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« Brain food from the heartland

An open letter to the mahoning county criminal justice working(sic)group

By Louie b. Free (Contact)


Published July 16, 2006

Below is what I had written last Tuesday AM:
The mere necessity of writing this saddens me.

The (Dysfunctional) Criminal Justice Working (sic)Group meets again today,Tuesday. As I write about Criminal Justice in THIS community I am staggered by the thought of the IN-justice to the INNOCENT, the VICTIMS of this community by YOUR DYSFUNCTION .
Remember Group-not I that deemed the system here as "dysfunctional" -that moniker by Vincent Nathan, the "special master" appointed by US Federal Judge David Dowd.....


Then, I accessed this:

"Due to a lack of responses from attendees for today's meeting proposed by Judge Sweeney, today's meeting set for 1:30 is cancelled.

Today's jail population is approximately 450. Sheriff Wellington and his staff continue to use their powers to control the jail population when necessary due to DNR orders.

A status conference is scheduled for August 14, 2006 at 10:00 am, in Akron federal court. The City of Youngstown has not filed a Complaint in intervention, but has until approximately July 28 to do so, as do Struthers and Campbell.

Thanks."


So you in the Group lacked the responsiveness, the dedication to YOUR COMMUNITY, to have a meeting while the hell perpetrated in part by your inaction continues to plague YOUR COMMUNITY.

You folks are referred to as **community leaders**- you call THIS leadership ?

Y'all had over a year-public officials meeting about the public's business in private,behind closed,secured doors-in a quest to resolve the criminal justice system nightmare plaguing this community. Bright,educated,well compensated elected officials and others-pledged to do GOOD, not GREAT, but GOOD, the public's good.[ I WISH that I could add **well intentioned** to that short list but the actions of some of y'all preclude my being able to do that.]. You've failed and your failure's cost to those most affected by your failure's insurmountable--and most of that cost born by those least able to deal w/the cost: the poor,the uneducated,battered women ,abused children and those struggling to keep their heads above water so as to not drown in the filth and misery that we, in our society,in our town has allowed to engulf them-their lives.

Saturday's(16July) Vindicator had a front page story : OFFICIALS TO LOOK INTO JAIL RELEASES-yeah,ok, better late than never, but too late for too many including the protectors-cops-who heroically defended us/our community, and in the process splattered themselves w/blood that will wash away from their skin and clothing but NEVER wash away from their souls--too late for the severely battered woman who found her abuser back at her door while her physical bruises still discolouring her skin-still aching from the physical pain and while the emotional bruises were still cutting deep into her soul--and the cops,OUR PROTECTORS who don bullet-proof vests everyday, not just weekdays as y'all work, not just 8 or 9 am to 2,3 or 4 pm but 24 hrs each and EVERY day of the year, protecting ALL OF US-YOU included at the Mahoning County Common Pleas Courthouse,on YOUR streets,Y-town City Hall and on the streets of the most ravaged neighborhoods of THIS community-those neighborhoods where many of those damned to remain live in self-imposed prisons-locking themselves inside barred doors and windows while YOU stand idly by the open doors of the Mahoning County Jail. WHY ? I would hope that each and every one of y'all would take a long HONEST look in the mirror and ask YOURSELVES that question. You CANNOT be concerned w/the welfare of THIS community. You must only be concerned w/your OWN careers-obvious by your IN-action and lack of outrage as the life blood of this community floods it's drains.

You ALL know that THIS Sheriff is unable or unwilling to do his duties yet YOU remain silent(except ONE courageous member-, Dr.Rick Billak from the good C.C.A.-NOT an elected official who's being punished for standing up,speaking up and out !). WHY ? Well, one of you lot told me when I asked the very question re: Sheriff Wellington's abilities : "...if I talk badly about the Sheriff, then I inherit his political friends as my political enemies ... !" to which I responded : " Don't you understand this ISN'T about YOU ? "
You've verified Federal Court assignee/Special Master Vincent Nathan assessment when he deemed this a "dysfunctional system"- why you all refuse to function-to serve this community with honesty,integrity and JUSTICE is a mystery to me. How you can allow so many w/in the system and w/o to suffer so-is a mystery to me. Why you choose to remain deaf to the cries of the misery of the people, your people, the people whom you represent, to whom you've pledged justice to-protection to, HONOUR to-remains a mystery to me. So many of you have expressed your anger re: the 22 May Forbes Magazine article about Y-town + my comments in that article need you ask yourself why you validate the negative view that so many have about this area. HOW YOU STAND IDLY BY THE MISERY IN THIS COMMUNITY IS A MYSTERY TO ME. I receive emails,calls ,faxes and letters attesting to the integrity of many of you in the Group-yet Benjamin Franklin's "Well done is better than well said" echos in my mind.

I admire Y-town prosecutor Macejko speaking up and out about this issue plaguing so many in the City and surrounding communities and I commend the Vindicator running it on the front page albeit Saturday's paper-the least read of the entire week. Yet I chastise those of you in the Group for failing to function, for failing to speak up and out about the Sheriff's unwillingness or inability to do his job, for failing to dedicate yourselves, your time, to doing what need be done . When the Sheriff was queried about the issue of Brown's release(the Vindicator article/Prosecutor Macejko's issue), he referred to "Step 11" and said that he was not prepared to go into the details of the program--well I AM, I've read,re-read and HAVE the program w/me everyday !Why is NOT THE MAN at the epicenter of the problem prepared to go into details about the program?? I know that this area has some immense societal problems. Combine the lack of fertile soil for economic growth + the familial problems resulting in an uneducated population -the Y-town city schools graduating LESS than 60 % of the city's youth(I believe FAR less than 60% graduate depending on what method is used to calculate)= a nightmarish situation for many who deserve better-much better, a chance,some hope--But instead of functioning y'all choose to dysfunction, instead of being part of the solution, y'all choose to be part of the problem, instead of standing up,speaking up,speaking out,you cower behind a nightmare of your own making. I am told that the timing of the proposed meeting last week was bad due to summer vacation schedule. If only those living in the bloody wake of your dysfunction could have a vacation from this nightmare that has become their reality.


~Louie b.

17 July 06 11:12 p

c.- b.Free Radio,Ltd






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