Friday, April 29, 2016

Look out for my opinion piece next week, paradox's in sentencing reform NJ

Rise up fellow citizens:

     I live in a terribly wicked place.  Sussex County NJ.  I make this
assessment because a township should be judged on how they treat their
most vaunerable citizens, and likewise, how they punish those who
commit terrible acts against the community.  Looking through this
lens, Sussex County is a TERRIBLE place to live.  A quick tool to get
an idea of the climate of the criminal justice system in Sussex County
is to look at how citizens get sentenced for crimes.  Sussex county is
a place where Newton Police officer, Jason Miller, received only minor
probation for showing his genitals to your sons and daughters during
traffic stops,  even with video evidence, yet someone smoking a small
joint may very well end up in lock-up all year.  
    As of today, the Keogh Dwyer houses more low level, non-violent drug offenders, than it
does, violent offenders, sexual predators, or heroin specific related
offenders.  Ill give an example to highlight the disparity.  I was
stabbed in 2013 in Sparta by an intruder in my home (my lung was
collapsed and i was near death.)  That individual pleaded guilty, and
only got a small probation term from the sussex county court, even
amid public outcry.  However, today, many non-violent young women and
men are being used to fill Keogh-Dwyer, while serious offenders fill
our streets,  and us taxpayers are paying for this.  I challenge every
citizen in the county to crosscheck the jail website, and see the
surreal truth.  Sussex County has to absolutely get it priorities
straight.  And New Jersey residents should demand sentencing reform,
starting yesterday.

NJ Decarcerator Must Get Into Hands of Families and Incarcerated Men, Women & Youth

I implore everyone in NJ that stands behind the demand to end mass incarceration to work cooperatively on the effort to distribute the 2nd Issue of The NJ Decarcerator to families of incarcerated men and women and to the incarcerated themselves.

As the publisher of the paper we can legitimately mail the paper into facilities to incarcerated men and women.   It is important though that there be some sort of request of me to send the paper.
If you, or anyone you know, especially family members of incarcerated men, women and youth want to get a copy of the paper sent to you, please provide send your mailing address to .

If you want to distribute the paper to your organization, at events or in the community, please ask for 50 copies to be sent.

If a member of your family or a friend of yours is incarcerated and you want to gift them with a complimentary promotional copy of the current issue of The NJ Decarcerator should copy the following text and email it to :

Dear Editor of NJ Decarcerator,

Please send a complimentary promotional copy of The NJ Decarcerator to my friend / relative in the
_______________________ facility, ID# _____________________.

<your name>

You can use this format to request papers for those in NJ based facilities as well as to those in facilities in other states as well.

Feel free to request the paper for more than one incarcerated man or woman.

Also – we need your help in getting the paper especially to immediate family members of incarcerated men and women.  Please send mailing addresses to of anyone you know that got people on the inside.

The paper will be shared / mailed to you and yours free of charge to you.
We welcome postage donations at this site but it is not a requirement that you personally donate to get a paper sent your way. 

We also are interested in setting up mailing workshop meetings where we get groups of people together to brainstorm about who to send the paper to.

Organizations that are willing to mail the paper to 50 of their key members should contact us as well and we can send you a bundle of 50 papers.

To be clear – we will mail the paper to whomever wants a copy – not just those whose family members are caught up in the system.  If you want a copy – drop a line to .

If you have ideas as to places and organizations to get the paper out to – please share them at that e-mail address or by calling 908-881-5275.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

NJWeedman's Joint Raided: NJWeedman Arrested With "Joint Boys"

