Sunday, April 05, 2020

From Behind Bars - Ending Mass Incarceration, Part 2


ADECA - Juvenile Justice
Image from Alabama Dept. of  Economic Affairs
By Michael Liebowitz
A Connecticut prisoner for nearly 25 years, Liebowitz is currently housed at Osborn Correctional Institution in Somers, CT.  He is also co-author of "Down the Rabbit Hole: How the Culture of Corrections Encourages Crime", available at Amazon.  Liebowitz is also a regular guest with Todd Feinburg on WTIC AM 1080.  Podcasts of Todd's segments with Liebowitz can be heard, here.

Widespread Implementation of Functional Family Therapy (FFT) and Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST)
Hold Juveniles Accountable
         
Perhaps the best way to reduce crime is to intervene in the lives of at-risk and delinquent youths to prevent them from becoming full-blown adult criminals.  Fortunately, there are two cost-effective programs that have been shown to reduce juvenile delinquency: Functional Family Therapy (FFT) and Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST).  Let’s look at each of these.
There is an abundance of evidence indicating familial relationships have a significant effect on both the formation and continuance of juvenile delinquency.  Thus, if the goal is to reduce such delinquency, it makes sense to target the entire family for intervention.  This is precisely what FFT does.
“[FFT] … is a structured, family-based intervention that uses a multi-step approach to enhance protective factors and reduce risk factors in the family.”  Addressed to medium-risk youths between 10 and 18 and to their families, it attempts to change the way family members communicate with one another and thereby improve relationships within the family.  The FFT therapist seeks to identify the “functions” a youth’s antisocial behaviors serve, as well as the functions the other family members’ problem behaviors serve and it attempts to show them how to satisfy these needs/wants with more productive behaviors.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

From Behind Bars - Ending Mass Incarceration, Part 1



How Connecticut became a model for prison reform | The Crime Report
Image from "The Crime Report"

By Michael Liebowitz

A Connecticut prisoner for nearly 25 years, Liebowitz is currently housed at Osborn Correctional Institution in Somers, CT.  He is also co-author of "Down the Rabbit Hole: How the Culture of Corrections Encourages Crime", available at Amazon.  Liebowitz is also a regular guest with Todd Feinburg on WTIC AM 1080.  Podcasts of Todd's segments with Liebowitz can be heard, here.


Introduction


I would argue that; strictly speaking, ending mass incarceration per se, should not be the goal.  Rather, what we ought to seek to accomplish is a significant reduction of criminal behavior.  After all, if we simply set out to eliminate mass incarceration as our primary goal it would be simple enough to achieve: just open the prison gates and release the bulk of the population.  I highly doubt, however, that this “solution” would be palatable to the general public.

The questions are:  Are there policies we can implement that will dramatically reduce crime and if so, what are they?  I firmly believe the answer to the first question is yes and the purpose of this plan is to articulate and propose such policies.  Crime reduction will undoubtedly require a bold and comprehensive plan.  And while due to my lack of resources I am unable to provide all the details I would like to (such as cost, for example), I still think my plan meets these criteria.

It consists of the following:

·        End the War on Drugs

·        Widespread Implementation of Functional Family Therapy (FFT) and Multisystemic Therapy (MST); Hold Juveniles Accountable

·        Widespread Implementation of Evidence-Based Programs

·        Widespread Implementation of Core Correctional Practices

·        Remunerate Correctional Officials and Employees Based on Results, i.e., Reduced Recidivism

·        Privately Fund a Significant Portion of Reform Programs



Let’s examine each of the plan’s components in turn.



End the War on Drugs

          I argued above that our primary goal ought not to be ending mass incarceration, but to reduce crime.  I pointed out the ease with which we could shrink the prison population by releasing prisoners en masse, but that the public would likely see this as undesirable.  There is one type of offender, however, who should be released and one type of crime that should be removed from the book: drug offenders and drug offenses.  These two reforms would by themselves significantly reduce the prison population.  Ending the “war on drugs”, however, would not only do this, but it would also reduce crime, and not just crimes related to sales and possession.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Corona Virus Fear Spread by Politicians and Media


Image result for corona virus
Image courtesy of the CDC

There seems to be three groups of thought on the Corona virus.  Group One is in a state of panic, swallowing the hysteria put forth by conniving politicians and a complicit media, bent on destroying President Trump no matter what the cost to the people of the United States of America.  Their agenda takes precedence over all else.

