Ademo Freeman Freed From Jail After Freedom of Speech Conviction

It was a sad day for America when the Freedom of Speech died. Rest in Peace, First Amendment. Ademo Freeman, you true patriot, thank you for fighting the good fight, and welcome home.

For those that are unaware of this precedent-setting case which has eviscerated YOUR right to speak freely, be sure to read our previous coverage.

Freedom of Speech Now a Felony in America

Reporter Faces 21 Years After Airing Excessive Force Complaint

Press Freedom May Hinge on 'Jury Nullification' as Journalist is Put On Trial


An Inside Look at NYPD's 'Stop and Frisk' Policy (VIDEO)

Regular readers here know that it is not uncommon for me to share stories of police brutality and things that generally show the police in a bad light. This video does deal with violations of citizen rights, but very objectively, even talking to the police officers themselves, as well as victims, and criminal justice experts. Please take the time to hear what they have to say.

Free Apartment Instead of Prison for Violent Offenders

Roberto Silva came to NY from Mexico with the promise of work to be found, and with a young daughter in tow. What he found was high living expenses, very little work, and was forced into a life of crime with no way out. Deeply depressed, Roberto tried to harm himself and his little girl. 

He was arrested on assault charges, sent to prison and later institutionalized. His daughter has been living with foster parents for the last five years. But today, Roberto has a new lease on life and a free apartment in Brooklyn where his teen daughter has come to live with him.

"It's a place we can call home, a place we feel safe. It's a place where we can get to know each other again," he tells us.

You see, Roberto is part of a new program that lets single fathers live in a private apartment with their children, rather than behind bars, while they serve out their court mandates. To be eligible, men must be homeless, have minor children, and be a convicted felon. For the most part, the participants are independent except for some curfew and sign-in requirements. The children are given free medical care and go to school, while the felon attends job-training classes, parenting classes, and therapy sessions. 

Sound crazy? Well this is indeed an actual program in NY State that is now looking for new funding, and also looking to spread the model nationwide. The only difference between that satire piece and the real program, is that it is for women, not men. The reason for the satirical twist, is to point out the hypocrisy of gender issues in this country. Particularly when it comes to cases of domestic violence, men are constantly vilified, while women are given a "pass" even when they try to harm their own children.

Drew House, as it is called, was named in honor of Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes's mother, who is reported to be a victim of domestic violence. Yet one of their most important clients is a woman who deliberately harmed her child in what appears to be a murder-suicide attempt, though that detail is left out of the biased news report by the AP.

Just how biased the report actually is, can be extrapolated from this paragraph, describing the case of another woman who now lives at Drew House rather than carrying out her prison sentence:
The 24-year-old was arrested on a weapons charge when officers investigating her relative learned his loaded gun was hidden in her room. She was living with her mother and boyfriend at the time, and her youngest was barely a week old.
If this were true, then why was she even sent to prison in the first place? Obviously, police and even the DA's office saw fit to charge her with a felony weapon's charge and to send her off to prison to begin with. If it wasn't really her gun, then the case should have been dismissed, rather than making her a felon and then giving her a free apartment as some sort of twisted consolation prize.

To be clear, this piece is not meant to bash rehabilitation programs in general. Things like housing assistance, job training, and so forth are not only important in reducing recidivism, but even preventing crime in the first place. If more at-risk folks were given the help when they needed it, such as a place to stay, crime rates would plummet.

But why should only women be granted this assistance? More alarmingly, why are women now given this get out of jail free card by the state, rather than serving their sentences? And most ludicrous of all, why are women who commit felonies rewarded with free apartments and all their needs taken care of, rather than doing their time? Not only is the one woman a violent felon, but the state has seen fit to put the victim back in the same household!


