community Service means Business!

26 September 2009

Sample SPARC calendar

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One Year Out: Experiences of Prisoners Returning to Cleveland


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One Year Out.pdf (198 KB)

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Executive Summary - The Geography of Punishment | Prison Policy Initiative

Since 1989, Massachusetts has required that certain drug offenses receive a mandatory minimum sentence of two years’ incarceration if the offense occurs within 1,000 feet of a school. The law has been amended twice, first to add 100-foot zones around parks and playgrounds and then to create 1,000-foot zones around accredited daycare centers and Head Start facilities. Originally intended to protect children from the adverse effects of drugs and drug-related activity, the law was part of a legislative package put forth by Governor Dukakis to “get drugs out of our schools by 1990.”[1]
The sentencing enhancement zones were intended to work as a geographic deterrent; identifying specific areas where children gather and driving drug offenders away from them with the threat of the enhanced penalty. However, the law does not require that the defendant be aware of the zone, and applies regardless of proximity to the protected location, whether school is in session, and whether children are present. Although unseen at the time, these fundamental flaws guaranteed that the law would not work.

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Geo-Politicized Space: Race, Representation & the 2010 Census

November 4, 2009: Peter Wagner will be speaking about prison-based gerrymandering on a Geo-Politicized Space: Race, Representation & the 2010 Census panel hosted by Muhlenberg College's Center for Ethics in Allentown, PA. The panel will be at 7pm in Moyer Hall.

Geo-Politicized Space: Race, Representation & the 2010 Census: An Interdisciplinary Panel Discussion
Co-Sponsored by the Department of Political Science

In 2010, the United States will undertake its 23rd decennial census of our population. Much is at stake.  The Census affects more than $300 billion per year in state and federal funding for local communities. Just as important, the Census is used to apportion seats in the US House of Representatives and to redistrict state legislators, ultimately shaping our electoral power as citizens and members of local communities. The Census informs the decisions of political leaders, determines school district assignment areas, defines legislative districts, and affects the representation of communities and groups in government.
The Census, in short, is a snapshot of who we are as a nation, providing information that affects decisions ranging from the provision of services to the elderly; to the construction of new roads and schools; to the safeguarding of electoral competitiveness, voting rights, and representative democracy.  In addition, following the 22nd Census, the 2010 Census will include a "multiracial" category in the counting and mapping of community populations across the nation, raising a host of questions about the political, legal, and ethical problems created by the uncertainty of counting and classifying multiracial individuals.

This multi-scholar panel of academic experts from a range of fields will discuss the implications of the 2010 Census with an emphasis on the affects of the Census and political apportionment on race and representation. How does the inclusion of a "multiracial" category in the US Census both reflect the fiction of exclusive racial categories and create new problems for safeguarding the civil rights of racial minority populations?
How do political and partisan leaders attempt to draw district boundaries so as to maximize institutional and electoral power? How do new technologies make it possible for legislatures to "gerrymander" districts for partisan advantage? What is a "community of interest," and how are these communities determined by race, or by "natural" geographical boundaries? Are "majority-minority" districts a legitimate response to historical discrimination faced by African American and Latino communities, or do such districts  give unfair preferences to one section of the population? How does the counting of the population and the drawing of district lines shape the political and racial landscape of minority and majority communities, and what are the ethical dilemmas raised in the drawing of these political boundaries?  

Panelists include Peter Wagner, Executive Director of the Prison Policy Initiative; Bruce Cain, Professor of Political Science at the University of California--Berkeley; and Aitya Stokes-Brown, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Bucknell University

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Prisoners of the Census

Census Bureau’s Counting of Prisoners Benefits Some Rural Voting Districts
By Sam Roberts, October 23, 2008

Danny R. Young, a 53-year-old backhoe operator for Jones County in eastern Iowa, was elected to the Anamosa City Council with a total of two votes — both write-ins, from his wife and a neighbor.
While the Census Bureau says Mr. Young’s ward has roughly the same population as the city’s three others, or about 1,400 people, his constituents wield about 25 times more political clout. That is because his ward includes 1,300 inmates housed in Iowa’s largest penitentiary — none of whom can vote. Only 58 of the people who live in Ward 2 are nonprisoners. That discrepancy has made Anamosa a symbol for a national campaign to change the way the Census Bureau counts prison inmates.

Read the rest of the article: Census Bureau’s Counting of Prisoners Benefits Some Rural Voting Districts

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RAM Tough!

RAM Tough!
Don't Believe the Hype.

