All Articles Tagged "Prison"
Whatever you might think about T.I., the choices he’s made and the situations he’s found himself in over the past five years, you must admit that when he finally sits down to speak on all of it, there’s a level of honesty we can’t help but respect. Recently, in promotion of his new album “Trouble Man: Heavy Is The Head,” T.I. has had to answer a lot of questions regarding the time he spent in jail and, in stark contrast, the relationship we see him share with his wife and children.
In an interview with ROLLING OUT, the interviewer asked T.I. whether or not he felt people in the hood have more respect for people who go to prison rather than those who go to college. See what he had to say about the subject.
That’s a misconception. I think white folks put that out there because they want us to feed off that. I grew up in Bankhead, been around Campbellton Road, Simpson Road, West End and every ghetto in Atlanta. And I never thought it was cooler to go to jail than to go to college. I knew college wasn’t for me, but I knew jail wasn’t for me, either. If you give me the option between jail and college, I’m taking college. They have women in college, ain’t no women in jail. I’ve never thought that. And no one I ever spoke to said, ”Man, something in me wants to see what it’s like to go to jail.” On the other hand, we knew that we were doing things that could land us in jail. But we never thought it was cool. That’s a misconception. If you’re a teenager, or whatever, don’t believe that going to jail is cool. I’ve been in there with people who are doing 20-year bids and life sentences. Those folks never feel like it was cool.
And since T.I. has had personal experience in this area, he explains how being in prison affected him.
When I went to prison in 2009, I had so much resentment for the system. When you’re in a certain element, you can exercise certain strengths. But when you place me in a jungle and it’s all about survival, I’m going to have tp posture myself in a way I’m fit to survive. By the time I came out of prison, my mind-set was different from when I went in. Prison did me no good. But personally, I regressed completely.
And in an interesting interview with the Breakfast Club, T.I. explained how that regression from the first prison bid, contributed to him going back the second time.
With me going on the campaign trail and speaking to kids, I actually had developed new policies and procedures. My character had changed for real. And when your character changes you become a more positive thinking, a more law abiding, just a more even spirited person. And now you take all of these character progressions and you now say I got to go to prison?! Well wait a minute, these policies and procedures don’t apply here in this environment that you’re sending me to, so now I can’t use what I’ve learned. So now I’m going to adopt new policies and procedures to accompany my environment, because now it’s about survival.
So now I’m back on my square. I’m back like I’m trapping. Because I’m in general population… So now, by the time I get out, these new policies and procedures…what I’m just supposed to hit a button and go back to the way I was before I went in. No! No! So now, these policies and procedures that I had adopted from being in prison… I did more drugs in prison than I did all throughout “Paper Trail.” I was doing things that I hadn’t even considered doing in the free world in a long time, in prison, which tells you that my mentality had changed so much that when I came home, I was like ‘Hell man, whatever man, let’s get back to the get back.’ So now, that’s what put me in the mindset to where I could make that kind of slip up and mistake that I would have never made while I was on the “Paper Trail” run. But see nobody ever thought about that. They were like ‘T.I. man, he just dumb.’ Naw!
It’s sad it had to play out like that but it would appear that he’s certainly learned from and become a better man because of it.
Former South African president Nelson Mandela is still in the hospital as he recovers from surgery to remove gall stones, ABC News reports.
Mandela was flown to an unnamed hospital in the city of Pretoria on December 8th with no details as to why he was going. The government made an announcement that he was just going to to the hospital for medical testing, giving no indication as to why he needed to be flown to a hospital for said tests. However, they said Saturday that the doctors found gall stones that needed to be removed.
The doctors also said Mandiba, as Mandela is affectionately known, also has a lung infection that needs to be treated. However, they feel tat doing the surgery first would be better and safer.
The 94 year old Mandela has been hospitalized a couple of times over the last year – in January 2011 for a lung infection and earlier this year for abdominal pains – but this is the longest he’s ever been in the hospital.
Although he’s no longer president, there is no question that Mandela is still South Africa’s most revered person. To that end, the media always wants to be updated with full details about his health and whereabouts. These recent health issues have caused a serious rift between the government and the media because the government initially said that Mandela was at a military hospital but then said he was at an undisclosed private hospital. Further, they stated they will not release the name of the hospital in order to respect the privacy of the family.