You can read the original article on the story by the Associated Press at this link:

Arrested NY Moms Stay With Kids Instead of Jail

Rosalia Silva came to New York from Mexico with the promise of a good job, her small child in tow. Instead, she was forced into prostitution, trapped in a life of abuse and misery, and she saw no way out. Deeply depressed, she tried to hurt herself and her little boy.
Silva was arrested on assault charges and jailed, and later institutionalized while her son, Francisco, lived with foster parents for nearly five years. But then Silva was accepted into Drew House, a program for mothers that allows them to live with their children in a private apartment instead of prison while they serve out court mandates.
"Here we have our own place, said Silva, 36. "It's a place we can call home, a place we feel safe. It's a place where we can get to know each other again."
It's apparently the only program like it in the country — and has been lauded as a successful, more supportive and cheaper alternative to prison. But space is running out at the house, and prosecutors and program leaders say the effort needs funding in order to grow.
Silva and four other mothers live in the unmarked apartment building in Brooklyn, all sent there for felony offenses. Some involve drugs, others weapons, and still others more violent crime. Eligible women are flagged by Brooklyn prosecutors and defense attorneys. In order to live there, women must be homeless, have minor children, and have pleaded guilty to a felony. The charges are dropped if they complete the court-ordered requirements, but if they break the law or don't follow through, they get the maximum sentence.
"They want us to succeed," Silva said of the program leaders. "They help us to stay on the path."
The women are largely independent except for a curfew and sign-in requirements. Mothers attend parenting classes, job training and therapy. Their children go to school and receive medical care and tutoring — and are given a sense of stability and safety.
The four-story maroon building was bustling on a recent school day. A handful of small children in yellow and blue uniforms tumbled into the ground floor office, plopped down backpacks and said hello to the house manager.
The kids raced to the backyard to play on the swing set near a garden of herbs and vegetables, tossing a basketball, and trying to be gentle with a small tabby cat that's taken up residence. Some of the moms joked nearby.
Rita Zimmer, the founder of Housing Plus Solutions, the nonprofit that runs the program, said it costs $34,000 annually to house a woman and her children at Drew House. It costs nearly four times as much to incarcerate a woman and put her children in foster care.
Some prisons allow women to keep their infants with them, and some drug treatment programs allow children, but no other program allows women arrested on other felonies to live with their children instead of prison.
The idea came from prosecutors working with Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes and took nearly a decade to get off the ground, until Zimmer came on board. The house opened in 2008, and was named for Hynes' mother, a victim of domestic violence.
"There's just a lot more to public safety than locking people up," Hynes said.
A study completed by Columbia University in 2011 after a year of observation found residents were thriving. All but one of the seven initial residents completed court mandates, have not been re-arrested, and found stable homes. Their children remained in school. But women who are incarcerated are more often homeless and have higher rates of mental illness and substance abuse than women who get alternative punishment outside prison, according to the study. Their children are more likely to fail academically, suffer mental health problems and wind up in the criminal justice system themselves.
Researchers were impressed, said Mary Byrne, who led the study. Their first recommendation was to replicate the model nationwide, and find more buildings in New York City to serve more families, but that's been impossible so far.
Part of the problem is that with an average stay of about a year, space rarely opens up. And women can't be forced to leave their apartments when their mandate ends under the terms of the grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, though most do leave for other housing.
But now, of the five women there, two are done and a third, Olgita Blackwood, is about to finish, and they haven't left. One has stayed more than a year late because of immigration issues. Blackwood said she can't afford her own place.
The 24-year-old was arrested on a weapons charge when officers investigating her relative learned his loaded gun was hidden in her room. She was living with her mother and boyfriend at the time, and her youngest was barely a week old.
"When I got arrested I was crying every night," she said. "I was so worried about my kids, they depend on me, they asked for me every day. I can't be apart from them."
She lives in a small two-bedroom on the first floor with her three kids, now 8, 7 and almost 2. Blackwood is studying for her GED and hopes to go to college.
"It makes me feel independent. Like I can make decisions on my own, raise my kids," she said. "I can't imagine it any other way now."
Ideally, program founders say, there would also be funding for some type of transitional help for these women, in addition to more buildings to house more families. Zimmer met this week with district attorney's office staff to hunt for extra cash, but no solutions have been found.
Silva, too, said she would never be able to afford the apartment alone.
Her second-floor apartment is tidy and bright, and she has added small flourishes to make it her own. A vase of roses on the table. A bowl of seashells from a nearby beach. A giant stuffed bear sits on the couch, a gift from her now-15-year-old son, who has been living with her since February. A portrait of him on his first communion hangs in her bedroom. A welcome home sign hangs in his.
"He just wants to move forward, to live now," she said of Francisco. "He is a little big man. I think my son is amazing. He is so mature."