Group Two might be a little skeptical; not really sure what to believe, but they are not taking any chances.

Then there is Group Three.  Those of us who see this for what it is; a manufactured crisis.  We don’t buy it.  We know that those infected experience mild symptoms for the most part and it passes, quickly.  We know that in many cases, especially in children, the symptoms are so mild as to go unnoticed.  We know that the recovery rate is very high; higher than that of the annual seasonal flu outbreak, which kills tens of thousands in the US, every year.  We know that the vast majority of those who died from the Corona virus (between 50 and 60), are elderly and have underlying respiratory conditions.

That said; very few minds can be changed, one way or the other.  You can’t argue with idiots or the gullible or the corrupt, so what is left to do?

I’m making a prediction.  It may not be 100% accurate but it will pan out, largely as I put it.

1)  Governors and mayors will continue to over react and close schools, casinos, sporting events, theatre performances, etc.  Even St. Patrick’s Day Parades!  NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio could shut down subways and other modes of public of public transportation.

Monday, March 02, 2020

“LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS”

Image result for declaration of independence
~These Unalienable Rights are in Peril~

A Hootedition: Hoot Gibson, 2-22-2020

July 4, 1776, “The Declaration of Independence,” second paragraph, first sentence:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Our Nation was founded on “certain unalienable Rights” which are:
> “life” … to not fear death from or by your Government,
> “liberty” … freedom and independence without Government suppression, and
> “pursuit of Happiness” … the ability to work at or work for self-satisfaction and self-esteem, without Government intervention or interference.

Nearly two hundred, forty-four years after declaring independence and fighting for these rights, “We the People” are experiencing the intentional one-by-one elimination of these Rights, placing all of our rights in peril. Liberal, Progressive, Anti-Constitutional, and Control-Lusting Politicians, along with small Special Interest Groups, aided and enabled by the Malevolent-Media, are hell-bent on destroying our Country’s foundation. The elimination of our Rights began quietly and covertly but now is blatantly overt.

Nowhere in the Declaration of Independence, in the U.S. Constitution, or in Amendments, is mentioned the Rights for:
> FREE College,
> FREE Healthcare,
> Open Borders,

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Tax Alert: The Surprise Grocery TAX Hurts Everyone

