Groove of the Day
83° and Clear
Groove of the Day
83° and Clear
Youth Prisons Don’t Work. Here’s What Does.
by Mishi Faruqee, Time Magazine
October 26, 2016
“We owe it to young people and their families to invest in community-based interventions that actually work.”
October is Youth Justice Action Month, so let’s take stock of what we’ve learned about our juvenile justice system just this year.
About 50,000 youth are caught in a system that disproportionately imprisons African Americans and Latinos. Some teens, including Dequan Jackson, are kept behind bars not because they are a danger to society but because they cannot afford court fees. Others experience appalling treatment: just last month in Kentucky, staff allegedly stood idly by as a 16-year-old had a seizure and died in custody. Far too often, juvenile offenders are housed in facilities—like Wisconsin’s Lincoln Hills, which is under federal investigation for abuse—that could leave them worse off.
These stories are heartbreaking, but they need not be disheartening. Coupled with awareness of the problems should be awareness of the tremendous progress being made to change the way our juvenile justice system operates. Advocates across the country are hard at work to create more effective, humane alternatives that will help young offenders stay out of the criminal justice system as adults.
In response to calls for change, legislators and governors in states including Virginia, Kansas and Connecticut have committed to closing some of the worst youth prison facilities in their states, while reinvesting in community-based solutions that actually rehabilitate youth.
In Virginia, RISE for Youth advocacy group has earned bipartisan support in the state legislature to close massive, outdated youth prisons and reinvest the money saved into more effective community-based programs. Advocates are working to ensure the closure of other youth prison complexes and instead offer young Virginians a real shot at rehabilitation and a brighter future.
A similar effort is underway in Kansas, where Kansans United for Youth Justice helped ensure the passage of comprehensive reform legislation to reduce the use of incarceration and redirect funds to evidence- and community-based approaches. The Kansas Department of Corrections has also announced plans to close the Larned youth facility, one of the state’s two youth prisons.
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has similarly pledged to close the state’s youth prison, and the advocacy group Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance is working to ensure that a plan is in place to offer community-based care and rehabilitation to young people moving forward. And following recent reports of sexual assault at the Lincoln Hills facility in Irma, Wisc., Youth Justice Milwaukee is working with allies to provide recommendations for bringing local youth home.
Youth prisons are an outdated approach to rehabilitation that too often includes physical and sexual abuse, neglect, and isolation. These facilities tear young people away from the schools, families, and faith communities where they can find the support and services they need for success. Instead of nurturing responsible citizens, youth prisons risk systemically traumatizing youth and leaving them less able to find employment, have healthy relationships, get an education and lead productive lives.
This system is not just failing our young people and their families; it’s also incredibly expensive for taxpayers. In Virginia, it costs $142,000 per year to incarcerate just one young person. And 75% of incarcerated young people end up back in the system within a few years, which exacerbates the human and economic costs. Meanwhile, Youth Advocate Programs which offer services in homes and community settings cost significantly less—about $27,000 a year—and allow youth to stay arrest-free throughout their participation.
States from coast to coast could see a major reduction in costs associated with the juvenile justice system if youth prisons—which eat up billions of dollars each year—were shuttered in favor of alternatives that rehabilitate youth while promoting public safety. Fortunately, some elected officials are beginning to understand this reality, and increased public pressure can help swell their ranks.
We have a real opportunity to build on the progress being made in these states in every jurisdiction across the country. We owe it to young people and their families to invest in community-based interventions that actually work. The models are there. It’s time to replicate and build on them to give young people access to services and supports that will keep us all safer. We can’t afford not to.
Mishi Faruqee is the national field director of the Youth First Initiative.
Groove of the Day
82° and Clear
Yesterday’s ruling on the Paul Henry Gingerich case is an event that doesn’t happen very often. This outcome means a lot to me because it demonstrates that my efforts have made a difference in at least one kid’s life in a small way.
And by “small way,” I mean that in more ways than you realize. Like I said yesterday, this is mostly Monica Foster’s doing. When the case got to her, Paul had already signed away his right to an appeal as part of his plea bargain in his first trial, and things looked pretty hopeless. But he was a 12-year-old kid who had been bullied into his role in the incident, Dan Hampton’s predecessor was guilty of gross overreach and vengeance, and it is a tribute to Monica Foster that she pursued this cause so relentlessly and cleverly for so many years. That is why you have heard so much “reaffirmation” of the original sentence through the whole judicial process. But as any great lawyer knows, there’s a big difference between what’s said on paper and what actually happens.