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25 September 2009

Pinellas County Jail Drops $8 Co-pay for Prisoners' Doctor Visits

Pinellas County Florida Jail drops $8 co-pay for inmates' doctor visits
By Drew Harwell, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Sunday, September 20, 2009

LARGO — The Pinellas County Jail will no longer charge an $8 co-payment to inmates seeking medical care, forfeiting an estimated $50,000 in annual revenue from a policy that jail officials said created more problems than profit.   More

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G2.0 Has Left the City.

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"Ban The Box" Ordinance Approved | Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network

"Ban The Box" Ordinance Approved | Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network

New Haven’s Board of Aldermen has approved the controversial “Ban the Box” ordinance, aimed at helping ex-offenders get jobs.  
"The “Box” is that part of a job application where people have to say whether or not they’ve been convicted of a crime.  The legislation eliminates the box from city job applications and moves criminal background checks later into the hiring process, after its been determined if the applicant is otherwise qualified for the position. Under the new law, vendors and contractors doing business with New Haven must do the same.

Click to Listen


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24 September 2009

Prisoners of the Census

This website documents the work of the Prison Policy Initiative. We examine a once-obscure Census Bureau glitch that undermines our democracy and suggest workable federal, state and local solutions that would reduce the harm caused by the Census Bureau's prison miscount.

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Rollip - Create Polaroids from your photos!

my dreams have been answered.

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G2.0 Embedded Citizen Journalist

G2.0: Day Four
Last minute arrival of Red Carpeting for G20 dignitaries.

G2.0 - Day Four
Covert images of the "Potted People's Green for Life Committee G20 Insurgency HQ

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Git' up on This!

<p>Alex Honnold sending in Indian Creek, Utah from Black Diamond Equipment on Vimeo.</p>

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G2.0: G20 Psychic Service Command

Covert images from deep inside G20 Command Post. showing the employment of psychic energies to call forth a 48 hour deluge upon the G20 Insurgents.

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G2.0 G20 Insurgency Tactical Manual

G20 Insurgency manual depicting the so-called "Spartan Analog Stirrup System (SASS).
- A primary force multiplier device used to deploy "little people" onto the field.

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G2.0: G20 Insurgent sampan preparing to engage the smug & over-confident Pittsburgh River Patrol

G20 Insurgent sampan (note: the flags of the International G2.0 Confederation).

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G2.0: G20 Insurgents spotted just outside of their secret lair.

G20 Insurgent Campgrounds

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G2.0 G20 Vendors- Feeding the Masses

G20 Vendors- Feeding the Masses

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23 September 2009

Audio Learning Tools

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Interview Skill Building

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A Career Path in Pictures

A Career Path in Pictures
By Jessica Hagy
Jessica Hagy has a unique and irreverent sense of humor, and has the ability to capture complex realities in a 3” by 5” frame. Here she has organized a series of twenty index cards she has created throughout the years, plotting the trajectory of an imagined, but possibly recognizable, career path.

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The View from the Top (of Pittsburgh's Mt. Washington)

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Should You be Ashamed to be on Public Assistance?

So what’s with the stigma of food stamps, welfare, and other programs commonly associated with the lowest of the low? Our federal government wants us to use these services. So much, in fact, that it is considering renaming the food stamp program the “Food and Nutrition Program” to relieve some of the shame that accompanies participation. College students are being encouraged to qualify for food assistance as an alternative to an often inadequate diet.

Sure, there are abuses to the programs, folks who just don’t try, and a barrage of cases where it just doesn’t help much anyway. There are also families who have been helped – families who needed a little more time to get on their feet. These people used their resources to the best of their abilities. They cut coupons, shopped sale ads, and managed portions of healthy foods to be sure that their “food stamps” were put to the best use. They went to bed with full stomachs and hope for tomorrow.

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Bare life?

There is much that is admirable in the way that slum dwellers struggle against overwhelming adversity, but admiration must be tempered by the realization that they do not struggle because they choose to, out of principle, or in the service of high social or political ideals, but because of their desperation at the brutal limits of survival. It is a mistake—and a grave disservice to them—to imagine that their ingenuity, resourcefulness, and capacities for self-organization can in any way serve as models for our present global society. To believe so would be to endorse the dog-eat-dog ethics that rule their lives and, all too often, those occupying society’s more economically advantaged classes.

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The Movie Director’s Guide to Effective Teaching

“We Learn . . .
10% of what we read
20% of what we hear
30% of what we see
50% of what we see and hear
70% of what we discuss
80% of what we experience
95% of what we teach others.”

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Big Brother’s Technical Difficulties

With names like “Talon,” surveillance programs not only evoke Big Brother, but also assumptions that they are operated in supremely futuristic fashion. Big Brother never wants for the latest gadgets, the thinking goes; he’s had them for years in a sparkling hive where your every move is tracked.