raid 3
Trenton crowd witnesses police raid on "NJWeedman's Joint" and "Liberty Bell Temple III" on Wednesday, April 27, 2016. Photo from
NJWeedman opened "NJWeedman's Joint" on June 15, 2015.  His smile became contagious on opening day as he stared directly across the street at City Hall and welcomed every type of customer who entered - locals, fans, medical marijuana patients and City Hall employees. He had so much faith in the "Joint", despite opening up shop in the deserted end of State Street, with both sides of his restaurant touching vacant, run-down buildings.  NJWeedman's fame and appeal, however, actually made it possible for a viable business to run smoothly in the poor Trenton area.  A "joint resolution" was signed by state Sen. Shirley Turner, Assemblyman Reed Gusciora and Assemblywoman Liz Muoio, declaring in support of "NJWeedman's Joint" opening: “The grand opening represents the culmination of an extensive planning and building process, which has been brought to fruition only through the extraordinary labors and efforts of a number of devoted people whose commitment to NJ Weedman’s Joint has been exceptional and unwavering.” Reed Gusciora made a statement that certain Trenton authorities ignored: "We want to do all we can do to support all businesses that open in the capital city.”
raid 11
NJWeedman receiving the state's "joint resolution" from Assemblyman Reed Gusciora. Photo from the Trentonian, July 4, 2015.
NJWeedman can always find the best in people and he willingly puts his faith in those around him. He quickly bought up two vacant sections of his restaurant building, expanding the restaurant to include a religious temple (Liberty Bell Temple III) and a recording studio. He hired half a dozen employees from the local area, who were provided a voice in the direction of the company that is not seen in many other careers.  He recruited local customers by hosting open microphone events, where local artists of all types of music were provided a free stage to play and collaborate with other starving artists - after a few months "The Joint" released a combined mix-tape of tracks written by all the local artists.  He also recruited local artists and painters by allowing them to paint or draw free-style along the outside and inside of his building.  In a highly black-populated city, NJWeedman allowed Black Lives Matter literature to be passed out in his restaurant, including flyers for protests against the NJ State Trooper shooting of 14-year old Radazz Hearns.  NJWeedman also gained the trust of the homeless people on State Street by providing them work with outside duties.  NJWeedman even provided them chairs to sit in next door to his place.  NJWeedman invited #OpFeedTheHomeless to clothe and feed the homeless in Trenton during the winter 2015-2016.
raid 8
Homeless and unemployed persons hanging out in their usual comfortable spot provided by NJWeedman, as Trenton police raided the person who treated them with respect. Photo by, April 27.
raid 9
A well-crafted and beautiful paint-job done by a local graffiti artist is set behind the two officers with semi-automatic machine guns. Photo by, April 27.
Yet, certain powers-that-be in Trenton have nothing but disdain for NJWeedman, ignoring the economic services he provides to Trenton's impoverished business sector and the humanitarian services he provides to Trenton's lower-class.  NJWeedman brought a peaceful vibe to the community, which a dozen Trenton police officers shattered during a "midnight mass" raid on March 5, 2016, kicking out hundreds of temple members.  NJWeedman responded by filing an injunction in federal court to keep his religious temple open after business hours, commenting that the Trenton police "infringed on his religious rights."  Skip forward to April 18, when police investigated "NJWeedman's Joint" backyard with shining lights, using the excuse of a "noise complaint."  Then on April 19, NJWeedman was arrested for a warrant that claimed he did not pay his child support.  Curious that the police waited to arrest NJWeedman until only the day before his April 20 rally at City Hall and the State House, a.k.a. the "Third Annual 420 Trenton Smoke-Out."  Perhaps it had something to do with NJWeedman publishing an article in the Trentonian on April 15 that mockingly invited Gov. Christie to smoke at the 420 rally. Due to this NJWeedman sat in jail on the day of the rally he was supposed to co-host, but luckily Trenton police did not arrest the hundred other persons who smoked at the State House.  NJWeedman was released free around April 22.
raid 12
Trenton Police "midnight mass" raid on NJWeedman's Liberty Bell Temple III on March 5, 2016. Photo from the Trentonian Twitter page.
The Big Raid came on April 27, when dozens of Trenton officers dressed in full tactical gear, including machine guns and tear-gas masks, raided NJWeedman's business. NJWeedman was arrested along with several employees, known as the "Joint Boys," and were taken to the Trenton Police Department.  Those arrested included NJWeedman, Grizzie Ray, a man by the name of Omar, and T JointBoy Williams a.k.a. 'Ghost.' Police brought in K-9 dogs and taped off the entrance to the store. released an article about the 4:00 P.M. raid within the hour, which led to NJWeedman's friends spreading the message on social network under the hashtag #FreeNJWeedman. reported that the raid was conducted by Trenton police and the Mercer County Narcotics Task Force, and "a Trenton Fire Department ladder truck was called in so investigators could access a roof." The Trentonian followed with an article that had pictures of the Trenton police dressed up like they were ready to go to war with the community. The Trentonian wrote: "Members of the crowd yelled with displeasure at the police. Some yelled that officers used cocaine, while others yelled 'f**k the police, he’s legal.'”   The state's top radio show, NJ 101.5, mentioned the Trenton police were "armed with assault rifles and bullet-proof vests." Numerous other journals and online websites shared articles, including Scoop NestIn USA NewsMyInforms.comLatest US Extra, etc.
raid 4
Trenton Police brought in K-9 dogs to sniff-out the "Joint." Photo from, April 27.
raid 5
Two black men being arrested during the raid, April 27. One of them is a regular employee for NJWeedman. Photo from
The police made a statement by having a quasi-military squad invade the "Joint," which drove fear into local people who sided with NJWeedman over Trenton politicians and authorities. The police also took away NJWeedman's vehicles and his dog, Budz. Even if "NJWeedman's Joint" re-opened, those in power suspect that people will be too frightened to enter the business, and therefore NJWeedman will have to close shop.  Victory for those in power; a big loss for Trenton's economy and health as a community.
raid 6
Trenton Police surround NJWeedman's building with AK-47's and bullet-proof vests. Photo from, April 27.
raid 7
A black man being arrested during the raid, April 27. Photo from
It is too early to say who is in charge of these attacks.  Possibly the Trenton police, who have known NJWeedman for a long time.  Could be the state courts that have repeatedly dealt with NJWeedman and his tactics of jury nullification over the last 20 years. Perhaps Trenton politicians are to blame.  On November 5, 2015, NJWeedman and others performed a smoke-in at a Trenton City Council meeting, after a resolution to legalize cannabis died on the floor, and NJWeedman repeatedly called the City Council members "cowards."  This act didn't put many City Council members in NJWeedman's corner.  Gov. Christie is a big suspect in NJWeedman's current despair.  They became acquainted with one another in August 2003, when NJWeedman was arrested three times outside US Attorney for NJ Chris Christie's office in Newark, for carrying a sign that called Christie a "hypocrite."  Since then NJWeedman has been a thorn in Christie's side, leading to numerous smoke-outs at the State House from 2014-2016, and other forms of confrontation between the two men, like on March 23, 2015, when NJWeedman followed Christie to a radio station and confronted him in the parking lot, requesting that Christie “stop arresting people for marijuana.”  Christie replied back:“Why don’t you go call President Obama?”  Christie is currently placing his chips in the Trump campaign, and is doing all in his power to come off strong and competent, but unable to be either of these things at any given point, he has chosen to beat up on the underdog like the bully he is.
raid 10
NJWeedman friends and fans in disbelief after the raid. Photo by, April 27.
As of now, it is suspected that NJWeedman and the Joint Boys may have a hearing for bail at Mercer County Courthouse on Thursday morning, April 28.  NJWeedman's daughter informed the Trentonian that the charges against her father were possibly going to be "related to intent to distribute marijuana," but she was unsure of the exact charges he faced. Bail for NJWeedman could be as high as $50,000, according to one source. It is still unknown of what will happen to NJWeedman's businesses or what will happen to NJWeedman and the Joint Boys.  But it seems the future will be faced with tons of jail support and protests over the injustice served on a daily basis in the world of marijuana prohibition.