I must also tell you that none of this would have happened if it were not for Wolfgang Faber of Germany, a reader of the Diary who had been following this case and put me onto it in the first place—on the very day that Paul had received his original 30-year sentence. Monica Foster didn’t just show up on her own; I found her through John Feighner, a Fort Wayne IN attorney and old family friend, who told me that Monica is “a force of nature”—and I assure you she is.
As Monica said yesterday, Paul Henry Gingerich worked very hard, and a big part of this outcome is due to him. He turned out to be a model prisoner and student. He is genuinely remorseful. But also unsung are the efforts, support, and friendship given to me by Paul Henry’s dad, who has become one of my best friends through this process. Even if the outcome were not as positive as yesterday’s, my friendship with Paul Sr. would have made me a big winner in all of this. I hope the friendship continues for years.
Prosecution, Defense Share Views On Gingerich Case
by The Ink Free Press
October 29, 2016
Dan Hampton, county prosecutor, and Monica Foster, counsel for Paul Gingerich, spoke to the press following the close of a sentence modification for Gingerich, who has been in prison since January 2011 for the murder of Phil Danner in April 2010.
Hampton and Foster both spent time explaining the modification of Gingerich’s sentence as well as the recent outcome.
Hampton, who spent time with the Danner family explaining the sentence modification, recapped the entire case in a prepared statement before taking questions from the media. He also read the letters from Danner’s sister, Kim Wilson, and daughter, Natasha Hoffman.
“The court maintained and upheld the 30-year sentence as the court originally imposed and fashioned the structure as a state monitoring continuation for the 30-year period,” said Hampton. “Paul Gingerich was advised, if he violated any terms or conditions of these programs he will be committed to the Indiana Department of Corrections’ adult facility.”
Hampton stated, “The Danner family has experienced a loss that you’ll never understand and then to have one of the offenders be treated in a way of the alternative sentencing statue designed and called Paul’s law the name of the offender, it is very difficult for them to understand how this sentence has been transpiring,” said Hampton. “I spent a lot of time after the hearing, talking with them and explaining to them the sentence and explaining the law. They understand and are adamant the legislation be informed of some type of addressing the problem with this law.”
One problem is that 10 offenders under this sentencing have not, nor will they, be entered into a system used to produce criminal background checks due to guidelines. He stated communication lines with officials needs to begin on what needs to be changed to have these offenders’ adult convictions added to criminal history of their prior history. He added he has been tasked by the judge to pursue and to notify him and Foster about the changes and the judge will address the issue.
Additionally Hampton stated he appreciated Heuer’s stance on the fact of keeping Paul Gingerich under the state’s eye for the 30 years, the original sentence. “Someone who commits this type of offense is wired differently, they have some type of mental thing going on and you never know if or how or when it will reoccur if ever. We do know it happened once … has to be monitored. We know for the next 10-15 years the state will be monitoring.
“On behalf of the victim’s family … we would have appreciated Paul to be remaining in the Department of Corrections for a longer period of time. But we also grateful we’re going to monitor his conduct the next 10-15 years.
Defense Pleased With Outcome
“We kept this 12-year-old boy from ever having to go to an adult facility as a juvenile and when he does go to an adult facility, he will be there for a short period of time,” said Foster on the ruling. Think the sentence today was just, in that he has been punished … this is a kid with a conscious. It will weigh on him for the rest of his life, as well it should.”
Handling criminal law for 33 years, Foster stated not all offenders are that way. “He took a man from his family for no good reason, none. And it should weigh on his conscious and it does. That’s not always true, but it is certainly true with this child.”
Foster related the family’s response as that of relief, gratefulness and happiness. But she noted it was not lost on the Danner family who has had to go through turmoil and pain in the process. “I think she,” referring to Gingerich’s mother, “is going to be thrilled to have her baby boy back with her. I think it’s going to come as a little bit of a surprise to her that he’s not such a baby any more.”
As for Gingerich’s future, she stated he is like any other kid that age, one time is one thing, the next it’s another. “I think he is going to do something good. I think he has had the opportunity for self reflection that most his age have not had. He’ll do something to give back to society,” she projects noting that this has been overwhelming for him as a teen, and her as an adult.