New Meals Tax

From Senator Tony Hwang

A new “Meals Tax” contained in the Democrat  biennial state budget will place a 7.35% tax on many grocery store items previously not taxed and add more financial burden on CT families & residents. Here's everything you need to know.
The “meals tax” included in the Democrat and Governor Lamont's state budget is set to go into effect October 1, 2019.
The tax applies to prepared and ready-to-consume foods sold at restaurants AND grocery stores. 
The 7.35% tax will apply to not only prepared meals such as sandwiches, deli salads, pizza and hot buffet items, but also containers of lettuce, small packages of snacks, loose baked goods, wrapped salads, small servings of ice cream, and meal replacement bars. It also applies to fountain drinks including coffee and any beverage sold with a taxable “meal.”
"Governor Lamont and the Democrat regressive tax and spend biennial state budget continues to hurt working and middle class families, taking more and more out of people’s wallets every day for basic food and living needs." 
-- Senator Tony Hwang
Examples of Taxable “Meals” (taxed at 7.35% in eating establishments AND grocery stores):
  • Sandwiches, grinders, and wraps;
  • Popsicles, ice cream cones, cups, sundaes, and other individual servings of frozen desserts unless sold in factory pre-packaged multi-unit packs;
  • Ice cream, frozen yogurt, and other frozen desserts sold in containers of less than one pint;
  • Salads sold at salad bars;
  • Lettuce or greens-based salads sold in containers of 8 ounces or less;
  • Salads that are not greens-based (macaroni, potatoes, pasta, fruit, etc.) sold in containers of 8 ounces or less;
  • Donuts, muffins, rolls, bagels, and pastries (5 or fewer);
  • Cookies sold loose (5 or fewer when cookies are sold by quantity, or less than 8 ounces when cookies are sold by weight);
  • Pies or cakes by the slice;
  • Prepackaged or factory-sealed bags or packages of 5 ounces or less of chips, popcorn, kettle corn, nuts, trail mix, crackers, cookies, snack cakes, or other snack foods, unless sold in factory prepackaged multi-unit packs;
  • Pizza, whole or by the slice;
  • Cooked chicken sold by the piece, including buckets of chicken, and whole cooked chickens;
  • Cooked ribs sold by the piece or portion and whole racks of ribs;
  • Hot dogs served on a bun or heated;
  • Bagels that are individually prepared;
  • Soup sold in containers of 8 ounces or less, unless sold in factory pre-packaged units;
  • Smoothies;
  • Meal replacement bars;
  • All beverages provided with the sale of a taxable meal;
  • Food sold at a hot buffet;
  • Food that is cooked to order;
  • Popcorn, kettle corn, nuts and any other snack foods that are kept warm for purchase; and
  • Items such as salads, side dishes, and rolls, when sold as part of family pack meals typically including, whole chickens or buckets of chicken, when prepared and sold for immediate consumption, even when the items exceed the weight or quantity limits specified above
Examples of Taxable Drinks (taxed at 7.35% in eating establishments AND grocery stores):
  • Beer, including nonalcoholic beer;
  • Fruit juices, sweetened beverages, soft drinks, and soda;
  • Carbonated water;
  • Coffee or tea (ready to consume, hot or iced);
  • Distilled alcohol such as brandy, rum, whiskey, gin, vodka, and tequila;
  • Fountain drinks of any kind;
  • Hard cider;
  • Kombucha tea, and other naturally carbonated beverages;
  • Malt liquor;
  • Milkshakes;
  • Hot chocolate;
  • Syrup-flavored crushed ice drinks;
  • Wine
Earlier this year, Democrat lawmakers labeled the new tax as only a 1% tax increase on items already taxed at 6.35%, but the Department of Revenue Services (DRS) clarified this week that the new 7.35% tax will also apply to many food items that have never been taxed at all before when sold in grocery stores. The policy also results in a tax increase on food items sold by restaurants and eating establishments.
To see the full policy statement from the Department of Revenue Services visit: https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/DRS/Publications/pubsps/2019/PS-2019%285%29.pdf?la=en.
For more information please visit my website www.SenatorHwang.com and sign up for our email updates.  You can also follow on social media.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

"Open-Carry Shopping Weekend" Planned Nationwide

Image result for store that are asking people not to open carry
Photo courtesy of NC Public Radio
Next weekend, September 13,14 and 15, marks the first annual "Open-Carry Shopping Weekend", in America. 
 
This event is in response to retailers such as Walmart, Kroger, CVS Walgreen (and likely others), who are now now asking law abiding citizens to no longer openly carry firearms while shopping in their stores.

The policy comes in the wake of a mass shooting at a Walmart in Texas and a mass shooting in Dayton's nightclub district, disappointing and angering many.  No one has yet to explain how an open-carry ban would have prevented the shootings, in question.

Organizers say the event is intended to remind retailers that the foundation of their customer base consists of law abiding gun owners who support the Second Amendment.

Participants are advised to make sure they are in compliance with any governing statues before carrying a firearm, anywhere.   Everyone is reminded that the purpose is to show businesses where their sales come from and that gun owner's business will effect their bottom line.   But most of all it is to show that gun owners are not a threat.   So, shop. Do your normal shopping, but shop.

And remember, you represent ALL other gun owners, so always be polite and courteous.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION

Image result for declaration of independence“Declaring Independence”
Hoot Gibson, 6/3/2014

The Declaration of Independence is the first time the Colonies referred to themselves officially as Free States. The newly proclaimed thirteen States had united in cause and committed to being independent from Britain. Written in the title of the Declaration is “…the thirteen united States of America.” This new designation of ‘States’ and “United States” carries forward to the title of the “Constitution of the United States” and most all other subsequent documents.

