Monday, January 2, 2023

Kenyetta

 Stay tuned for our new reporter/blogger Kenyetta Rich Glasgow, who’s also our assistant Executive Director. She will be coming to you daily with TOPS current events. 

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Alabama Prison Strike #4

 I was asked by Kinetik Justice to go over the history of the prison strikes here in Alabama being that I may be one of the only people outside of the prisons that know the history besides Nikki Davenport. 

On December 9 2012 the biggest prison strike that went across Georgia reaching 10 prisons filled the news media being the first of its kind. I was called by those inside of the Georgia prisons and families to come and represent those inside.  T.O.P.S. - The Ordinary People Society is the oldest existing Criminal Justice, Prisoner Rights, Voting Rights organization and we are well known for our Human Rights work fighting for those incarcerated since 1994.  So I was called and one of the first things we discovered was that there was very little participation of Churches, organizations, and groups going into the prison to talk directly to those inside. So as we met with the Commissioner Schofield and Tim Head through the help of Representative Roberta Abdul Salaam. We asked for a fact finding committee to be able to go inside the prisons and talk to those inside directly. Since they had nothing to hide. 

The reason for the strike was because of the inappropriate treatment, and beatings by Correctional Officers on people incarcerated. We had two major lawsuits going at that time with Terrance Dean and others, https://youtu.be/19XKFMNntus

We ended up going in and discovering it was worse than we thought. I filed lawsuits against them for their inhumane treatment of those in SMU- Special Management Units and won. This is what inspired those incarcerated in California and then Alabama to form the Free Alabama Movement. Two young men incarcerated Robert Earl Council and Melvin Ray would have me on the phone 6 am in every morning going over plan and strategies on how to put together a Peaceful Prison Strike across the whole state of Alabama superseding what Georgia had just done with 10 prisons across their state, and the hunger strike in California prisons. These morning conversations would take place for almost a year before an action was put in place and executed on a large scale. Small actions such as us protesting outside of a prison would happen a few times during that year led by Nikki Davenport and myself. This all started in 2013 and then in 2014 there was a trail run. To actually have a peaceful prison strike to see how many incarcerated people would actually join, how many family members would join, and what effects if any would be made. Their organizing while being incarcerated put to shame those of us on the outside who can’t even come together for the movement. They went beyond racial barriers, religious barriers and incarceration barriers and organized over 20 prisons keeping their mind on the goal of gaining the attention of the state to stop their inhumane treatment of people incarcerated. In 2016 other states joined in and started the free Ohio, Free Texas, and many more. Making this the biggest prison strike in our nation going across approximately 40 prisons and 20 states. Then in 2018 50 prisons and 25 states. In the midst of these strikes our “ Let My People Vote “ campaign that we started in 2002 proved its validity in December 2017 by those incarcerated helping to push Doug Jones across the finish line to win the Alabama Senate seat in congress and change a 25 year Republican rule. I won a lawsuit in 2008 declaring the State of Alabama unconstitutional in taking the rights of people with felony convictions who should have never lost their voting rights. 

This not only got the Federal Government’s attention on me but also on the Alabama Department of Corrections. They continuously locked up Kinetik Justice and Brother Ray in solitary confinement in retaliation. But the Movemment kept going through myself, Nikki and others. 

In 2019 we really thought we had gained the victory we were looking for when the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the Alabama Department of Corrections for Inhumane Treatment, inadequate security and management. Violating their 8th and 14th amendments. A coalition of SPLC, ACLU, TOPS, AJI, and so many others that named themselves “ Alabamians for Fair Justice” organizing the biggest Lobby Day at the Alabama State house ever organized by Katie Glenn, Dillon Nettles and others. Latonya Tate called for all of us to form another group that fought against the construction of 3 new prisons by Governor Kay Ivey, carrying on the bidding of former Governor Bob Reilly. This was Alabama’s response to the DOJ lawsuit; to build more prisons. Taking 400 million dollars from the State Covid funds. From the state with the most Covid deaths than any other state. We sued but to no avail. However ASAP-Alabama Students Against Prisons did a yeomens job on email the Funders of the prisons and stopping them from participating in the inhumanity of Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Corrections. 

So now we are here at the 4th Peaceful Prison Strike and because of the work done for the last 9 years by those inside and numerous outside we have a growing movement. However; we have more deaths now than we did before the DOJ lawsuit, they have beaten Kinetic numerous times damaging his eye and all. Kastellio Vaughn is barley alive due to medical negligence. And those who have died we cannot bring back. 

So you ask what do we do? well I’m glad you asked. A lot of people are confused and media does play it’s part. But mobilizing a lot of people together for a cause is good and sometimes very good. But organizing with a goal is great. So my 30 years experience in doing this and all the fire I’m under tells me that we must take advantage of this opportunity of the election coming up. We did it before in 2017 with Doug Jones and we can do it again. We have the removal of the racist language on the ballot this year as well. We must take advantage of our God given right that cannot take from us inside or out because of our lawsuit Glasgow vs State of Alabama 


https://youtu.be/QL9HVHtNW-8


That we are actually the ones who fall under taxation without representation. 

