An Important Message and Op-Ed Letter and Submission – Our Nation needs Treatment. By My Friend and Advocate Ken Abraham.

Ken Abraham, CEO at “Get A Pardon” & Founder of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE. He resides in Dover, Delaware.

Ken Abraham

Ken currently advocates and educating for much-needed change to fix our criminal justice system, former trial lawyer Ken Abraham is a veteran of over 500 jury trials and more than 200 non-jury trials. He lost 2. Highlights of his legal career include trying the first case in the state under the new death penalty law (1976); and representing the first defendant in the state to be tried under a mandatory minimum sentencing law. He is unusually well prepared to do what he does!

After 10 years practicing law, Ken moved to Florida and went into business. He now heads CCJ and says, The dysfunction of the system affects everyone. People are being harmed by our “criminal justice system” every day. Apathy? It’s inexcusable. Get INVOLVED!”

Our Nation needs Treatment 

 

 

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Our nation is plagued by several unsolved major systemic problems. Some are in the spotlight, like the War on Drugs and mass incarceration. But three recent front-page stories, about the slayings of Molly Tibbett and the rape and murder of Celia Barquin Arozamena, the female golfer slain in broad daylight.

Who cannot the remember of the Las Vegas mass shooting by Stephen Craig Paddock (we still do not know the motive of this deranged mind) …I assume a problem gambler that just reminds me of the huge problem we do not talk about: America’s neglect of addictions and our mentally ill. We now know that the mass shooter in the Rite-Aid distribution center had been diagnosed with a mental illness, and all of the aforementioned murderers were mentally ill.


We need federal and state governments to step up and acknowledge this huge plague, and DO something about it. The primary purpose of government is to protect its citizens, yet people are dying every day due to government in-actions. There are dozens of articles on my website full of facts about this problem. Some are: depending on which study you read (nobody knows the actual number).

But between 35% and 55% of all violent crimes – rapes and murders – are committed by people with one or more diagnosed mental illness. Mental Health “treatment” in our prisons is a total joke and shameful, virtually nonexistent. At least 45%, and perhaps 60% of all inmates have one or more mental illness (again, the exact number is unknown).

And … our neglect of the mentally ill is costing us more than $444 Billion annually! That is an astonishing amount of money, but far worse are the societal and personal costs of our inattention to mental illness: the pain and suffering, the anguish, the loss now reaching our youth!

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Accurate statistics regarding our homeless Americans are even more elusive than the data on inmates. Best estimates are that about 3 million to 3.5 million homeless people inhabit America. I can find NO reliable study on how many may have or suffer mental illness, but based on my extensive experience with such people, at DIMH and on the streets, I would say that at least 30 % have one or more serious mental illnesses.

How many of them could become possibly working, tax-paying citizens, if they had adequate health and mental care? A million, I can safely say. Many addicts have mental illness, most often depression, by far the most widespread undiagnosed mental health illness in America. Many politicians and others finally now see that they need treatment, not prison, yet we lack the resources they need. We must call upon everyone involved – legislators, social workers, police, prison officials, victims, prosecutors, and public defenders – to “raise a ruckus” and get governments’ attention on this issue.

We need proper training for police and for prison workers, effective non-custodial treatment programs, aftercare, and more. Until they do “raise a ruckus”, more people will die from the inaction, just as surely as people are dying in the streets every day due to our failed “war on drugs”.

 

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Ken Abraham, Deputy Attorney General 1974-1979, founder of “Citizens for Criminal Justice, Dover, DE

 

    Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE

               MAKE it a great day!  ~  Ken Abraham

 

                   www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net

              Founder, Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE, (CCJ)

 

           430 Kings Hwy., Suite 414, Dover, DE 19901

      Founder, “Adopt a Prisoner” Church Reentry Program,

          And founder of no more organizations this decade! 

                               1-302-423-4067

                                 

 

 

 

 

“Welcome Marley and her Parents Jack & Jana”~ Awareness of Down Syndrome & a Fathers Personal Story”…

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends, Readers, and New Friends!

