We are not interested. This is a conspiracy theory. This is not even possible. People say, ‘how is this even possible?’, shares the family lawyer. Tolu concurred with why, to some, this was a shock beyond words. “Honestly, until I got involved in this case, I thought the same thing. How would it be even possible that the court is considering sending a twelve-year-old to jail? The parent can masturbate in there. But it is possible. That is what is going on in this case.” What is the guardian ad litem’s role? New Orleans-based Education Specialist Counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense, and Education Fund, Inc. (LDF), Victor Jones, said that when guardian ad litem is appointed, they are to serve as neutral parties, independent of any decision-making or swaying from the parents. “Their sole role is to be there for a child. The sole role of a guardian ad litem is to be the voice of a child. It sounds like in this case, the children were not given that,” Jones said. The education specialist sent his deepest condolences to Micaela. Jones added that this was a grave injustice by the justice system. Successively, Jones visited the roots of the problem. “It sounds like a grave injustice by the legal system. It often does happen for families that are people of color. And it often happens for families who are of low income means”. Jones pointed out that children are not supposed to have a voice in court. There is a standard, said Jones, called the best interest of the child. In that standard, children are allowed to vocalize through the guardian ad litem, what it is they prefer. “What is in their best interest? It sounds in this case, the guardian ad litem failed them repeatedly. And not only did she fail them repeatedly; it sounds like she has the best interest against one of the parents. Which goes against the standards of a guardian ad litem, said Jones.” “We do not view children as whole beings,” said Jones Jones pointed out that, “we do not view children as whole beings. And I see that a lot in court”, said Jones. The Louisiana-based education specialist and lawyer said that: “I have had to tell judges, the decision-makers that, ‘You do understand that the child is allowed to say things. There’s a viewpoint in American society that children are lesser beings. That adults know more. That they are smarter and [are] more competent. Oftentimes, especially because minors are not allowed to do certain things in court; you have to make sure that there is someone there who is a voice for children. That is what the guardian ad litem is. They are supposed to be that voice”. One can deduct from Jones’ statement that the problem is within. Hence, the diagnosis and the healing should be targeted at the justice system and how it perceives and defines children. Jones further asserts that there is a perception with the legal profession that children are not capable of advocating for their best interests. “I think that is why their rights are so limited”. What recourse is there for a child whose rights have been violated? The NAACP LDF education specialist shared more legal knowledge gems. Jones held that a child cannot file a complaint when their rights are violated. “Technically, they are supposed to have a guardian ad litem that speaks for them. A child can petition to the court to have a new guardian ad litem”, said Jones. It became evident that the legal system and its flaws oftentimes fail children more than it protects them. It is equally clear that the injustices are propelled by sovereign authorities. “When they do [petition], there is a perception by judges that they must have been swayed by parents. It is the mindset of a judge, ‘What do you know? You are a child. You do not know anything. You do not know who is advocating for you. Normally, a child can petition to have a new guardian ad litem if the one that they have is not advocating for them”, said Jones. At this point, it is clear that systemic forces play a huge role. “Judges are immune in the state of Missouri. No matter what they do. They are immune. They have absolute judicial immunity. There is no accountability. That is why as a society we need to remove this immunity; so people start being accountable and we can sue them.” This is how Micaela petitioned multiple times for a new guardian ad litem Micaela’s lawyer cited that the deceased Micaela and her mother petitioned multiple times to remove Williams from her case. However, Williams refused to recuse herself. “The other atrocious thing that she has done”, said Tolu, “[is that] every piece of evidence that she was supposed to present to the court, on behalf of the child, she concealed. And every time Cindy tried to expose her, she threatened to Cindy to take away her custody rights.” The law in Missouri requires a guardian ad litem to be a lawyer “In Missouri, it is the law. The only person who can be a guardian ad litem is a lawyer” said Tolu. This came as a shock to Jones and Sutton, our host and executive producer. Tolu said that in 1993, a case in Missouri decided that only the judge can reprimand the guardian ad litem. So, when you do file a complaint with the disciplinary board, you are told that you do not have jurisdiction. “I have dozens of complaints sitting, in a similar language, go back to the judge ‘we don’t have jurisdiction to review your complaint’. And when you go to the judge, the guardian ad litem does vindicate against you. This is a complete circle. There is no justice for children. And injustice does take place regularly,” said the immigration lawyer, Tolu. What can society do to bring justice in children and minor rights cases? Tolu advised that as a society, it is pivotal that we remove immunity and hence the lack of accountability in law enforcers. “It is the same thing with police brutality. Policemen are immune. Judges are immune. Guardians are immune. There’s nothing we can do, said Tolu”. Sutton noted the three suggested points during the episode that can be enforced to bring change. Watch full episode: https://web.facebook.com/justicebeat2day/videos/296746928550296/ , ,

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  • Video Digest | The Justice Beat Talk Show

    Djembe' "Talking Drum" Video Digest Season 1 | Episode 1 of The Talking Drum, video digest for The Justice Beat Talk Show Season 1, Episode 1 This link to educate yourself on minimum standards of care in jails in prisons This link to volunteer to be involved in the rehabilitation of offenders This link to support campaigns— ACTIONSTL, ArchCity, Bail Project attack on mass incarceration — people routinely remain incarcerated due to their inability to afford unconstitutionally high cash bails Season 1 | Episode 2 of The Talking Drum, video digest for The Justice Beat Talk Show Season 1, Episode 2 This link outlining a plan to permanently shutter the City’s Medium Security Institution, commonly known as the Workhouse. This link to find out who your alderperson is and call mayor lyda krewson and demand action now (314) 622-3201 Inquire about volunteering email closetheworkhouse@gmail.com or call (314) 722-5196