Bride Decked, 1 Dead After Wedding Melee (VIDEO)


Deputy AG, Wife Charged in PA Child Abuse Case

Cases like this are always hard to stomach, but the hypocrisy here just takes it to a whole new level. Keep in mind that these charges are being brought against one of the state's highest public officials, and his wife. The office of the attorney-general is not only the senior legal adviser to the government, but also responsible for leading criminal prosecutions. In essence, you might say that the one of the state's "top cops" is being charged with these terrible crimes.

There will be those who give the old "bad apple" excuse, and say that such a case is not indicative of a real problem. Well my friends, I would have to disagree and say that a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link. Sure people are people, cops and prosecutors are only people too. And that is exactly why we, as a society, should not allow these officials to wield inordinate power over the citizenry.

I wonder how many cases this man prosecuted in the same mindset that he showed to his own children, or worse. One of "tough love" or a sense of "justice" so rigid and unforgiving that it is a crime in it's own right. This is the sort of man who was put in charge of charging other people with crimes, on behalf of the people of Pennsylvania...

Pa. deputy attorney general, wife charged with abuse of children

A state deputy attorney general and his wife have been charged with child endangerment and assault against two children they adopted from Ethiopia earlier this year.

Douglas B. Barbour, 33, and Kristen B. Barbour, 30, of Franklin Park, were charged Thursday with two counts of child endangerment against their 6-year-old son and 18-month-old daughter. Each also received an aggravated assault charge against the daughter. Mr. Barbour was charged with simple assault against his son.

"The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is in the process of reviewing the criminal complaint and will closely monitor the charges as they progress through the criminal justice system," said a statement from state Attorney General Linda Kelly released Thursday night.

"Mr. Barbour faces a felony offense. Under OAG policy, he will be suspended without pay pending the resolution of the charges. At this time, our thoughts are with the children and the Office of Attorney General will cooperate fully with this investigation," the statement reads.

Allegheny County police are leading the investigation.

The Barbours' daughter is the victim of physical child abuse, including abusive head trauma, according to Rachel Berger of Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, whose examinations of the children was referenced in the criminal complaint.

Ms. Barbour told hospital personnel last month that their daughter has a history of banging her head, but the extent of her injuries and the fact that she had no underlying medical problem does not support that, Dr. Berger said in the complaint.

The Barbours' 6-year-old son is "the victim of significant neglect and possible emotional abuse over a prolonged period of time," Dr. Berger said in the complaint.

Doctors who evaluated the boy determined his skin lesions were likely the result of ongoing contact with urine. He was experiencing weight loss at home but ate voraciously and gained weight -- without medical treatment -- when fed at the hospital, according to hospital personnel cited in the complaint.

The boy told a doctor that when he soiled his pants, his parents would make him stand or eat dinner in the bathroom, according to the criminal complaint. Authorities noted his room contained no furnishings, decorations or window treatments: only a mattress on the floor with sheets.

Dr. Berger recommended the children be removed from the home and cease contact with their parents. She told authorities the Barbours' daughter is likely to be reinjured or killed if she returns.

"I have been part of the Children Protection Team for almost 14 years and cannot remember the last time I recommended no contact," she said in the complaint.

A little more research into this case shows that the girl may have suffered a stroke as a result of her injuries, and may now be permanently blind.

It appears that Barbour is mainly listed as representing the state in cases against prisoners. 

When Douglas Barbour was told his son’s body temperature was 93.6 degrees, he reportedly asked: “Would that be from being in the bathroom, cold, wet and naked for an hour?”

Latest Headlines

Which Mythical Creature Are You?                         Sexy Out of This World Aliens                         Is That a Ghost or Just a Dirty Lens                         Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?                          Do You Know Vampires?                          Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse                          Ten Amazing Urban Legends That Are Actually True                          Unbelievable UFO Sightings                          Is Your Dealer a Cop?

Search This Blog