It’s a wonderful life – is it?


by Shai Alkebu-Lan

Soledad, Calif. – Have you ever seen the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” starring actor Jimmy Stewart? He played the character George Bailey. What I remember most was the epic line by George Bailey, who urged the members of the “Building and Loan” (i.e. an old Housing and Urban Development HUD dinosaur before its time) to “Stick together – don’t panic, ‘cause old man Potter is not selling – he’s buying!”

Thus, many people in the town of “Bedford Falls” sold their shares of their homes and property – and wound up worse off. Those who stayed with the Building and Loan developed and became part of a network of families, friends, communities and professionals who overcame agony, calamity, failure and tragedy to witness ecstasy, success and triumphs from just sticking it out and fighting together for a common goal or good.

With that same sense of urgency, I make a similar comparison. This isn’t Bedford Falls, nor is this a movie. This is the state of the state of California, as well as the United States of America, and our lives I’m talking about.

First, Gov. Jerry Brown, the California Legislature, private interest groups, prison unions, the court system (i.e. superior, appellate and state supreme courts), law enforcement, et al, they’re “not selling” adherence to the federal three judge panel, reducing prison population, releasing inmates, or lessening the financial state burden of false imprisonment, or making laws to remedy the problem, nor improving the quality of inmate medical care. In fact, they’re “buying.”

With that same sense of urgency, I make a similar comparison. This isn’t Bedford Falls, nor is this a movie. This is the state of the state of California, as well as the United States of America, and our lives I’m talking about.

The state of California and old man Jerry Brown are buying ridiculous reforms like Proposition 57, which has only tightened the death grip on the inmate population by rephrasing the law to shuffle lifer inmates around to lower level prisons but not release them.

Second, prisons are exploding nationwide, and let’s keep it in California, where the situation is worse because the Legislature and old man Jerry Brown and the prison industrial complex are expanding their empire by increasing population – throwing everyone in jail or prison – at the expense of your fears, mis-education, dollars and votes.

Thirdly, the greatest transubstantial error (making a small issue large and a large issue over exaggerated) is the state of California, CDCR and the Legislature refusing to release low risk inmates and lifers – who have done their time and more. They must be given their parole, all parole must be lifted, the low-risk lifers/medium-risk lifers should not be the state’s sacred cow from which to suckle from the nipples of the residents and state and federal government its life-giving milk.

Reliance upon a failed law to maintain lifers is theoretically genocide and now a human rights, United Nations, world issue, because California is now an apartheid state – no holds barred.

Let’s not forget the undocumented ghost-prisoners – they’re locked up out of state or riding buses on a “highway to hell” near you.

No lifer inmates should be denied parole; especially if they have worked at rehabilitating themselves. Rehabilitation comes in many forms.

Reliance upon a failed law to maintain lifers is theoretically genocide and now a human rights, United Nations, world issue, because California is now an apartheid state – no holds barred.

The facilitator and resident at San Quentin Prison for IMPACT (Incarcerated Men Putting Away Childish Things) and ARC (Addiction Recovery Counseling), Mr. Ruben Guillen, says, “They’ve done serious inside work … the work that it takes to establish insight: making amends, developing a personalized plan to deter a return to crime (prison), how to recognize triggers from a fearless moral inventory.”

Mr. Guillen continued, “This is all part of emotional intelligence and maturity, which is the ability to identify, use, understand and manage your emotions in a positive and constructive way.” He concluded by saying, “It’s the emotions of others and engaging with others to draw people to you.”

Mr. Samuel Woige (pronounced Woy-Gay), aka Wu-Jee, was paroled from San Quentin in 2016. However, he was deposited back to his homeland, Kenya, Africa. Yet before leaving, he said, “The release of lifers is a plus, as it decreases hardships on the economy by infusing a workforce, setting examples to our young and restless survivors of a society gone completely haywire.”