Comments from Bob Witanek of Decarcerate the Garden State:

Stay tuned - we need to begin to pressure the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office as well as our local Assembly and Senators and Governor Christie to vacate the charges against Ed Forchion and the others arrested at the Weedman's Joint.  Start writing the letters now.  We will have details shortly as to what the demands should be on the Prosecutor's Office.

I recently joined the march through Trenton on April 20 demanding legalization in NJ and was able to distribute about 200 copies of the latest issue of The NJ Decarcarator.  
The Weedman's Joint restaurant invited our organization to leave papers there - indeed there was a bundle of 200 there at the time of this raid and it remains to be seen if we will be able to retrieve those papers.  Our organization has worked with "The NJ Weedman" and the proponents of legalization - and we have emphasized the need to couple the demand of legalization with equal importance to the demand of Decarceration of all those who have been convicted or are facing charges related to cannabis in NJ - and that would include automatic expungement of records, dismissal of any fines levied, immediate release from any sentences or pre-trial jailing and the dismissal of all pending charges.  These arrest provides an exclamation point to that demand.  The article depicted at left is from page 8 of the current issue of The NJ Decarcerator and it makes this point.  Above is a video of my presentation at the 2014 Cannabis rally at the Statehouse calling for legalization.

To support NJ Weedman's defense:

Monday, April 25, 2016

Putting Things In The Right Perspective.

I just want to put this in perspective because I hear people saying we need new radical thinking and new ideas to fight old problems.

Relatively speaking the Abolitionist perspective is new and it IS a perspective. A way of looking at old problems in new ways.

Prison for profit. Justice for sale. Policing for profit. Asset seizure with no prosecutions. Prison slave labor. Debtors prisons. Cash bail. Bail bondsmen. Excessive fines and fees. Institutional racism in the justice system. All white juries. Police brutality. Over policing. Police militarization. New prison construction as economic development policies. International prison stock investments. The school to prison pipeline. Probation for profit, The prison industrial complex. Immigration detention quotas. Arrest quotas. Prison occupancy guarantees. Racism in the death penalty. Racism in sentencing. Political prisoners. Cultural criminalization. Racism in the media. Racism by omission. Racism by itself.

All of these and more are not just individual problems. They are recognizable symptoms of a much larger, older and broader system of evil. A crime against humanity. A crime of treason against citizens. A crime against the world.

A system so embedded as the "go to" way of doing things that this nation would not and could not have existed without it.

It's called slavery. End of conversation.

You have justified it, supported it, legalized it and practiced it openly every time. Only when the world turned upon your practices did you "slow down" at best.

When you see it like that your mind changes and so does your approaches. That is new thinking. Instead of trying to reform a crime you start wanting to end it and when you do that legally, as in put it in your damned constitution, it is called abolition.

If at any point your declaration of emancipation has an exception for any people and any reason then the whole thing is a lie.
How you can read this and not understand is in itself a problem. I mean after all aren't these few words the primary agreement that you base your freedom upon?

"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.". -13th amendment

I'm only here trying to make you conscious of your unconscious behavior.

Max Parthas

New Abolitionists Radio
Move To Abolish 21st Century Slavery

"They would not call it slavery, but some other name. Slavery has been fruitful in giving herself names ... and it will call itself by yet another name; and you and I and all of us had better wait and see what new form this old monster will assume, in what new skin this old snake will come forth."
Frederick Douglas - North Star

"The only difference between slavery and convict leasing Is that with convicts so plentiful, they were seen as disposable."
Matthew J. Mancini - One Dies, Get Another: Convict Leasing in the American South, 1866-1928

“If you allow one single germ, one single seed of slavery to remain in the soil of America... that germ will spring up, that noxious weed will thrive, and again stifle the growth, wither the leaves, blast the flowers and poison the fair fruits of freedom.”
Ernestine Rose - History of Woman Suffrage: 1861-1876

“Slavery, like all other great systems of wrong, founded in the depths of human selfishness, and existing for ages, has not neglected its own conservation. It has steadily exerted an influence upon all around it favorable to its own continuance.”
Frederick Douglass - Reconstruction

For Your Consideration Regarding Prison Reform.

Dear Sir/Madam. 
Regarding prison reform.

There are 24 million people going through US jails, prisons, probation and parole systems in one year. In comparison to only 196,000 prisoners nationwide in 1971 when the alleged war on drugs began.
And although people of color only make up a small percentage of the national population they are overwhelmingly and disproportionately represented as prisoners and defendants in the justice system.

Now I am aware of the two schools of thought which say (wrongly) that a group of people based on skin color alone are prone to criminality by birth and the millions being placed in cages deserve what they got for being who they are, whereas the alternative ideology is that unexpected circumstances have created this disparaging and destructive phenomenon. Circumstances which according to popular opinion can be "reformed" as it is only an error in judgment and mistakes in policy.

Considering the existing exception clause for prison slavery in the US & states constitutions, the history of convict leasing, black codes, chain gangs and Jim crow, noting the advent, rise and phenomenally quick global growth of for profit prison models in a short 45 years and the historical evidence of the so called white master class of America's moral willingness to allow systemic and brutal oppression upon nonwhites as an acceptable social process it is the firm belief of the New Abolitionists that this is much more devious and intentional than unplanned circumstances.

