Prison and the Poverty Trap – NYTimes

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NEW YORK TIMES
February 18, 2013

Prison and the Poverty Trap
Paraphrased below, please read full article for a well articulated argument on the links between the American Prison Industrial Complex and urban poverty.

The researchers (and reporters) are (finally) telling us…

“Children are generally more likely to suffer academically and socially after the incarceration of a parent.

That what will happen in society is…

“Education, income, housing, health — incarceration affects everyone and everything in the nation’s low-income neighborhoods,” said Megan Comfort, a sociologist at the nonprofit research organization RTI International.

When the truth is…

The likelihood of committing a crime drops steeply once a man enters his 30s.

When the incarcerated are treated like this…

“You spend long enough in prison being constantly treated like a dog or a parrot, you can get so institutionalized you can’t function outside,” Mr. Harris said.

While we forget the significance of…

Burdens borne by the prisoner’s family and community…

Because…

“The social deprivation and draining of capital from these communities may well be the greatest contribution our state makes to income inequality,” Dr. Braman said.

And in the end…when incarcerated men are released…

“It’s like our life is finally beginning,” Ms. Hamilton said.

Because both incarcerated and familial partners agree..

“Prison was good for him in some ways,” Ms. Hamilton said. “He finally grew up there. He’s a man now.” … But 20 years?

Full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/19/science/long-prison-terms-eyed-as-contributing-to-poverty.html?pagewanted=all&_r=3&

NYC Parks Socio Politics

In The New York Times today, a critique on the distribution of wealth in New York City’s park funding…

18Parks3_cnd-popup PARKS1-articleLargeNew York Parks in Less Affluent Areas Lack Big Gifts

By 
Published: February 17, 2013
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Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

John A. Paulson, center, made a $100 million gift to the Central Park Conservancy last year.

 

 

 

 

 

Last year, Central Park received what is believed to be the largest gift ever given to an American park, $100 million, from the hedge fund manager John A. Paulson.

When Frederick J. Kress, who sits on the board of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Conservancy, heard about it, he had only one thought: What about us?

Read more…

U.N.I.T.E. Program Launches in Three Communities!

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The U.N.I.T.E. – You and I Teach Each Other – Program launched this week in three communities – Ojota, Ajegunle and Lagos Island. The program, which will run for four months, is a youth justice program aimed at empowering youth through criminal justice and environmental education. Weekly program sessions will include curriculum in experiential group skills, conflict resolution, gender, justice, community building and environmental awareness. The program will be augmented by field programs to police stations, justice and security organizations, the Ministry of Justice, Lekki Conservation Centre, and other environmental and urban sites.

U.N.I.T.E. is a program that promotes the act of youth teaching each other from their lived experience, while empowering themselves and their communities through dialogue, community education and awareness, and the exercising of skills and performance methods.

The program meets every Wednesday in Ojota at Ojota Secondary Grammar School in Ogudu GRA, every Thursday in Ajegunle at Chidi Street Youth Center, and the first Saturday of every month at the Central Lagos Island Police Station Adenij Adele.

The U.N.I.T.E. program will culminate with a youth justice forum held in each community, and a large-scale youth justice community forum event at the US Consulate with invited dignitaries, policy makers and government representatives. The objective of the program is for youth to gain, employ and exercise valuable life and leadership skills to generate recommendations for community change that address justice reform and environmental awareness which will be featured at these final programs. Details to follow on these events, but the dates will be set for May 2013.

Check out some highlights from the kick-off of the U.N.I.T.E. Program in Lagos Island, Ojota, and Ajegunle below: …more to follow!

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DPO Monday Agbonika greeting the U.N.I.T.E. group in Lagos Island at the Central Lagos Island Police Station, Adeniji Adele

Facilitating the U.N.I.T.E. Group in Ojota at Ojota Secondary Grammar School

Facilitating the U.N.I.T.E. Group in Ojota at Ojota Secondary Grammar School

Facilitating a Concentric Circles exercise on the topics of role models, personal skills and community change, in Ajegunle at the Chidi Street Youth Center

Facilitating a Concentric Circles exercise on the topics of role models, personal skills and community change, in Ajegunle at the Chidi Street Youth Center

Sharing a laugh during the Adjective Name Dance game in Ajegunle

Sharing a laugh during the Adjective Name Dance game in Ajegunle