“Decreasing population in prisons throughout California (especially of lifers) helps the state’s ultimate goal of healing the communities destroyed by disenfranchisement, including fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers, the leadership. Bring the bull elephants home,” he said, “to infuse examples of good character.”

Mr. Samuel Woige said, “The release of lifers is a plus, as it decreases hardships on the economy by infusing a workforce, setting examples to our young and restless survivors of a society gone completely haywire.”

In conclusion, the public should be aware that lifer inmates make up a major population in California state prisons, and the Board of Prison Hearings has become the manager of shareholding “for prisoner stocks and bonds.” And to maintain lifers in prisons increases the economic wealth, political clout and physical power of the Board, CDCR, private interest groups, law enforcement, the courts, Legislature and prison unions and to “force” society to respond to their authority. Maybe people would – “if they only had a brain! Da-dah, da-da-da-da-dah!”

Further, Proposition 57, to be effective immediately, should and must include the following:

  • All inmates get 50 percent, half time credits for work, school, vocation, self-help and college programs
  • All lifers who have met either their minimum, maximum or earliest possible release dates or have gone to the Board, been denied or given a date should be released immediately if there are no local, state or federal holds
  • State prison funding to increase programs should cease and be immediately redirected to
    • sober living environments (transitional living) for all lifers released from prison
    • OJTP (on the job training programs) in solar, electronics, carpentry, building maintenance, landscape gardening, office-related services, administration, communications, radio and television broadcasting, agriculture and farming, animal husbandry, substance abuse counseling, paralegal, education, international law, trade, commerce, transportation for released lifers
    • establish joint ventures for lifers to repay debts, such as restitution, court fines and fees and for personal re-entry
  • All lifers should and must be given opportunity to work at all fire camps, ranches and Level I prisons, upon
    • their first denial from the BPH or
    • meeting their earliest possible release date, minimum eligible or maximum eligible release dates
  • No length of denial can postpone a lifer from access to every reasonable opportunity to participate in rehabilitative activities, consistent with CCR, Title 15, Section 3270, General Policy, and therefore lifers must be released, without parole, into society to an SLE/TL (see Part 3(a)), OJTP or allowed to integrate with his or her own family, pursuing their own re-entry relapse prevention program.
  • Lifers shall sign a contract to work and adhere to the employment opportunities and work a minimum of 20 years at one or a combination of jobs to establish a retirement package at any of the OJTP proposed and a medical plan consistent with the Affordable Care Act, and the instant bill in (Part 3(b)) if that is their decision. This amendment, or addendum, should be effective immediately and retroactively.

We ask the public to help push this through the Legislature, the governor and the United Nations, because failure to do so amounts to genocide and human rights violations consistent with society’s adhering to the beliefs of apartheid. Please join us in this dialogue to propose the most effective way to implement Proposition 57 – and only then shall our state and nation allow us to say, “It’s a wonderful life” – dread and alive!

Send our brother some love and light: Shai Alkebu-Lan, P-02598, P.O. Box 689, BW-115L, Soledad, CA 93960-0689. Shai is director, founder and spokesperson for the House of the Lions of Judah, Ecumenical Rasafari and African National Parks and Natural Resources Services Foundation. He is a graduate of the San Francisco State University College of Ethnic Studies, Africana Studies Department, and the Recreation and Leisure Studies Department. He is a certified addiction treatment counselor and intern for CAADE (California Association of Alcohol and Drug Educators). If you wish to help Shai and the inmate population, write Gov. Brown, the California Legislature, Congress and the United Nations and push these amendments to Proposition 57.

P.S. We feel this can be the signature bill for the Trump-Pence Administration to infuse America, stop corruption in California state government and result in solidifying health care, formerly incarcerated housing, employment, education reform act via the aforementioned amendment or addendum to Proposition 57, the Prisoners’ Redemption Bill.

All prisoners in county jails and local, private, state and federal prisons are encouraged to generate, copy and keep records of a census of everyone incarcerated and send a copy to Shai at the above address. Thank you.

 

 

source: It’s a wonderful life – is it?

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