That it is much more purposely perpetuated and systemically supported than mere errors in judgment. Recalling the unabated history of oppression upon nonwhites and the continuous blind eye of the apathetic public as they enjoy the fruits of such suffering it is our fact and statistically based conclusive opinion that A- slavery never ended and is in fact being practiced legally today and B- That it is primarily, as it always has been, being practiced upon a group of American citizens based on race alone. Followed by immigrants, the poor, the homeless and the disabled.

This includes everything from an illegal and unethical cash bail system which leaves many languishing in jails for years for lack of assets to the placing of what may as well be called a bounty on children's heads whereas private juvenile prisons are able to collect as much as $350,000 per child per year of incarceration as in NY State. From the warehousing of immigrants with monthly mandatory quotas in private for profit facilities to the mass roundup of the homeless and mentally ill who are sent to prisons to fill state contracted guarantees of 80-100% prison occupancy.

These are not unique phenomenon but are in fact part of a broader and more pervasive issue. That being the peculiar institution of chattel slavery.
As slavery, human trafficking and hunting people for profit is a crime against humanity, it is also our belief that this system cannot be reformed in any way and therefore must be abolished.

The results of these so called failed policies have been akin to a national genocide as millions of families are torn apart and left unable to fend for themselves in any supportable fashion while their sons, fathers, mothers and daughters are trapped in for profit prisons over debts, drugs and acts of fiscal desperation directly related to created poverty. There are presently 50 million American citizen below the poverty line. It is from this group that the most is taken. Where most of the corruption and exploitation is practiced and where the least compassion or concern is applied.

We ask you to consider these points of note and to reconsider your positions on reform. Your help is needed in ending this system and not in perfecting it to be socially acceptable to any degree.
Thank you for your time.

Max Parthas
New Abolitionists Radio

The Incarceration Nation in Black And White

The Incarceration Nation in Black And White

Spoken Word by multi award winning artists Jessica-Patrice Dorsey Coulter, Boris 'Bluz' Rogers & Tammaka Staley. Video production courtesy of Prysmatic Dreams

"Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate, systematic plan of reducing [a people] to slavery."
--Thomas Jefferson: Rights of British America, 1774

Prison & Jail Incarceration Rates, 2005. Rate of Incarceration per 100,000 Population in tandem with the state population percentages by race.

* Incarceration rates based on the most recent data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2005. Courtesy of New Mexico and Wyoming have been excluded due to lack of data on race and ethnicity. Census information courtesy of 2014

• Line 1 = population total and by race W/B
• Line 2 = Incarceration rates per 100,000 by race W/B