The tea party are hypocrites 

We are the We Party 

These are not just “people” incarcerated. 

These are citizens and voters and constituents incarcerated. 

Human beings that are being threshold to death sentences from medical negligence, improper treatment, abuse, overdose, and so much more. 

We have a HUMAN CRISIS AND STATE OF EMERGENCY ON OUR HANDS 

WHO WILL COME HELP US????

Will it be the Democrats the Republicans who created the problem 

Or the Libertarians who say they are for the people ? 

And somebody please tell me where are the Churches?


So let’s organize to vote out those who are part of the corruption and vote in those who are more Humane and believe in the Bible that was written by prisoners might I add. 

And while we are fighting to LET MY PEOPLE GO 

WE MUST ALSO LET MY PEOPLE VOTE 

Contact me at 334-791-2433 

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Alabama Prisons (We Stand, We Shout, We PRAY)

 As we sit and wonder what our legislation is doing about the prisons in Alabama.....we read an article online that the House GOP Caucus met on Wednesday of this week!  This week you say?  Wow!  We were just asking questions.  What's going on?  What's Alabama's plan on the current prison situation?  Why is the Alabama Parole hearings going like they are?  Why is no one being paroled?  Is this legal is this humane?  However, we didn't hear anything.  Nobody knew anything then THIS.  A meeting?  The GOP Caucus?  Well, what did they talk about >> what do they think about OUR prisons in Alabama not meeting minor standards such as over population and sanitation.


It appears the Alabama House Republican met for over 2 hours about BUILDING more prisons and basically financing through America Plans for Rescue.  I believe that is our COVID money to help residents of Alabama that suffered great financial loses during the Pandemic.  However, our Governor and Republican law makers want to use it to House our People!  LET OUR PEOPLE GO!


I can list ALL the things the state is being sued over through the Federal Department of Corrections but I won't because you have heard it all before!  It's ridiculous and outrageous!


The Alabama Department of Pardon and Paroles meet approximately 3 times weekly, generally on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  They see approximately 31 inmates each time.  They are approving approximately 1 to 2 per hearing.  ONE to TWO!  Where is that fair anywhere?  Where is that giving OUR people any hope?  BUT a meeting is held about adding more prisons and possibly upgrading 1 in Barbour or Bullock county.  Where is the Justice?  Where is the Peace?  Where are we headed?  Where does this leave Alabama?


I say...No Justice >>>>> NO PEACE.


We STAND for our brothers and sisters in the Alabama Department of Corrections.  We STAND!  We SHOUT!  WE PRAY!




 

Friday, July 2, 2021

HABITUAL FELONY OFFENDER ACT

 


HB 107 (2021) -

HABITUAL FELONY OFFENDER ACT

Does everyone know what this is?  Remember me talking about Overturn yesterday?  GUESS WHAT!  We about to overturn this thang right here!  It may not be today or tomorrow but it will be ON TIME.

The habitual offender act is allowing our judicial system to use past felonies against us to enhance our sentence in hind sight putting us in prison longer than should be allowed.  The original habitual offenders were life long criminals that had been committing crimes their entire live.  Many murder charges, many assault charges many of the same charges but somehow our system came up with a way to use old non-violent lesser sentenced times crimes to increase our system.  THE SYSTEM NEED TO BE CHANGED NOT FOR US BUT FOR OUR CHILDRE AND OUR CHILDREN CHILDREN. 

The rate it is going now they can give a person that committed a crime with a sentencing structure of 2 to 10 years use the habitual act against them to change their sentence structure to 15 to Life.  This is happen real life TODAY.  A nab/woman can be sentenced to die in prison for a single burglary or robbery and three prior forgery or drug convictions. This is outrageous and as the result of this punishment has resulted in hundreds of people being sent to prison for the rest of their natural lives for a handful of offenses committed when they were young, many involving no bodily injury.

The House Bill 107 would repeal Alabama's Habitual Felony Offender Act (HFOA), provide for resentencing for defendants whose sentences were based on HFOA, and make non-substantive, technical revisions to update the existing code language to current style.” (HB 107 (2021) - Habitual Felony Offender Act | ACLU of Alabama (aclualabama.org))

This is unjust and unfair to many people.  People are suffering.  Families are suffering.

Join the Movement!  Join what you are already apart of!  Join TOPS.  Join this petition for we can OVERTURN!

Wearetops.org

There is a petition going directly to our senators to repeal this law and to uphold House Bill 107.  Check it out.  If you feel you should sign, please do so and pass it along to everyone you know.  It starts with us!

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Overturn, Overturn, Overturn

 



Ezekiel 21:27


“I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.”

I have seen or heard this word Overturn on television several times this week.  On the news, on religious channels, on the radio.  Why does the BIBLE say over turn 3 times in Ezekiel?  What is GOD telling us?  

GOD is emphasizing heavily that whatever you are going through it will OVERTurn.  Whatever is stopping you from sleeping at night WILL Be Overturned.  Who EVER you think is against you that too shall be Overturned.

STEP Back.  Let God work.

He is working in our Personal Lives, our Professional Lives, our homes, our prisons, our children!  GOD is working and he will Overturn, Overturn, Overturn!