 

 

I have another wonderful treat for my blog friends and visitors of a new book share and special ‘Guest Spotlight today!
Now tell me? Doesn’t this beautiful little girl just melt your HEART?
Please meet precious Marley Barr!
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(Marley Barr)
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I don’t share much about my husband, but he has a beautiful niece, Amanda Kisling who also has down syndrome, and had a pretty rough childhood with illness’s.  And like Marley, she brings so much JOY  to us and her family.  When I met Marley’s parents, Jack & Jana Barr on twitter recently,  I fell in love with Marley’s photo on their Twitter profile in an instant!  Her beautiful blues just melted my heart.
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I also thought, “I want to do something special for this wonderful family”,  to help them ‘Raise Awareness of Down Syndrome’, in honor of my Amanda & Marley!  It’s the least I can do to show my support!  I feel Marley’s father was so brave to write and publish his own experience in a new fantastic book out very soon, and I feel really needs to be shared and read.  So they are my Guest Weekend Blog Spotlight!  Here is a little bit more about Marley and her family,  and their helpful website at: http://www.iftheyhadavoice.org

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Meet Marley! The girl behind the #IfTheyHadaVoice Movement. She was designed by the lovely Lauren from HeyHeyDesigns.com!!!
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Jack and Jana Barr are missionaries in Bangkok, Thailand. Before their first date, they both knew God was calling them to serve overseas. After completing their undergraduate degrees at Johnson University, and their graduate degrees (Jack M.Ed. Regent University, M.Sc.Canisius College/ Jana M.A. Lee University) they flew to Bangkok for the first time.  For the past nine years they have served God by teaching at the International Community School in Bangkok, Thailand.
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“Jana and I wanted to be self-supportive and earning our graduate degrees provided us with that opportunity.  But beyond that, the graduate degrees we earned prepared us to teach and live cross culturally.  Our college courses forced us to step outside our comfortable environment of teaching first language learners and embrace second language teaching.  Most importantly, our professors prepared us for a chaotic life of change that accompanies living overseas.”
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Three years ago, Jack and Jana did not know God would use their daughter Marley, to forever alter their life plan. Marley was born with Down syndrome and that event sent Jack crashing into a sea of depression. “I could not overcome the question of, Why us God”? Since that day, Jack and Jana have rerouted their plan to align with God’s plan. They started, If They Had A Voice, an awareness campaign that focuses on Down syndrome abortions.
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Their story has been featured on CNN, CNN Mexico, Life Action News, and The Insight Channel.  Jack is also releasing his first book November 10th, Failing at Fatherhood, which has been endorsed by Bob Russell, S.A. Bodeen, and Woodroll Kroll.  Jack & Jana had a simple plan for their future, but God has forced them to trust in HIS plan.  Website Link: http://www.iftheyhadavoice.org
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*Jack has written his testimony about his experience of being a father with a daughter with Down Syndrome. It will release very soon in Nov. 2014. It can now be pre-ordered as well. The book is titled; Failing At Fatherhood, a book for the imperfect father *
http://www.amazon.com/Failing-Fatherhood-book-imperfect-father/dp/1940145309

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Releasing November 10th!  You can also order an autographed copy directly from the site for $15
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Book Excerpt:

April 14, 2011″I hear her breathing—that raspy up and down cadence I have listened to for the past three weeks. The relentless noise makes it impossible to sleep. It is 2:00am and I have been listening to this creature agonize me for the past two hours. Why do I fear her so much? She is my own flesh and blood, yet I lie here silently wondering if I will be here in the morning. What kind of father am I?
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What kind of father secretly plots opportunities to quietly disappear in the middle of the night instead of facing another day with his daughter? For two weeks I prayed for God to heal her, but of course he ignored my desperate cries. What kind of God would allow my daughter to suffer when I offered my own life to heal her?  God and I both know the future she will have if she continues to live. She will be mocked, pitied, ignored, and told how she is different from everyone else. When people look at her, they will only notice her differences and not her similarities.
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The Down syndrome parents I read about are only tricking themselves into thinking their child is normal.  All of my friends have normal children who they can watch grow and develop, but not us.  My daughter will never go to college, never get married, never have children, and never experience the intimacy of being touched by someone that truly loves her” …
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“What some are saying about “Failing At Fatherhood”
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“Heartbreaking yet hopeful, Failing at Fatherhood is a compelling, honest look at one man’s struggle to become the father that he wants to be.”
– S. A. Bodeen
Award Winning Children Author
Author of The Compound and The Gardener
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“Raw.  Emotional.  Honest.  That’s Jack Barr, wearing his emotions on his sleeve, in his book Failing at Fatherhood.  If you’ve ever been traumatized by the birth of an imperfect baby, if you’ve ever found yourself in the pit of despair questioning God and wondering how you will cope, the story of Jack, his wife Jana, and their precious little Marley will not only touch your heart, it will wrench it.  But there is hope in their story—the hope that only a good God can bring.  Read Failing at Fatherhood and prepare to be changed.”
– Dr. Woodrow Kroll
Former President and Senior Bible Teacher of
BACK TO THE BIBLE INTERNATIONAL

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So I felt it important to share a little of Marley’s and her father’s story with all of you. Just a few facts about Down Syndrome you may not know which can be found here: http://www.ndss.org/Down-Syndrome/Down-Syndrome-Facts/ 

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Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome.

  • There are three types of Down syndrome: trisomy 21 (nondisjunction) accounts for 95% of cases, translocation accounts for about 4% and mosaicism accounts for about 1%.
  • Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome.
  • There are more than 400,000 people living with Down syndrome in the United States.
  • Down syndrome occurs in people of all races and economic levels.
  • The incidence of births of children with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother. But due to higher fertility rates in younger women, 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age.

– See more at:
http://www.ndss.org/Down-Syndrome/Down-Syndrome-Facts/#sthash.0e7bRUBB.dpuf
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*Now here is more on how we can take Action per The Barr’s Website*

You can make a difference!

My Book (Coming Soon)

Find out the process I went through as a parent.

Click Here to Find Out More →

Spread the Word

Click below to share your story.  We are strengthened when we realize we are not on an island, when we realize there are many others embracing the challenges every day.

Submit Your Story →

*Additional Links For Support and Ways You Can Contribute*!

http://www.nads.org/     http://www.ndss.org/     http://www.ndsccenter.org/

Buddy Walk

Lets Take Action and spread the word about Down Syndrome today!  You can Re-Blogg this Blog Post with my FULL Permission. If not for me? Then let’s do it for Sweet Marley and her beautiful family …

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Jack Barr ~ (Athletic Director)
Author of Failing at Fatherhood
ICS Bangkok
Phone: 02-338-0751
www.iftheyhadavoice.org

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“When my daughter was born, I told my wife I did not want her. I spent an entire year depressed because I believed everything society told me about having a daughter with Down syndrome. Now she is the joy of my life. She is not a monster, she is not ugly, she is not retarded, and she is not a burden on our family. She is a beautiful little girl that brings joy to our daily lives. I understand the fear of having a child that is different, so I want to encourage you to consider taking the road less traveled and see the beautiful things a child with Down syndrome can show you.” – Jack Barr
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So again,  I ‘Thank The Barr Family’ for letting me share their story with all my friends and all who visit here, and I hope you get inspired to take action in away you feel can help spread Marley’s story, and New Author Jack Barr and his soon to be released book.  Just as I advocate of the important issues that have touched my own life?    “LET’S GIVE THEM A VOICE TO BE HEARD ABOUT DOWN SYNDROME”
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As many know I’m always ready to help lend a hand to help others! We need to support one another as our God asks of us according to his words in the gospel. It’s how I try to live my life! That’s what our life purpose should be about …
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Please Connect with Marley and her family on Twitter @jackjanamarley and on YouTube! http://www.youtube.com/user/IfTheyHadAVoice/ and of course connect on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/IfTheyHadAVoice

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Much Happiness & Blessings All,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author