1. Alabama Population total 1,329,328 /w- 69.7% /b- 26.7%
Incarceration rates /w-542 /b-1916

2. Alaska Population total 736,732 /w- 66.9% /b- 3.9%
Incarceration rates /w-500 /b-2163

3. Arizona Population total 6,828,065 /w- 83.7% /b- 4.7%
Incarceration rates /w-590 /b-3294

4. Arkansas Population total 2,966,369 /w- 79.7% /b- 15.6%
Incarceration rates /w-478 /b-1846

5. California Population total 39,144,818 /w- 73.2% /b- 6.5%
Incarceration rates /w-460 /b-2992

6. Colorado Population total 5,456,574 /w- 87.7% /b- 4.5%
Incarceration rates /w-525 /b-3491

7. Connecticut Population total 3,590,886 /w- 81.2% /b- 11.5%
Incarceration rates /w-211 /b-2532

8. Delaware Population total 945,934 /w- 70.8% /b- 22.2%
Incarceration rates /w-396 /b-2517

9. District of Columbia Population total 672,228 /w- 43.6% /b- 49.0%
Incarceration rates /w-56 /b-1065

10. Florida Population total 20,271,272 /w- 77.8% /b- 16.8%
Incarceration rates /w-588 /b-2615

11. Georgia Population total 10,214,860 /w- 62.1% /b- 31.5%
Incarceration rates /w-623 /b-2068

12. Hawaii Population total 1,431,603 /w- 26.7% b- 2.5%
Incarceration rates /w-453 /b-851

13. Idaho Population total 1,654,930 /w- 93.5% /b- 0.8%
Incarceration rates /w-675 /b-2869

14. Illinois Population total 12,859,995 /w- 77.5% /b- 14.5%
Incarceration rates /w-223 /b-2020

15. Indiana Population total 6,619,680 /w- 86.1% /b- 9.6%
Incarceration rates /w-463 /b-2526

16. Iowa Population total 3,123,899 /w- 92.1% /b- 3.4%
Incarceration rates /w-309 /b-4200

17. Kansas Population total 2,853,132 /w- 86.8% /b- 6.3%
Incarceration rates /w-443 /b-3096

18. Kentucky Population total 4,425,092 /w- 88.3% /b- 8.2%
Incarceration rates /w-561 /b-2793

19. Louisiana Population total 4,670,724 /w- 63.4% /b- 32.5%
Incarceration rates /w-523 /b-2452

20. Maine Population total 1,329,328 /w- 95.0% /b- 1.4%
Incarceration rates /w-262 /b-1992

21. Maryland Population total 6,006,401 /w- 60.1% /b- 30.3%
Incarceration rates /w-288 /b-1579

22. Massachusetts Population total 6,794,422 /w- 82.6% /b- 8.3%
Incarceration rates /w-201 /b-1635

23. Michigan Population total 9,884,129 /w- 79.9% /b- 14.2%
Incarceration rates /w-412 /b-2262

24. Minnesota Population total 5,489,594 /w- 85.7% /b- 5.9%
Incarceration rates /w-212 /b-1937

25. Mississippi Population total 2,992,333 /w- 59.7% /b- 37.5%
Incarceration rates /w-503 /b-1742

26. Missouri Population total 6,083,672 /w- 83.5% /b- 11.8%
Incarceration rates /w-487 /b-2556

27. Montana Population total 1,032,949 /w- 89.4% /b- 0.6%
Incarceration rates /w-433 /b-3569

28. Nebraska Population total 1,896,190 /w- 89.4% /b- 4.9%
Incarceration rates /w-290 /b-2418

29. Nevada Population total 2,890,845 /w- 76.2% /b- 9.1%
Incarceration rates /w-627 /b-2916

30. New Hampshire Population total 1,330,608 /w- 94.0% /b- 1.5%
Incarceration rates /w-289 /b-2666

31. New Jersey Population total 8,958,013 /w- 73.0% /b- 14.8%
Incarceration rates /w-190 /b-2352

32. New York Population total 19,795,791 /w- 70.4% /b- 17.6%
Incarceration rates /w-174 /b-1627

33. North Carolina Population total 10,042,802 /w- 71.5% /b- 22.1%
Incarceration rates /w-320 /b-1727

34. North Dakota Population total 756,927 /w- 89.1% /b- 2.1%
Incarceration rates /w-267 /b-2683

35. Ohio Population total 11,613,423 /w- 83.0% /b- 12.6%
Incarceration rates /w-344 /b-2196

36. Oklahoma Population total 3,911,338 /w- 75.1% /b- 7.7%
Incarceration rates /w-740 /b-3252

37. Oregon Population total 4,028,977 /w- 87.9% /b- 2.0%
Incarceration rates /w-502 /b-2930

38. Pennsylvania Population total 12,802,503 /w- 82.9% /b- 11.6%
Incarceration rates /w-305 /b-2792

39. Rhode Island Population total 1,056,298 /w- 85.1% /b- 7.7%
Incarceration rates /w-191 /b-1838

40. South Carolina Population total 4,896,146 /w- 68.3% /b- 27.8%
Incarceration rates / w-415 /b-1856

41. South Dakota Population total 858,469 /w- 85.7% /b- 1.9%
Incarceration rates /w-470 /b-4710

42. Tennessee Population total 6,600,299 /w- 78.9% /b- 17.1%
Incarceration rates /w-487 /b-2006

43. Texas Population total 27,469,114 /w- 80.0% /b- 12.5%
Incarceration rates /w-667 /b-3162

44. Utah Population total 2,995,919 /w- 91.4% /b- 1.3%
Incarceration rates /w-392 /b-3588

45. Vermont Population total 626,042 /w- 95.0% /b- 1.2%
Incarceration rates /w-304 /b-3797

46. Virginia Population total 8,382,993 /w- 70.5% /b-19.7
Incarceration rates /w-396 /b-2331

47. Washington Population total 7,170,351 /w- 80.7% /b-4.1%
Incarceration rates /w-393 /b-2522

48. West Virginia Population total 1,844,128 /w- 93.7% /b- 3.6%
Incarceration rates /w-392 /b-2188

49. Wisconsin Population total 5,771,337 /w- 87.8% /b-6.6%
Incarceration rates /w-415 /b-4416

NATIONAL Population total 321,418,820 /w- 77.4% /b- 12.6%
Incarceration rates /w-412 /b-2290

Full study:


Max Parthas
New Abolitionists Radio
Move To Abolish 21st Century Slavery
Black Talk Radio Network

(Amendment XIII) to the United States Constitution:
"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude,
......except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted,......
shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

Now you know what, how, who, where and why.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Proposal to Decarcerate the Garden State Membership: Initiate Call for Unified Action September 9

Incarcerated Call National Prison Strike: Let's Organize Solidarity in NJ
Sept 9, 2016
Let's Organize Solidarity in NJ - Proposal to Act

                The call for a national prison strike starting September 9th, 2016 could be in effect one of the most significant steps of the decarcaration / abolitionist movement yet.
                According to an article from the news site The Intercept which was republished on page 8 of the 2nd edition"On April 1, a group of prisoners from Ohio, Alabama, Virginia, and Mississippi called for a “nationally coordinated prisoner work stoppage against prison slavery” to take place on September 9, the 45th anniversary of the Attica prison riot. “We will not only demand the end to prison slavery, we will end it ourselves by ceasing to be slaves,” that announcement reads. “They cannot run these facilities without us.” 

The following is a letter circulating in facilities in multiple states around the US: 
                At this point I am proposing to the membership of Decarcerate the Garden State that we embrace this call to action and that we prepare to have activities at one or more locations in NJ on that date in solidarity with and in support of the coordinated Prisoner Strike action, in support of our demands for the passage of The NJ Decarceration Act bringing about a 50% reduction of the number of NJ incarcerated and generally supporting improved conditions for NJ’s incarcerated population.  It is up to NJ’s incarcerated to decide for themselves whether they will take part in this coordinated action in any way and we are not in any way suggesting that they do anything in this regard.  I am hoping that information about our actions on the outside reaches into the facilities so that NJ’s incarcerated know that we are stirring for real Decarceration measures in NJ and for better internal conditions.
                Let’s begin to organize now – and if the incarcerated of NJ are not participating – we can still have events on the outside around the state on September 9 to show support for our demands to Decarcerate the Garden State.

Once we agree internally to embrace this call to action, then we can issue a call to other organizations in the state of NJ calling for a unified action or actions on September 9 around the demands for Decarceration,  supporting the demands of those around the country that are intend to strike inside the facilities and sending a message to those inside NJ facilities about our efforts to demand Decarceration and support improved conditions in NJ facilities.

To provide feedback and /or support to this proposal , e-mail to or participate in the discussion in our Facebook group:

This is history in the making – let’s get ready! 

                If you are interested – call / text 908-881-5275 or e-mail .

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Welcome to the Second Issue of The NJ Decarcerator! Get Your Copy, Distribute, Donate . . .