The Office of the Presidency released a statement saying the surgery was successful and that Mandela is recovering.
Loyalty is a very impressive trait to have, especially for people who are surrounded by celebrities. So many times it seems as though people who are too amped to get a taste of the limelight that they’ll sell a famous person down the river for fifteen minutes of infamy. But what’s even more interesting is when celebrities are so loyal that they’ll sometimes put aside their fans’ adoration, their happiness, and to some extreme incidences their own freedom to be loyal to someone or something close to them. Let’s examine these celebs:
Coolio’s adult son Grtis has taken after his father in more ways than one, and unfortunately they’re not all good. The 22-year old has just been given a hefty prison sentence stemming from a 2011 incident and from the time he was given, it will be a good while before he sees life from outside prison bars.
A rep for the Clark County District Attorney’s office tells TMZ, 22-year-old Grtis was sentenced to serve between 42-120 months in prison — meaning he has to serve at LEAST 42 months … but if the Nevada Department of Corrections finds good reason, it can hold him for up to 10 years.
As we first reported, Ivey was arrested on November 14, 2011 for busting into a Las Vegas apartment with a gun and forcing the tenant into the bathroom … while his female prostitute friend ransacked the place.
Ivey agreed to plead guilty to felony robbery — and in exchange, prosecutors dropped the remaining felony charges.
Ivey has been in custody since his arrest and will receive credit for time served.
Just two years ago, big daddy Coolio was looking at prison time himself when a judge issued a $10,000 bench warrant when he failed to show up in court. Coolio was able to escape arrest but his son hasn’t been so lucky. Hopefully they can both get it together over the next 42 months.
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Lawrenceville, Georgia does not tolerate child molesters as 29-year-old Antoine Johnson found out this week.
The former intern and summer camp organizer at Hebron Baptist Church received a life sentence after being convicted of three counts of aggravated child molestation after he pretended to be a teenage girl and lured teen boys into having sex with him.
Kristen is a 14-year-old girl. She hangs out online and meets boys, promising to fulfill their sexual fantasies. Boys, of course, would line up for the chance to meet Kristen, and were willing to do anything to get with her. But the catch was that in order to get the “goodies” from Kristen, you had to have sex with a grown man to prove your loyalty.
Not only were the expectations of Kristen frighteningly unrealistic, the even harsher reality is that Kristen didn’t even exist. Kristen was the online creation of Antoine Johnson.
Gwinnett Superior Court Judge Timothy Hamil called the scheme “absolutely diabolical” as he gave Johnson a life sentence in prison for molesting two boys, ages 13 and 14. He was also sentenced for attempting to lure in a 15-year-old back in 2008. Johnson did most of his dirty work on MySpace and would even get on the phone with the boys, telling them that “Kristen” would be next in line for good sex if they got with him first!
Johnson says that he created the online profile from a picture he took from a real girl. He claims that he created the profile to help a friend’s younger brother overcome self-confidence issues. One of the teens said that he went to meet Kristen one night and met Johnson instead. At 2 a.m., the two had 0-ral sex in the driveway.
“At first I refused for a few weeks…but she kept asking me and asking me, and I gave in,” the boy said.
“I’ve been a prosecutor 13 years, and the defendant’s testimony was some of the most bizarre I’ve seen,” said Assistant District Attorney Nigel Lush. “We got a look inside the mind of a true pedophile.”
When he wasn’t out hunting down young boys, Johnson spent his time as a mentor for boys at his church. According to records, he mentored as many as 500 boys per week.
None of the children involved in this case were children Antoine met at church and he maintains that he didn’t touch any of the children he mentored.
The Gwinnette Daily Post says:
[Antoine] pleaded guilty to 11 counts of sexual exploitation of a child in connection with a cache of dozens of child Adult Videos films and hundreds of photographs found on his personal computer. He also copped to a count of enticing a child for indecent purposes and two counts of attempting to entice children. The judge tacked on 60 years of probation to restrict him from computer access or unsupervised contact with minors, should he ever be paroled. Prosecutors had offered Johnson a plea deal of 20 years in prison, but he balked at admitting in court to physically molesting the teens. On the stand, he admitted to lusting for young boys but blamed his impulses on a distant relative who molested him and exposed him to child pornography when he was 7 years old.