  • JustUs Youth | Justice Beat

    COMING SOON! JustUs YOUTH Talk Show Hosted by: Karla Sutton McKinney & Co Hosted by: Karen D. Sutton Karla S. is a mentor, teacher, writer, and recently, the author of Summer of 2020. A book of poetry that poses questions and thought-provoking declarations on the turbulent civic events that crescendo with the death of George Floyd. Just Us YOUTH talk show, was one of the first youth to ever be given a life sentence and he is now one of the biggest advocates for juvenile youth. Current NxGen Media Intern, Reginald Carter is expected to maintain role of associate producer for the spin-off talk show. ​ STAY UPDATED! Featuring Attorney Evita Tolu CORE VALUES MISSION "Our mission is to equip, educate, and empower family members and friends of the incarcerated/formerly incarcerated to boldly and confidently advocate for the physical health and overall well-being of individuals impacted by the collateral consequences of mass incarceration." PURPOSE Social Justice Reform ​ VISION "Our singularly focused vision seeks not to single-out, exclude, discard, or disregard any person nor to elevate any person above another person but to righteously support and promote the dignity and humanity of ALL in the human race impacted by the injustices presented by systems (jails/prisons) of incarceration." Month 1 Month 2 Month 3 Sign up for updates on the JustUs YOUTH talk show or Be A Guest on the show! Sign me up! First Name Last Name Email Message Submit Thanks for submitting!

  • Criminal Justice | The Justice Beat Talk Show

    Welcome to The Justice Beat Talk Show SEASON 4 Facebook Live 09/11/2021 WATCH HERE Host L. Elaine Sutton Mbionwu Saturdays 10-11 AM CST Airing on FB Live @justicebeat2day | HOT 365 Radio | Replay on YouTube Are you a family member/friend of an incarcerated love one? Do you find yourself unsure of how to address matters specific to the health and well-being of your loved one? If yes, then you will find The Justice Beat Talk Show as a reliable source for relevant and timely information. ​ The mission of The Justice Beat Talk Show is to inform, equip, and empower families, touched by incarceration, with guidance on how to advocate boldly and confidently on behalf of their loved one that is incarcerated. ​ What makes the Justice Beat Talk Show unique is our focus on YOU and YOUR ability to ensure your loved one’s health and well-being are properly addressed during their incarceration. ​ The primary goal of The Justice Beat Talk Show is to provide our listening audience with a clear understanding about the rights of individuals incarcerated as well as the responsibilities of those charged with overseeing the operations and administration of jails and prisons. ​ The Justice Beat Talk Show DOES NOT provide legal advice or legal services. ​ Show topics focus on conditions of confinement matters such as: ​ access to medical care and treatment; requesting medical records; accommodations for individuals with disabilities; sexual assaults; pregnant women and incarceration; and internal grievance processes and more... ​ Get your questions ready. Grab a snack and drink and let's talk smart about our Vision for Justice in 2021. ​ ​ To stay update to date on the launch of the Justice Beat Talk Show, please check back to get the latest updates. ​ PAST EPISODES #TheJusticeBeatRadioShow TheJusticeBeat YouTube The Justice Beat Blog TheJusticeBeat FacebookLive Thandolwethu Gulwa, Content Blogger/Nx Gen Media Intern Nov 18 Dominique Morgan: An Agent of Transgender Awareness Dominique Morgan, the executive producer of Black and Pink, unpacks the prison experiences of the LGBTQ community. Morgan is award-winning. 4 0 Post not marked as liked Thandolwethu Gulwa, Content Blogger/Nx Gen Media Intern Oct 30 Teen Girl Chose Death Over Rapist Dad: Justice for Mikaela Haynes Note: We juxtapose injustices, within the context of jails and prisons, in the United States and on the continent of Africa; specifically... 675 0 Post not marked as liked Thandolwethu Gulwa, Content Blogger/Nx Gen Media Intern Oct 29 Zero Justice Served: Highest US Court Executes Ernest Johnson Note: We juxtapose injustices, within the context of jails and prisons, in the United States and on the continent of Africa; specifically... 20 0 Post not marked as liked Thandolwethu Gulwa, Content Blogger/Nx Gen Media Intern Oct 29 Transforming Justice Through Professor Xhercis Méndez’s Justice Beat Note: We juxtapose injustices, within the context of jails and prisons, in the United States and on the continent of Africa; specifically... 7 0 Post not marked as liked Thandolwethu Gulwa, Content Blogger/Nx Gen Media Intern Oct 14 Inaugurating Issue of the Djembe Beat! Note: We juxtapose injustices, within the context of jails and prisons, in the United States and on the continent of Africa; specifically... 36 0 2 likes. Post not marked as liked 2 Danielle Logan, WIOA Intern, Webmaster Team Jul 20 Meet Summer Cohort 5: Pre-production Planning Team Welcome Justice Beat Supporters!!! Here you will meet our Season 4 Summer Cohort 5 Pre-production team. We can't deny these past couple... 52 0 3 likes. Post not marked as liked 3 Intern With Us Are you a media, communications, technical/digital major? Do you have a passion for social change? Intern with us! Read More > Advertise Interested in advertising your product or service on the talk show? Fill out our ad form for more info! Read More > Become a patreon Want to show your support, have access to exclusive content? Subscribe and become a Patreon member! Read More > Guest Speaker Become a guest on the show! Do you have a story to tell? Are you working to fight injustice in the criminal justice system? Become a guest. Read More > professional & industry memberships collaborative partnerships Don't Miss Out! SUBSCRIBE TO STAY UP TO DATE AND NOT MISS AN EPISODE SUBSCRIBE Thanks for submitting!

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