The second issue of the NJ Decarcerator is hot off the presses and will soon be hitting the streets and hopefully getting mailed to incarcerated people inside NJ facilities.
You can get a copy of the paper provided to you by sending your mailing address to .

In order to cover costs of mailing, there is a suggested donation and you can make the donation at this site:

 Also if you want to get 50 or more copies of the paper sent to you to distribute to your organization, community, at an event, etc., you can use the above link as well to donate toward shipping and provide your mailing address to .

You can read the whole issue in PDF reader at this link:
Please help spread the word about the availability this important community organizing resource by sharing and tweeting this article far and wide.

To get more directly involved in the effort to get the papers out into the community and also inside to the NJ incarcerated people call 908-881-5275 or write .
The following is a page 2 article from the latest issue that sums up what is contained in this issue:
Welcome to the Second Issue of The NJ Decarcerator!
The NJ Decarcerator is being published for the second time to  support the efforts of the Decarcerate the Garden State to bring about an end to mass incarceration in NJ.  This issue is dedicated to reaching out directly to NJ’s incarcerated, their families and loved ones.
                On page 1 we print an extensive interview with the Incarcerated leaders of the Free Alabama Movement (continued on p. 6), an open letter to NJ organizations calling for unified action to Decarcerate in NJ and another open letter to incarcerated and their families.
                On this page, we call for the hosting of “Decarca-Parties” to meet informally to carry out Decarceration tasks, we call for folks to pledge to take Decarceration actions each and every day, we urge word of mouth spreading of the Decarceration message within NJ facilities, we offer to assist college and high school students in putting together Decarceration events and we give information about NJ crime lab corruption and blatant racial profiling – calling for review of cases connected to these issues.
                Page 3 includes our call for First Amendment access to visitors at state prison facilities on visiting day, we offer families of the incarcerated  help in starting individual campaigns for justice, we provide information about the NJ Decarceration Act and we offer assistance and support to communities that want to organize a panel discussion or meeting around Decarceration and related issues.
                The center spread includes a list of websites for some of the political prisoners and an article on the topic of political prisoners by Educators for Mumia Abu Jamal co-founder, Mark Taylor, a suggestion to incarcerated persons that they spread the word about the paper on the inside, a call for creation of facility support committees around each of the state facilities, information about one such committee Southwoods Family United, an article about writing to the incarcerated about our efforts, an article with various statistics on the situation in NJ and an invitation to write for our blog site.
                Page 7 includes a letter from an incarcerated person from Texas that has been circulating between incarcerated facilities around the country calling for coordinated strikes to oppose the enslavement of incarcerated persons and an article about the goals of the New Abolitionist group.
                Page 8 includes an article about coordinated strike action by incarcerated persons across multiple states and the call for a coordinated strike on September 9, 2016 as well as our perspective on the issue of cannabis legalization.

                We do not have all the answers – we  know that something major has to be done immediately to address this issue as the crisis that it is.  We  hope that through our actions, we can strike a nerve with those in the targeted communities and help bring about a critical mass that can take effective action to END MASS INCARCERATION!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Feedback Requested: Community Music Collaborative Proposal

As an under graduate student of Westminster Choir College, I have an Art Administration course and as a requirement have to draft a proposal for a non-profit arts organization.  For this purpose, I am proposing "Community Music Collaborative" as an institution to serve the music education, performance and entertainment needs of communities disproportionately deprived of access due to lack of full support in the public education system and lack of affordability to a high percentage of local residents.  One priority in this proposal is that the project would be advised by the client communities and would have a structure providing community control of design and goals of the project.  The proposal is that the first location would be Newark, NJ and that once established the institution would look to expand into other communities.  A draft of the executive summary follows.

I am looking for input and feedback particularly from residents of communities that could benefit from such a project.

I would appreciate feedback to this idea and that can be provided either in comments or by e-mailing or contacting me (Robert Colby-Witanek) on Facebook.  You can also comment under postings of this article.

The following are a few questions that you can possibly answer - but feel free to provide feedback in whatever format you would like to do.

How do you think this project could benefit you and your community?

What is the current status of music education in the public education in the community - is it adequate or lacking?  Can you provide details?

What should the designers of this project keep in mind to best meet community needs?

What organizations and existing non-profit groups in the community are doing similar work and might be interested in this project?

Please provide any suggestions and feedback you would like to offer.

To be clear - this is *not* at this point a real proposal being made to anyone for funding.  However, the final proposal will be available to anyone that wants to review it.


Community Music Collaborative is a nonprofit agency providing community based and community controlled music projects including music education and performance serving middle school and high school students and adults, including those formerly incarcerated in a community in crisis from neglect, poverty, lack of economic opportunity, joblessness, street violence, poor services, environmental and water issues, and street crime. The project will form partnerships with music departments of local universities, music conservatories, local professional musicians, and community-based grassroots organizations.  One of Community Music Collaborative’s goals is to foster a commitment to the musical needs of a community under many unusual pressures from an discriminatory and neglectful system and to provide a project around which community unity can be established toward finding solutions to the many extreme issues this community is facing, from street violence, to joblessness, under funded schools, water shut offs and poisoning, homelessness, subsistence cutbacks.  Another aim is to address the lack of access to music education given the removal ofor cuts to music education from public schools and the lack of affordability for most neighborhood residents by providing access to music education and collaboraitve opportunities regardless of ability to afford music instruments and education.  Only through working relationships in a haven from the community dangers, with the ability to enjoy the richness of music, performing and as the audience, can a sense of community friendship and unity developthat will give the community the wherewithal to withstand the severe pressures that include existential pressures to be able to survive from one month to the next.