The newspaper also says there was no jury in the case. Antoine didn’t want the children to have to recount their story in front of a jury so he opted to have his case heard by the judge in a bench trial. After what the judge called “called three days of ‘gruesome’ testimony” he sentenced him to life behind bars.
I’m not minimizing his crime, what Antoine Johnson did is absolutely deplorable, but a life sentence seems excessive. Sometimes I wonder if the justice system in this country is much too quick to throw young black men away for the rest of their lives. True, Antoine is definitely a sicko who certainly doesn’t elicit any sympathy, but isn’t life in prison reserved for kidnappers and murderers? The prosecutor recommended the harsh sentence saying “true pedophiles never get better” and in Antoine’s case, he won’t even have a chance to try.
Alissa is a freelance writer living in Columbus, OH. Follow her on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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Adidas really ought to just be thankful they’re still a somewhat relevant sneaker brand, but of course they’ve taken their creative liberties a bit further than most would like with a new sneaker known as JS Roundhouse Mids.
The issue with the shoe is the shackles that are attached to the heel and expected to fit around one’s ankles. Adidas explains the design with this description on it’s Facebook page:
“Tighten up your style with the JS Roundhouse Mids, dropping in August. Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?”
Clever idea, but perhaps poorly executed. Most observers are speaking out against the shackle adornment as an ode to slavery. Personally, I immediately thought of prison cuffs when I saw the sneaker (I think it was the orange color) but either way, neither inference is a good look. Dr Boyce Watkins wrote on Your Black World:
“Shackles. The stuff that our ancestors wore for 400 years while experiencing the most horrific atrocities imaginable. Most of which were never documented in the history books and kept away from you in the educational system, all so you’d be willing to put shackles on your ankles today and not be so sensitive about it. There is always a group of negroes who are more than happy to resubmit themselves to slavery.”
He’s right but I think we have to be careful assuming an African American slave reference. For one, Africans were hardly the first or only group of slaves in this country or in the world, so this doesn’t have to necessarily be a “black thing.” On the other hand, African slavery is the most discussed form of captivity in the present day and if Adidas were so bold as to insert this subtle element of racism, it’s certainly not something that should go without being called out. Regarding the prison reference, I think far too many boys and men are already too comfortable with the idea of being arrested and cuffed and wearing a shoe that makes light of that or makes being shackled appear cool just isn’t a good idea. On the surface, it’s not grossly damaging but I think it has the potential to make teens, tweens, and even grown men somewhat desensitized to the reality of being cuffed and the system of racism that often lands them behind bars. To that point, Dr. Watkins added in his op-ed:
“I’m offended by these shoes as there is nothing funny about the prison industrial complex, which is the most genocidal thing to happen to the black family since slavery itself.”
I’ll be honest, this is the most I’ve ever thought about something as seemingly insignificant as a sneaker, but looking at this shoe I can’t help but think of buyers being slaves to consumerism as well. We know how men will set up camp outside of a shoe store for 24 hours at least to get a new pair of sneakers and how those purchases also lend themselves to robbery attempts and sometimes shootings over people simply wanting what someone else has. And though I have no data on this, I can say that the people I see sleeping outside of Foot Locker on 34th street or on the news after a big shoe release are typically black teens and I don’t like the obvious play on our boys being enslaved to this concept.
Truthfully, there really are a number of ways to interpret ths new sneaker design but I think the reality is that when it comes to the JS Roundhouse Mids, they’re hardly “just a shoe.”
What do you think about this design? Is there more to the shackles than Adidas is letting on or is it no big deal?
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Not really sure when those with positions of authority in these organizations and bands will get the memo that hazing is wrong on so many levels and needs to stop. But maybe, just maybe, after the death of Robert Champion and the charges brought against 13 members of FAMU’s legendary band, people will learn.
Champion, a 26-year-old drum major at FAMU, was beaten to death aboard a chartered bus after a performance last fall. Band members beat Champion severely, leaving large bruises on his chest, arms, shoulders and back, according to the AP. Witnesses to the beating say Champion might have been targeted not only because he was against members partaking in hazing, but also because he was gay, and was a candidate for the role of chief drum major.