The document can be broken into six parts, though the original document appears to be one very long continuous paragraph. I recommend you read the Declaration of Independence after reviewing this article. It may give better insight to the structure and how the wording applies to later development of the US Constitution. http://www.constitution.org/us_doi.pdf

PART 1, Title: This section provides the date of the declaration and is a notice to the King that the decision to become independent was unanimous in Congress. It also is the first reference to “…united States of America.”

PART 2, Introduction: This portion proclaims the United States will separate from England.

PART 3, Declaration of Rights: This establishes that the United States is equal to England and explains the reasons for independence. The first sentence of this paragraph became much of the foundation and motivation for inclusions in the US Constitution.

 
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

-life: living without the constant fear of death by other than natural means
-liberty: living without oppressive restrictions imposed by authority or tyranny
-pursuit of happiness:
--pursuit; unrestricted by authority, the ability to follow or go after…
--happiness; a sense of confidence and quality of life, not to suffer due to
government

PART 4, Grievances: The Founding Fathers include a long list of injustices and reasons for declaring independence from England.

PART 5, Resolution of Independence: The last two paragraphs state to the King that the United States of America will have its own powers to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances [foreign nations], establish trade, and other acts as the United States…a separation nation.

PART 6, Signatures: There were 56 signers on the Declarations of Independence. As stated in the last sentence of the Resolution portion, each signer mutually pledged “…to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

The Declaration of Independence was approved by the Second Continental Congress on July 2, but dated and declared publicly on July 4, 1776. Though Thomas Jefferson is credited with writing the document; as a committee Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman were all authors of the document.

SUMMARY
The revolution for independence had already begun. This document, in essence, declared that the now United States is no longer a part of England and war will continue. During the Second Continental Congress, Benjamin Franklin made this statement regarding unity of the States and People, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Benjamin Franklin was the eldest signer of the Declaration of Independence and later a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787, developing the US Constitution.

The Colonies are no longer colonies; they are now the United States of America. The Colonists are no longer colonists; they are now Americans.

©Hoot Gibson, 2014 - 2019


Hoot is a retired USAF Master Sergeant. 

Monday, April 08, 2019

Middletown "Progressives" - Regressive


Photo from Wiki
Contributed anonymously.

Common council just passed a tax on paper bags at all commercial businesses based on Maria Hoztberg's suggestion to ban plastic bags.  Planning and Zoning just passed an overlay district which is well intended to reuse brown field sites, but bans Consignment Stores and other businesses in these areas.

Hate the DOT sidewalk bump outs on Main St.?  Blame Mayor Drew, John Hall and the Jonah Center for drowning out your voice.

BOE Democrats want to "delevel" all high School classes, meaning there will be no advance classes, no intermediary classes and no classes for students who need special attention.  All kids will be lumped into the same classes, regardless of ability, making it frustrating for those who excel and those who struggle.

The superintendent was given another raise and there are rumors schools don't have paper. 


The progressives dominated the conversation and decided your kids can't play on turf fields and had them banned at city fields in Middletown.

The progressives want to shape your community.  Both sides can work together when one side stops attacking personal freedoms.  Participate please.

If you don't want the progressive voices of Middletown to dominate the conversation please participate, attend & share.

The GOP on PZ fought hard to have these public sessions not on Wesleyan Campus, so ALL citizens could attend.

The city has created a survey, as well as two interactive workshops, where residents, community members, stakeholders and businesses can share input on the initiative.  To take the survey, visit: surveymonkey.com/r/MiddletownPoCD.  Upon completion, respondents can be entered to win a gift card to a local restaurant.  Please take the time to take this PZ city sponsored survey and come to a public session to draft the new plan of conservation and development.

Two interactive workshops will be held April 25 at Middletown High School, 200 La Rosa Lane, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and April 27 at Woodrow Wilson Middle School, 1 Wilderman’s Way, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  Each will address the plan’s major areas of focus, and form the basis for key recommendations.

For updates, visit https://bit.ly/2UmfG51. For information, contact City Planner Mark DeVoe at mark.devoe@middletownct.gov or 860-638-4842

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