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Rethinking, reshaping and re-evaluation the power and politics of crime

By Floyd Miller



Editor’s Note: The West Texas Tribune welcomes Brother Ellsworth Johnson-Bey Brother Bey is Founder and President of Fraternal Order of Ex-Offenders . Brother Bey has a wealth of knowledge that should be of value to ex-offenders, their families and the general communities regarding strategies to deter, decrease and prevent intergenerational dynamics of adult criminality and child/youth delinquencies. {{more}} Brother Bey’s organization believes that purpose and passion from all stakeholders who love themselves, family and community can be the fuel that energizes partnerships to resolve social pathologies.RETHINKING, RESHAPING, RE-EVALUATING THE POWER OF POLITICS AND CRIME. What is the purpose of Government?The purpose of government is expressed in the pre-amble of the constitution. “We the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common descent, to promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and prosperity, do ordain and establish this constitution of the United States of America. What type of government is the United States?Many people believe that America is a democracy, a country where the people govern themselves and other people believe America is a Republic, a country where the people elect/select officials to govern for the people. The reality is that America is a democratic republic because of the above mentioned principles. However to be more direct, this government is an indirect democracy because the citizenry does not handle the affairs of a government themselves as is done in a direct government, but Americans elect representatives, person who speak and act for others to make our concerns known to government.There are three forms of government: local, state and federal. Also, there are three branches of government: the executive branch, the legislative branch and judicial branch.What is the role of the citizenry in government?The United States in theory envisioned by the so called founding fathers said their New America was a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people”.FOXO believes as many other people believe that the primary purpose of government is to ensure and secure the well-being of all its citizenry.What is the Constitution?The Constitution is the basic and supreme law of the United States. It describes the structure of the United States government and provides the legal foundation in which all its actions guarantee the rights to all of its citizens. The Constitution replaced the articles of Federation at the Philadelphia Convention in 1787; however, the Constitution did not become operative until 1789 when the 13 original colonies became a federal union of states known as the United States of America which is a national government. What is the Bill of Rights?The Bill of Rights is a series of constitutionally protective rights of its citizens. The first ten amendments to the constitution ratified by the required number of states on December 15, 1791 commonly known as the Bill of Rights. The tenth amendment reads as the powers not delegated to the United States by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserve to the states respectfully or to the people of the United States. DEFINITIONS:POWER:Authority to act. Power concedes nothing without demand, it never did and it never will.POLITICS:Strange bedfellows. It’s the process that determines who gets what, when, where and how much. Politics is economics in nature.CRIME:An act of co-mission or omission prohibited by law. Crime has become politicized institutionalized as an economical industry, CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM:A form of social control to address the propensity of criminality and other social pathologies. WHO BENEFITS A PROFIT FROM CRIME IN AMERICA?The United States incarcerates between 1.8 and 2 million of its citizenry in prisons and jails on any given day. America also has more than 5 million people are currently under the supervision of America’s criminal justice system. The United States locks up about 5-7 times as many people as most other industrialized nation. More than 85 percent of incarnated persons are males and more than 90 percent of all incarcerated persons will eventually be released into society at some point in time. The data indicates that at least 2/3 of all releasees will be rearrested within 3 years time. However, FOXO research indicates that it does not take 3 years for most releasees to re-offend.RACE TO INCARCERATIONFor the most part, America’s prison population is being harvest from the growing fields of urban poverty. Consequently, since these fields are disproportionately minority urban war zones, the outcomes are that the majority of the prison population is predominately African-American males and other minorities.A study by the NCIA 1992 stated that 1 out of every 3 black men in the United States between the ages of 20-29 years old was under the supervision of the criminal justice system. However, FOXO’s study indicates that cities such as Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC incarceration rate of African American males are much higher than the national average of incarcerated African American males.For example, in Baltimore city, the study indicates that 56 percent of black men between the ages of 18-35 are under the control of the criminal justice system. Also, same study indicated that 44 percent of black men in Washington, DC of the same age group, 18-35, are also under the criminal justice system. The reality is that in Baltimore City and Washington, DC, we have 100 percent of black men between the ages of 18-35 years old that is under the control of the criminal justice system based upon those two studies. We believe that it is ludicrous and ridiculous to assume that only black men between the ages of 18-35 are the only population that commits crime in those 2 cities.One report indicated that more than 80 percent of people being sent to prison are blacks and Hispanics, even though statistics indicates that these minorities are not committing anywhere near 80 percent of America’s crimes. The high rate of incarceration is relevant to the drug pandemic in America. The ordinary citizens would tend to believe that blacks use drugs more than whites because blacks are incarcerated more disproportionately than whites. According to the federal household survey, most illicit drug users are white. There were an estimated 9.9 million whites , 2.8 million blacks and 1.4 million Hispanics as documented by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse 1998. Finally, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, the rate of incarceration in prisons and jails in 2002 were 702 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents. However the incarceration rate for African American women was 349 per 100,000; for African American men the rate was 4,810 per 100,000; the rates for Hispanic women was 137 per 100,000; the rate for Hispanic men was 1,740 per 100,000, the rate for white women was 68 per 100,000 and the rate for white men was 649 per 100,000.The origin of racism in the criminal justice system primarily begins with the arrest and charging documents. The problem with the overrepresentation of black incarceration has more to do with who gets arrested and convicted versus who commits more crime in America. Since the arrest begins with the police, the conclusion is that the police are more likely arrest more African Americans more so than White Americans. The question to ask your selves is: Who profits from incarceration ?You may order DVDs, request seminar presentations or training, and direct all questions, comments and concerns to: Brother Ellsworth Johnson-Bey Founder/President Fraternal Order of X-Offenders, Inc P.O. Box 2241 Baltimore, MD 21202-2241410-262-4456 Website: Email:

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