She did share that while there are legal reasons why co-defendant Colt Lundy was treated different than Gingerich, the age was also a factor. “Paul was younger, less developed … both absolutely culpable for what he did. There is a difference what he did as a 12-year-old and Colt did as a 15-year-old. Colt should have been treated similarly as Paul.”
Noting the programs at the Pendleton Juvenile facility work on rehabilitating these kids, she is not worried about Gingerich returning to society. “Had he been in an adult facility, I would be worried about him. I do worry about Colt Lundy.”
Foster noted she is aware of 10 cases that have utilized Paul’s Law since it came into affect, where juveniles went back to court. “In each one of those instances, judges did not commit them to an adult facility.”
Groove of the Day
79° and Partly Cloudy
This post will be short and sweet. All you really care about this morning’s hearing is how it turned out.
In a ruling issued today, with time off for good behavior, Paul Henry Gingerich will be required to serve 90 days in adult prison (across the street at Pendleton adult prison in their minimum security unit), and one year in a re-entry program while in home detention in Allen County IN (Fort Wayne), and probation for 10 years after that. This is according to attorney Monica Foster, who just called and said the ruling is hard to read (and is already being misreported as 300 days), but she says: “That’s what it is.”
The sentence is a result of “Paul’s Law,” which was passed in response to Paul Henry becoming what is believed to be the youngest person in Indiana sentenced as an adult. In court, Paul Henry said: “I know I committed a truly horrible crime and I am sorry for that. I will never stop being sorry and I know sorry will never be enough,” he said.
“We won,” Monica said. I told her this was all her doing and she should get a medal, but she said Paul Henry worked hard, too. “We make a good team.”
There is a tendency to think that everything will eventually turn out happily-ever-after. Maybe there will be a brief honeymoon period after Paul Henry is allowed to return home, but I think it is more likely there will be challenges for Paul Henry as the reality sets in and he is confronted with the unpredictabilities of living life on the outside. At first he will be known to others because of his crime, but as time passes this will become more of a dissatisfier, and he will struggle to make his own way even as he is tethered to his past by the recurring reminders intruding on his opportunities by the parole process. He will have to live with the inconveniences of coping with a colostomy bag, and the certain choices and medical procedures that will entail. And then there will be the inevitable challenges of living with his mother or his father, and their expectations of him (which will be quite different). A bed of roses it will not be, probably for a long time to come.
This is the true beginning of Paul Henry’s second chance at life. It will be harder for him than anyone expects. As he will discover, his redemption will depend entirely on the work he himself does. But as his time in prison presages, he will likely be successful if he remains true to his inner compass, come what may.
Groove of the Day
79° and Partly Cloudy
Gingerich’s Future May Be Determined Friday
by Deb Patterson, Ink Free News
October 25, 2016
Paul Gingerich, now 18, may find out Friday morning if he will continue his sentence on probation or remain in jail. A continuation of a hearing on alternative sentencing options will be held at 10 am Friday in Kosciusko Circuit Court. Special Judge James Heuer of Whitley County Circuit Court will preside.
A hearing was held on April 22 in which his attorney, Monica Foster, Indianapolis, sought probation for the remainder of his term, including those provided by the Indiana Department of Corrections’ Aftercare Plan. That hearing was continued until a conduct evaluation could be conducted by the department of corrections for placement in a DOC facility/program, and a screening be conducted by the Allen County Community Corrections program be made for sentencing alternative in that county.
Since late April Gingerich has undergone evaluation by DOC officials. The reception diagnostic center filed its report with the court on May 16 and on July 15, the Allen County Community Corrections filed its eligibility report. It was on July 19 the court set the review hearing to resume on October 28.
Gingerich, who at the age of 12, was sentenced in late 2010 following a plea agreement of conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Phillip Danner on April 20, 2010. He was sentenced to 30 years with five years on probation. But he appealed his case to the state appellate court. While his sentenced was upheld, it was modified on Feb. 3, 2014, but under “Paul’s Law,” a lesser sentence could be issued once he reached the age of 18.
The plea agreement accepted that day included upon Gingerich reaching the age of 18, the case would again be reviewed.
Foster suggested in April it may be appropriate to impose a period of home detention for more gradual reentry. “There is simply no legitimate penological purpose to be served by committing Paul Gingerich to further incarceration. Indeed, to commit Paul Gingerich to an adult prison would run a very real risk of destroying the progress that has undeniably been made with this young man.”