Well, not so in San Francisco, at least, where ambitions to keep a closer eye on dangerous areas of the city have run into a problem as old as its many hills. Big Brother has budgetary constraints there, so the two-and-a-half year-old system is rife with problems, The San Francisco Chronicle has concluded after a thorough review:

The 68 city-funded cameras perched above San Francisco’s toughest street corners have been under fire in recent months for failing to provide evidence leading to arrests, and one of the reasons may be simple:
Choppy video.
Run on a modest budget, Mayor Gavin Newsom’s surveillance camera program has produced footage that is disjointed and less clear than the nearly seamless and sharp quality of video that the devices are capable of delivering.

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Urban Schools Aiming Higher Than Diploma

BOSTON — At Excel High School, in South Boston, teachers do not just prepare students academically for the SAT; they take them on practice walks to the building where the SAT will be given so they won’t get lost on the day of the test.

In Chattanooga, Tenn., the schools have abolished their multitrack curriculum, which pointed only a fraction of students toward college. Every student is now on a college track.

And in the Washington suburb of Prince George’s County, Md., the school district is arranging college tours for students as early as seventh grade, and adding eight core Advanced Placement classes to every high school, including some schools that had none.

Those efforts, and others across the country, reflect a growing sense of urgency among educators that the primary goal of many large high schools serving low-income and urban populations — to move students toward graduation — is no longer enough. Now, educators say, even as they struggle to lift dismal high school graduation rates, they must also prepare the students for college, or some form of post-secondary school training, with the skills to succeed.

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10 Secrets to Success

1. How You Think is Everything.

Always be positive. Think Success, not Failure. Beware of a negative environment.

This trait has to be one of the most important in the entire list. Your belief that you can accomplish your goals has to be unwavering. The moment you say to yourself “I can’t…”, then you won’t. I was always given the advice “never say I can’t” and I’d like to strike those words from the dictionary.

I’ve found that from time-to-time my attitude waivers. A mentor of mine once said “it’s ok to visit pity city, but you can’t stay and there comes a time when you need to leave”. Positive things happen to positive people.

2. Decide upon Your True Dreams and Goals: Write down your specific goals and develop a plan to reach them.

Write down my dreams and goals? Develop a plan to reach them? You mean like a project plan? Yes, that’s exactly what this means. You may have heard the old adage: A New Years resolution that isn’t written down is just a dream, and dreams are not goals.

Goals are those concrete, measurable stepping stones of achievement that track your progress towards your dreams. My goal is to start a second career as a freelance writer – what are your goals?

3. Take Action. Goals are nothing without action.

Be like Nike and “Just do it”. I took action by reaching out and started writing. Every day I try to take some action towards my goals. It may be small, but it’s still an action. Have you taken action towards your goals?

4. Never Stop Learning: Go back to school or read books. Get training & acquire skills.

Becoming a life long learner would benefit us all and is something we should instill in our kids. It’s funny that once you’re out of school you realize how enjoyable learning can be. What have you learned today?

5. Be Persistent and Work Hard: Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Never give up.

I think every story of success I read entails long hard hours of work. There is no getting around this and there is no free lunch. But, if you’re working towards something that you’re passionate about, something you love – then is it really work?

6. Learn to Analyze Details: Get all the facts, all the input. Learn from your mistakes.

I think you have to strike a balance between getting all the facts and making a decision with incomplete data – both are traits of successful people. Spend time gathering details, but don’t catch ‘analysis paralysis’.

7. Focus Your Time And Money: Don’t let other people or things distract you.

Remain laser focused on your goals and surround yourself with positive people that believe in you. Don’t be distracted by the naysayer’s or tasks that are not helping you achieve your goals.

8. Don’t Be Afraid To Innovate: Be different. Following the herd is a sure way to mediocrity.

Follow through on that break-out idea you have. Ask yourself “What would I do if I wasn’t afraid?”

9. Deal And Communicate With People Effectively: No person is an island. Learn to understand and motivate others.

Successful people develop and nurture a network and they only do that by treating people openly, fairly and many times firmly. There is nothing wrong about being firm – just don’t cross the a-hole line. How do you deal with people?

10. Be Honest And Dependable: Take responsibility, otherwise numbers 1 – 9 won’t matter.

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Protect Insurance Companies-PSA

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G20 Galvanizes Local Community

G20-Day One-2
G20 Tent-cities erupt on every corner.

G20-Day One
G20 Massive street demonstrations.

G20 welcom posters on every building.

G20 Enhanced security on every corner.

G20 local citizen's gathering

G20 festival pavilions (far left)

G20 emergency vehicle staging area.

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be here-Now!

into the Gaping Void

My Friend Flickr

Talk Gone Wrong

Drop-off Box simple private sharing


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