The 13 individuals had the charges brought against them today, five months after the incident happened, and 11 out of the 13 people will face a hazing resulting in death charge, which can carry up to six years. The other two individuals will face misdemeanor charges for their role in Champion’s death. While the parents of the young man were pleased that charges were being filed, they were disappointed that the charges were not more severe. The mother of Champion, Pam, told the AP, “I thought there would be more serious charges. I thought it should send a harsher message.” It seems the possibility of manslaughter and second-degree murder charges were shut down. But State Attorney Lawson Lamar said these charges weren’t sought because murder didn’t seem to be the motive, plus, there’s no evidence to support that thought:
“The testimony obtained to date does not support a charge of murder, in that it does not contain the elements of murder. We can prove participation in hazing and a death. We do not have a blow or a shot or a knife thrust that killed Mr. Champion. It is an aggregation of things which exactly fit the Florida statute as written by the Legislature.”
Because of the incident, the school has suspended the band, and Champion’s parents are even trying to sue the bus company for standing by and allowing the beating to happen–on the bus. But representatives of the company said the driver was not near the bus during the beating, and if he was, he wouldn’t have let it happen.
This is definitely a sad situation, and I hope the family can get some justice for Robert. Unfortunately, this has become far too common of a thing on college campuses. People hoping to get the shine of being a member of a prestigious band or having the chance to wear certain letters have been getting beat, run like mules, forced to drink to the point of alcohol poisoning and more for years now, and sometimes death is the result. Well a lot of the time actually. Look up names like Carson Starkey, Michael Starks, Kenitha Saafir and Kristin High, Vann L. Watts, Michael Davis, Joseph Green–just to name a few names. While this might change the way FAMU and their band happen to do things, what’s it really going to take for students in these organizations and groups elsewhere to get the memo? If the death of someone innocent isn’t the glaring sign these students need, then what’s really left to get them to wake up?
How can schools step in more to stop hazing? Is it possible?
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It’s a shame when you have to go to prison to get free. Not that this is the case for Ja-Rule, but he certainly seems to be enjoying his time behind bars more than most.
Recently the rapper, with the help of former Tyco International CEO Dennis Kozlowski, earned his GED.
He had some kind words to say about the people in prison.
Find out what he had to say and what’s next for the rapper at theGrio.com.
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Even if you’re not ready, it’s on its way folks.
Looking to show off his family life a lot more than his troubles with the law, the rapper and his former Xscape-singing wife, Tiny, are both starring in T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle. I dare you to guess what big TV channel known for their ratchet reality shows is planning to broadcast this one? If you said VH1, then you’re right! T.I. says the show will display how hard it is to have a large family and be in the rap game at the same time, and his big homecoming from his last publicized stint in jail. If you ever watched Tiny and Toya on BET, you might be interested in knowing that the OMG Girlz will be back (which features Tiny’s daughter Zonnique), which is the young girl group Tiny manages. Plus, Tiny will once again reveal (as she did on Tiny and Toya) how she held things down while T.I. was gone.
It will be nice, to see these two really doing what they have to for their family on a daily basis, and it will also be nice to see them interacting with their kids. Lord knows they need to be in the house more than they need to be riding around in Maybachs doing things they know they shouldn’t be doing…if you know what I’m saying. Doesn’t sound like too much drama comes with the reality show (probably just a small share of tears for fears) so who knows how long people will latch on. But as always, support positivity when you can!
The show will premiere on December 9 at 9 p.m. on VH1. The question is, will you actually bother to check it out?
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While celebrities like T.I. and Lil Wayne had accomplished or burgeoning careers before and after they went to prison, other big name individuals, rappers and Hollywood stars were like many people who coming out of prison: they were wondering and worried about what their next move would be. And while some people struggle to find jobs or to get their foot in the door after doing time, the seven individuals in Black Enterprises‘ gallery turned their lives around and used their talents to start successful careers and to give back. From Charles S. Dutton to Judge Greg Mathis, their stories are admirable and inspiring. Check it out and click over to Black Enterprise to comment.