Under Paul’s Law, a judge can consider alternative sentencing options: transfer to adult prison to serve the remaining sentence, placement on probation, home detention or work release. His mother would like him to reside with her at her Fort Wayne home. He also has the support of his two sisters.
The 28-page motion filed by Foster for that hearing noted the history of the case and a memorandum in support of the sentence review, an initial evaluation on January 18, 2011, and another on December 28, 2015. Foster noted the areas of concern noted by the DOC, Gingerich’s effort exceeded expectations and his level of improvement was dramatic. His educational accomplishments and activity and program participation were noted. Additionally Gingerich’s diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease, surgery to remove a large portion of his colon, use of a colostomy bag and additional surgeries were brought before the court.
Gingerich is currently in the medical unit at the Pendleton Juvenile facility.
His co-defendant, Colt Lundy, was denied a sentence modification on March 24, 2016.
Groove of the Day
79° and Partly Cloudy
My home health care nurse has just left after an unannounced visit (Tuesday afternoon, the first time ever), and she has told me she no longer wants to be friends… not because of anything I have done to her or her husband, but because I persist in being friends with another neighbor with whom she has a beef.
I have told her this is unfair and unreasonable, that I have done nothing to justify this. She acknowledges what I say, but she says she wants no contact with anyone who would have anything to do with “that asshole.” That the extent of my contact with the other party is normally just one phone call or two every couple of months is irrelevant. She has also given notice and will no longer continue being a home health care nurse. There’s other stuff she wants to do, she says, and she wants nothing to interfere with it.
I told her that I try to get along with anyone who does not try to hurt me first, that once before I was given a “him-or-me” ultimatum by another neighbor (another “him,” another “me”), and I ignored it. I continue to have cordial relations with both, but my friendships with the adversaries are forever diminished. They’re acting like middle schoolers, not adults.
Yet this situation is different. The problem was initiated when a landowner hired my neighbor to do some earth-moving work to re-route our road from his front yard to a location a little farther away. My neighbor’s big mistake was not turning down the job and instead doing it to perfection. Driving the new roadway takes little extra time and is a smoother drive, just different. But it is a change, and my neighbors obviously resent change.
Also, the previous feuders live a long way away and their enmity made little practical difference to me; this time, however, both feuders live in my immediate neighborhood. I have stood up for both of them to the other and encouraged them to think kindly towards each another. This time, though, one of the feuders lives in my direct viewscape.
This obviously introduces a new “wrinkle” to my home life. I have always valued the friendship I have enjoyed with my neighbors, and am thankful to them in so many ways for making it possible for me to remain at Estrella Vista through my health difficulties. Maybe the affection I felt for them was based only on proximity. Maybe it was misplaced all along. Perhaps the grudge they feel will wear off in time. Maybe it will become more intense. This whole conflict is a mystery to me.
But at this point, it is likely to be a long, long while—if ever—before life returns to normal.
Groove of the Day
83° and Clear, Scattered Showers Late in the Day
PS: I was on the computer this morning and discovered that today is the first day of early voting. Even though I was in town yesterday afternoon, I made a special trip back down there today to help bring an end to this damned election. I’ve done my part. Now it’s over for me.
PPS: Well, Aliana (my neighbor) has just shown up this morning (Thursday, unannounced again) and she apologized for being mean to me the other day. We are apparently still friends and I have learned something about her that I had never seen before: on rare occasions her behavior can be volatile and I should give her a few days if ever she should go off on me again. I’m sorry to have publicly aired the details of this incident, but I honestly believed that this would define how things would be for a long time to come. I had begun thinking about how I could live more independently, which is not such a bad thing afterall. Nevertheless, I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders, and I am glad not to have been made to suffer the loss of good friends.
1960s pop singer Bobby Vee has died at age 73
by the Associated Press, Minneapolis
October 24, 2016
Pop idol Bobby Vee, the boyish, grinning 1960s singer whose career was born when he took a Midwestern stage as a teenager to fill in after the 1959 plane crash that killed rock ‘n’ roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, has died. He was 73.
Vee, whose hits included the chart-topping “Take Good Care of My Baby” and who helped a young Bob Dylan get his start, died Monday of advanced Alzheimer’s disease, said his son, Jeff Velline. Vee was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011, and performed his last show that year.
Vee had been in memory care at The Wellstead of Rogers & Diamondcrest in Rogers, about 25 miles northwest of Minneapolis, for the past 13 months and in hospice care in recent weeks, his son said.