Through endemic systemic neglect and economic depression, severely endangered communities are facing perilous challenges to their very survival.  To accomplish the stated goals, communities must be empowered toward organization and unity in pursuit of solutions to the many challenges currently imperiling these endangered communities.
Through repeated failures in the classroom and the development of destructive habits, at-risk young people have lost faith in the possibilities that await them if they are successful in putting their lives together. To accomplish this goal, young people must be in a caring, inclusive learning environment that promotes their best effort and reinforces personal respect.

Community Music Collaborative is a project that is in direct response to the growing number of communities that are in total free fall due to oppressive social conditions.  The goal of the project is to enter a collaborative relationship with communities toward solutions to existential challenges to those communities and to provide music opportunities in a safe and rewarding environment.

Community Music Collaborative will focus primarily on middle school and high school aged youths as well as adults including the formerly incarcerated.  It is expected that in coming years, given trends, the situation for the dispossessed in NJ communities like Camden, Newark, Trenton, New Brunswick, Bridgeton will continue to deteriorate as priorities continue to shift toward reduced support for impoverished communities, cutbacks of services, education funding and over all austerity.

Community Music Collaborative's mentoring projects will utilize a mixed professional / volunteer staff of music teachers, music professionals and music major students and offer students sliding scale rates and full scholarship based upon ability to pay.  The project will include weekly lessons and for more advanced students, twice weekly group sessions to work on ensemble material.  The mixed staff will meet semi-weekly to keep the project on target toward its goals and the professional staff will provide leadership and guidance to volunteer staff members.

Over time, Community Music Collaborative will create a learning environment that will be an invaluable resource to youth and adults, aspiring volunteers and the community at large.  The performance venue will provide a means for bringing the community together to enjoy the music of the students but also a venue for other community events and the centers will provide meeting space for local community grass roots organizations.  The center will also provide information to clients about services available to meet their human needs.  The by-laws define the importance of community input and control over the directions and goals of Community Music Collaborative.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

TX Incarcerated Anonymously Circulating Call to Nationwide Incarcerated Worker Strike

Picture Courtesy of Prison Reform Movement - to learn more about their important work:

I would like to inform you of a very important and serious incident that is about to take place in Texas prisons very soon, and will go unnoticed if the media don't report on it.  There is not much said on the news about prisons, specifically Texas prisons. The government tells the public, "we are waging a war on crime and on drugs."  They use and manipulate crime rates for political reasons. Truth is, people don't understand or care about crime rates statistics or prisoners. All they care about is unemployment and taxes; not knowing that the "prisons" issue affects these very problems. The public see prisoners as a burden for the law?abiding tax paying citizen. What they fail to see is the root of the problem, who creates it? and the reasons behind it.
The roots of the American Factory System of Criminal Justice, as with so many developments in American political life, lie witt Richard Nixon and his pursuit of Southern conservatives, particularly the followers of George wallace, as a path to long-term political succes for the Republican party.
President Nixon's "war on Crime" and his subsequent "War on Drugs" had a transformative effect on our criminal justice policy.  Between 1970 and 2005, incarceration rates in the United States rose by 700%. Today, the U.S. locks up almost one?quarter of the prisoners in the entire world. Of note, while crime rates were increasing at the time that the War on Crime began, the explosion in the prison population has continued unabated in the ensuing decades through periods of falling crime rates.  Due to the current economic turmoil in America, numerous states are expe?riencing tremendous difficulties meeting their fiscal budgets. Federal, State and local government agencies are cutting programs in numerous departments Department of Education, Defense, etc.). NUmerous states are even forced to consider releasing thousands of prisoners and closing select prisons in an effort to combat the current economic recession and make progress towards closing their budget gaps.  Several states have authorized or have pending legislation for the release of prisoners as a method for meeting their budgets shortfalls. Instead of covering the massive cost of imprisonment, states are relying on electronic monitoring and community-based programs to supervise and correct those who have commited crimes.
These methods are being employed throughout our-nation. From state to state,coast to coast, states are considering the release of prisoners as a viable option to lowering and meeting their budgets, EXCEPT The state with the second largest prison System (120 prisons, 180,000 prisoners) in America, is actually looking to expand its prison system and population, even during these dire finantial times because the prison system in Texas is a cash laden Industrial Complex!
Under the guise of being "self-sufficient", Texas prison officials created an industry called "Texas Corrections Industries" or (TCI) in 1963, where free prisoner's labour is utilized to make all types of products, from hand soap to bed sheets, from raising livestock to making iron toilets and portable buildings, all for sell. Free prisoner's labour also maintains the water recycling and purification system for all Texas prison units.
TCI is a "Publicly Traded Stock" on the New YOrk Stock Exchange, making Texas Prison System the only prison system you can buy stock in. Throughout Texas' 120 prisons, TCI operates numerous furniture factories that make all sorts of residential, commercial and office fixtures sofas, tables, desks, cabinets, etc.) that goes directly to the open market. In addition, the metal fabrication factories that exist thoughout Texas prisons, builds metal residential and commercial furnishings that mostly go straight to the Open market.
The Garment and textile factories that are also operated by (TCI's free prisoner's labour), make all types of clothing attire (shirts, socks, jackets, uniforms, etc.) as well as beding materials that are sold on the Open market as well. There are slaughter houses, meat packing plants, where all the livestock that are raised on the grounds of Texas prisons are taken to be slaughtered, prepared and packed for selling on the open market. The meat its sold while prisoners are being fed with the leftovers mixed with soybean. All these factories and plants are operated on the backs of prisoners who are not paid.
As investigation that was conducted by the Dallas Mbrning News a couple years ago, revealed that the furniture factories alone, produce nearly 90 million dollars (annually) of revenue (income) for TCI. Now consider the grand total of all revenue income when combining TCI's industries all together, 700 million? 1 billion?? And all on the backs of prisoners who are not being paid nor given credit for that labour.
Considering these facts, no wonder why Texas don't want to decrease its prison populations. Why downsize a thriving and lucrative cash?laden business?  I haven't mentioned the other entities of TCI, like out-sourcing prisoners labour to other open market companies, which I'm sure produce millions of more dollars annually. This explains why more than 50% of Texans have a friend or family member in prison, or have done time themselves.
Texas is not full of criminals, it's full of corruption in its "Criminal Justice System." From cops all the way to District Attorneys and Judges, the criminal system is corrupt. They keep a high conviction rate at any cost, all for the well being of the multi?million dollar Prison Industrial Complex.
Immediately after the creation of TCI and the "Publicly Traded Stock,"Texas prison populations exploded. I wonder how many Judges, District Attorneys and Government officials (or their family members) own stock in. One would think there exist a conflict of interest or even "insider trading" when the people who hold stock in a (prison industry) company, are the very ones who control prison sentences and populations? WOuldn't you think it's a criminal act to convert a place that was designed for punishment and correction, into a multi?million dollar industry?

