Originally posted on Trindad and Tobago's Newsday AUTHORITIES are at their wits end, it seems, as wanton violence siphons the lifeblood of nations. Indeed, the endemic nature of violence continues to spur international debates as few nations are spared this social scourge. As we grapple with this problem many have advanced get-tough approaches to combating crime. It’s a reactive response that has led to mass incarcerations, abuse of police powers, racial profiling, and an ove
Originally posted on The Nation In December 2008, as I was starting the final year of a 12-year sentence in a New York state prison, the African American Organization, led by prisoners in Otisville Correctional Facility, put together its annual Kwanzaa celebration. During the seven days of Kwanzaa men from the prison would gather in a classroom and observe each day’s principle. Every night for about three hours, we would listen to prepared speeches from our peers that explore
He is on his second wife. She has long locks and is a practicing Rastafarian. She travels from North Carolina several times a month to visit her husband in upstate New York. Her husband is Trinidadian native who has lived in America for about 20 years. His jet-black locks hang close to his calf muscles. The two met through a phone--through a phone introduction by his sister-in-law. From that first conversation on a timed call, they eventually stepped into their soul mate love
Originally Posted on The Crime Report Many people today have climbed on the bandwagon for criminal justice reform. But what does “reform” actually mean? As we come to the end of Black History month, I’d like to pose some hard questions to those who now call themselves reformers. First, how do you define reform? Do you support those who believe the way to end mass incarceration is by reducing the sentences only of those convicted of non-violent drug offenses—or release them?
Manifest Category: Marlon Peterson, THE PRECEDENTIAL GROUP Who better to effectively advocate for gun control laws than someone who served a 10-year bid for his role in a gun-related crime? As founder of the Precedential Group, a social justice consulting firm, Peterson has devoted his life to helping to keep communities of color, such as the Brooklyn neighborhood he grew up in, safe. The 2015 Soros Justice Fellowship recipient is also a writer, public speaker and workshop fa
Three months ago I moderated a panel at Brooklyn Borough Hall where over 150 boys from Brownsville, Brooklyn, ages 12–18, followed by a dialogue about policing in their communities. A 13-year old boy stood up to ask the audience a question –that he seemed to be intensely asking himself: “Why are the there so much police in my neighborhood? Why are they always bothering people? I just don’t understand. It don’t make sense. Why it gotta be like this?” He was only 13-years old,