Vee died peacefully surrounded by family, Velline said, calling it “the end of a long hard road.”
He said his father was “a person who brought joy all over the world. That was his job.”
Born Robert Velline in Fargo, North Dakota, Vee was only 15 when he took the stage in Moorhead, Minnesota, after the Feb. 3, 1959, plane crash in Iowa that killed Holly, Valens and Richardson on their way to the concert. That dark day in rock history was commemorated by singer-songwriter Don McLean in his 1972 pop song “American Pie” as “The Day The Music Died.”
The call went out for local acts to replace Holly at his scheduled show at the Moorhead National Guard Armory. Vee and his 2-week-old band volunteered, along with three or four other bands. The show’s emcee, Charlie Boone, then a disc jockey at KFGO Radio, turned to Vee and asked him the name of his band. Vee looked at the shadows of his bandmates on the floor and answered: The Shadows.
“I didn’t have any fear right then,” Vee recalled in a 1999 interview with The Associated Press. “The fear didn’t hit me until the spotlight came on, and then I was just shattered by it. I didn’t think that I’d be able to sing. If I opened my mouth, I wasn’t sure anything would come out.”
Vee called his debut a milestone in his life, and “the start of a wonderful career.”
Within months the young singer and The Shadows, which included his older brother Bill on lead guitar, recorded Vee’s “Suzie Baby” for Soma Records in Minneapolis. It was a regional hit, and Vee soon signed with Liberty Records.
He went on to record 38 Top 100 hits from 1959 to 1970, hitting the top of the charts in 1961 with the Carole King-Gerry Goffin song “Take Care Good of My Baby,” and reaching No. 2 with the follow-up, “Run to Him.” Other Vee hits include “Rubber Ball,” ”The Night Has A Thousand Eyes,” ”Devil or Angel,” ”Come Back When You Grow Up,” ”Please Don’t Ask About Barbara” and “Punish Her.”
Besides his clear, ringing voice, Vee also was a skilled rhythm guitarist and occasional songwriter. He racked up six gold singles, but saw his hits diminish with the British Invasion of The Beatles and other English groups in the mid-1960s.
Vee kept recording into the 2000s, and maintained a steady touring schedule. But he began having trouble remembering lyrics during performances, and he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011. He performed his last show that year, billed only as his retirement, during an annual community fundraiser that his family holds near their home in St. Joseph, Minnesota, about 65 miles northwest of Minneapolis. But he didn’t announce his diagnosis until a year later on his website.
In a 2013 interview with The Associated Press, Vee said he knew his abilities were diminishing and he didn’t want to put his family through a public decline.
“It’s not getting any better, I can tell you that,” Vee said. “But I’m doing the best I can.”
Vee still released a new album, “The Adobe Sessions,” a loose jam session recorded with family members in Vee’s adobe garage north of Tucson, Arizona. The 2014 album featured some of Vee’s favorite songs from Townes Van Zandt, Gordon Lightfoot and Ricky Nelson. It was released on the 55th anniversary of the Holly plane crash.
The album also included Vee’s cover of Bob Dylan’s “The Man in Me,” a nod to the folk-rock legend who got his start in Vee’s band in Fargo.
Dylan grew up in Hibbing, a town on northern Minnesota’s Iron Range, and briefly played with Vee’s band. Although their time playing together was short, Dylan had a lasting effect on Vee’s career: It was Dylan, himself going by the name Elston Gunn when he hammered on the piano at a couple of The Shadows’ gigs, who suggested Vee change his last name from Velline to Vee.
In his “Chronicles: Volume One” memoir, Dylan recalled that Vee “had a metallic, edgy tone to his voice and it was as musical as a silver bell.” When Dylan performed in St. Paul in 2013, he saluted Vee in the audience and performed “Suzie Baby.”
Vee and his wife, Karen, were married for more than 50 years. She died of kidney failure in 2015 at age 71. The couple had four children, including sons who performed with Vee.
Family members said Vee’s memory wasn’t affected so much by Alzheimer’s as his speech. During the AP interview in 2013, he answered questions but would become tongue-tied searching for the right word. Vee tried unconventional methods to alleviate his Alzheimer’s symptoms, from chiropractor visits to acupuncture, and also renewed his passion for painting.
And while he sometimes wished he could do the things that once came easily, Vee said he was “not going to cry about it.”
“God brought me home,” he said. “And that’s the deal.”
Groove of the Day
82° and Scattered Thundershowers