Many Texans complain about the burden of prisons when they should be asking, who is profiting from inmate free?labour? Certainly all those millions of dollars end in the pockets of just a few.- What about the unemployment in Texas? Sixty percent of the 180,000 prisoners work. That's about 100,000 jobs. Texans should be demanding that the state give those jobs to citizens. Those 100,000 new jobs would alleviate the unemployment rate in Texas.
What about the corruption? Law abiding citizens don't care about corruption or criminals until we or a family member becomes one. we usually think that cops, D.A.s and Judges are honest, when the reality is otherwise.  Texas has more innocent people behind bars than any other state. Texas criminal system kills more people than any other state. It has been proved beyond doubt that Texas, time after time had wrongly?convicted, incarcerated and put to death more people than any other state. Former Texas governor Rick Perry killed more than 30 people in death?row, some of them innocent citizens that were victims of this corrupt system. Rick Perry is a true serial killer.
These are the things we should be worrying about. Most people think that they are on the safe?side because they are not commiting any crime; well, they are wrong, Texas can make a criminal out of a saint. Cameron Todd Willingham, Gary Graham, Ponchai Wilkerson, Kevin Kincy, Derrick Frazier and Francis Newton, just to name a few, were wrongly convicted and still yet put to death by the Texas Criminal UN-Justice system. And what about the thousands of wrongly convicted people that are currently serving long sentences in Texas prisons, now working as slaves? That could be me, you or anybody!

Human and Civil rights are not allowed in TExas prisons. There are so many violations to these rights on a daily basis, but we don't hear about it because those violations, if fought against, rarely make it to the court.  What about the slavery case? We don't hear about it in the media because it's politically incorrect to talk about it. The truth is that "slavery" it's very much alive and thriving in Texas. It is being disguised by the TDCJ. Texas has the largest slave trade in the world.
The Universal Declaration of HUman Rights specifically states that ONE shall be held in Slavery or Servitud." It does not say "No one, except prisoners." Critics often argue that the 13th_Amendment abolished slavery "except as a punishment for crime." It is true the 13th Amendment allows that but that doesn't mean involuntary servitude of a prisoner is morally right or justified. While the 13th Amendment allows slavery only "as a punishment for crime," we should note that not a single prisoner currently incarcerated in Texas, has being sentenced to "hard labour, or involuntary slavery-servitude"but they are being enslaved on top of their sentences.
Every convicted felon goes through the judgement process; if found guilty, then he/she goes through the "punishment" phase. The punishments go from probation, community service, restitution, etc., to more harsher punishments like jail or prison time, or death penalty.
Judges and Jury have the leeway (according to the 13th Amendment) to punish a criminal with "slavery or servitud", but nevertheless, not a single criminal presently incarcerated in Texas have received such a sentence. TDCJ has taken upon itself the authority of punishing prisoners with slavery ON TOP OF THEIR SENTENCES, violating therefore, their Human and Constitutional Rights.  In 1948, the International Community adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognize in Article 4, that involuntary servitude was a violation of "the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family".
It is about time the United States, and especially Texas, honor these Human Rights.
WHAT IS The reason why I today mentioned this issue to you is first, to create awareness with Texas citizens of the abuse, corruption and danger that the Texas Criminal System presents to all of us, free and slave. And secondly, to let everybody know* that Texas' prisoners are the slaves of today, and that slavery affects our society economically morally and politically.
They are forced to work on a daily basis, if they refude to work a single day, they are punished in many different ways. They work without any payment. They don't get any credit for their work neither for their good conduct.
I have a brother in prison and will not mention his name for his safety.
Even in let century America, prisoners still get beat up and even killed by prison guards, and they make it look like an accident or a suicide. Don't fool yourselves thinking that this is not your problem; this issue affects all Texans.
Since Texans are not aware of this situation, prisoners are doing their part; they have been organizing since last year, a peaceful Inter State WOrk Stoppage. Beginning on April 4th, 2016, all inmates around Texas will stop all labour in order to get the attention from politicians and Texas community alike.
This work - stoppage will affect the pockets of all those who benefit from prison slavery. We need to be clear about one thing, prisoners are not looking for a lazy life in prison. They don't want to spend their sentences sitting in a cell, eating and sleeping. They still will attend every education - rehabilitation and training programs available. They are not against work in prison as long they receive credit for their labour and good conduct that counts towards a real parole-validation. I said "real parole" because the present Texas Parole Board is a joke.
The Texas Parole Board does not care about the rehabilitation of prisoners; all they want is to keep a high prison population in order to keep their slavery business rolling. What we see and hear on the news media and what TDCJ advertises on its web site is far away from the truth.

Please report on this issue! Thank you.