THE CITY OF BALTIMORE HAS RULED THAT IT IS GOING TO CONTRACT OUT PRISON/JAIL WORK CREWS TO A PRIVATE COMPANY......REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE LAWS THAT FORBID THE EXPLOITATION OF PRISON WORK CREWS AND FOR DECADES WE HAVE NOT SEEN THIS. NOW THE SOUTH IS MOVING BACK TO THE WORK CREW MENTALITY. IT IS PARTICULARLY PREVELENT WITH FOR-PROFIT PRISONS OBVIOUSLY. THE PROBLEMS WITH PRISON LABOR OUTSIDE OF NORMAL PRISON OPERATION....IN OTHER WORDS, FOR PROFIT ARE MANY BUT HERE ARE MAJOR CONCERNS:
THERE IS CONSIDERABLE EVIDENCE THAT JUDGES AND LAW ENFORCEMENT IN SOME AREAS ARE BEING PAID TO ARREST AND CONVICT SO AS TO INCREASE PRISON POPULATIONS. THIS IS NOT AN ISOLATED PROBLEM, IT IS WIDESPREAD. NEXT, MANY OF THE PEOPLE WHO ENTER THE JAIL/PRISON SYSTEM DO SO FOR CRIMES THAT INVOLVE DESPERATION/SURVIVAL CRIMES ASSOCIATED WITH POVERTY LIKE ROBBERY, DRUG DEALING, PETTY FRAUD, ETC THAT ARE FUELED BY NOT HAVING A JOB! SO TO PUT PEOPLE TO WORK FOR PROFIT WHILE IN PRISON WHEN THEY CAN'T FIND WORK OUT OF PRISON IS EVIL.......PURE OUT AND OUT EVIL.
So, you have a minority contractor and another contractor bidding for this job....the minority contractor is not selected for reasons I have not been able to follow. This contractor can't get work with the city as the city is selecting contractors who will subcontract and circumvent labor laws, whereas this minority contractor would hire local, minority workers. THIS IS THE ABSURDITY OF THE SITUATION......MINORITIES ARE GOING TO JAIL BECAUSE THEY CAN''T GET WORK AND HAVE TO COMMIT CRIMES TO SURVIVE AND THE BALTIMORE BOARD OF ESTIMATES IS ACTIVELY APPROVING BIDS THAT DO JUST THAT. I will say that when I shouted loudly and strongly that JOBS ARE NEEDED BEFORE PEOPLE GO TO JAIL NOT WHEN THEY ARE IN JAIL the Board members at least had the humanity to hang their heads in shame.
Four arrested in protest at EBDI
Posted: 3:53 pm Thu, March 29, 2012
By Melody Simmons
Daily Record Business Writer
Four protestors were arrested Thursday during a protest march for jobs near the 88-acre East Baltimore Development Inc. site following a clash with Baltimore police. Carrying signs and chanting, “Our community, our jobs” and “If we don’t work, nobody works,” about 200 protestors marched on Johns Hopkins Hospital and then moved near construction of the $184 ...
This article shows that there is a repeating policy by police and government officials across all 'threats' to the well-being of issues that are widely protested by any number of groups......like the men protesting at EBDI above.
Vendors Arrested for Sale of Counterfeit T-Shirts
By VIVIAN YEE June 20, 2012 New York Times
A disabled 67-year-old Vietnam veteran who sells "I ♥ NY" merchandise from a table near Battery Park said on Wednesday that he and two other street vendors had been arrested
AS I WATCH THE EVENING NEWS SHOWING THESE PEOPLE DESPERATE TO SURVIVE I AM SADDENED THAT THE EVENT IS MADE INTO A SPECTACLE-----THIS IS A MIRROR ON SOCIETY
Baltimore among areas hardest hit by organized retail crime Weak economy, staff cutbacks blamed for increase in gang activity,
report says By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun 8:43 p.m. EDT, June 5, 2012
Baltimore is among the regions hardest-hit by organized retail crime, a growing national problem in which gangs steal and sell goods, a retail trade group reported Tuesday.
A survey by the National Retail Federation shows that almost no retailer is immune, whether the outlets are department or big-box stores, discounters, drugstores, supermarkets, restaurants or specialty chains.
The crimes have also become more violent, the survey noted.
"Criminals have become more desperate and brazen in their efforts, stopping at nothing to get their hands on large quantities of merchandise," Rich Mellor, NRF vice president of loss prevention, said in a statement. "Selling this stolen merchandise is a growing criminal enterprise."
More than 96 percent of the 125 retail companies surveyed said their businesses had been victims of organized retail crime in the past year, up from 94.5 percent the previous year.
The problem, which results in estimated annual losses of $15 billion to $30 billion, has worsened as the economy has stalled, stores have reduced staffing, and outlets for selling stolen goods have blossomed, the NRF said.
"Organized retail crime is something in particular we are concerned about and monitor," said Tara Darrow, a spokeswoman for Nordstrom, which was among the retailers reporting theft in the NRF survey.
Darrow said that the problem has worsened in the past several years and that the company has brought in experts to address it. Also, she said, Nordstrom is working with otherretailers through regional associations to share information and explore possible solutions.
"We're all impacted by what's going on," Darrow said.
The Baltimore-Washington region is one of three new additions to the highest-ranking metropolitan areas for organized retail crime activity, according to the NRF's eighth annual survey. San Francisco and Orange County, Calif., were also new to the list. Other high retail crime metro areas include Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and northern New Jersey, Atlanta and Phoenix.
Designer fashions, jeans, handbags, lingerie and accessories are the top stolen items, along with goods such as Kitchen Aid mixers, GPS devices, and educational toys and games, the NRF said.
At grocery and drug stores, criminals tend to grab infant formula, over-the-counter drugs, razor blades, and health and beauty products, while thieves at electronics stores target smartphones, tablets, cameras and MP3 players, the survey said.
Gangs typically organize large-scale thefts from a number of retail store locations and sell the stolen goods at pawn shops, flea markets or street corners, the report said, adding that merchandise also is sold online or through fraudulent returns to stores.
The survey did not cover losses from shoplifting.
"Organized retail crime rings are clever, using designated roles, such as driver, lookout, picker, packers and supervisor," the report said. "They use hand signals, cell phones, GPS devices and comprehensive shopping lists."
When apprehended, the gangs have become more violent, the survey shows. Retailers believe the offenders often are also engaged in drug crimes.
"Members of organized retail crime groups are frequently being found to be linked to street gangs, engaged in the sale of illegal substances, drugs or weapons, as well as involved in illegal immigration issues, money laundering and even terrorist financing activities," the NRF report said.
In Maryland, thefts have occurred while merchandise is en route from distribution centers to stores. In one case in southern Maryland, a trailer full of goods was stolen from a Kmart store, said Capt. Norman Dofflemyer, division commander for the commercial vehicle enforcement division for the Maryland State Police.
The division inspects commercial trucks and "makes sure they have what they are supposed to have and not what they're not supposed to have," Dofflemyer said, explaining that officials compare shipping papers to a truck's actual load.
He said cargo thefts are often reported to law enforcement by retail associations. Receiving a report quickly — before the goods can be sold — can be key in making arrests, Dofflemyer said.
Dofflemyer said retail theft schemes are often sophisticated.
"It's planned, and there is surveillance done," he said. "It's very calculated."
Awareness is growing among retailers and law enforcement officials, the NRF said, though the problem remains knotty.
"Though retailers continue to make great strides in their fight against organized retail crime, sophisticated criminals with unending opportunities and anonymous outlets to sell their stolen merchandise are proving to be quite challenging for both retailers and law enforcement agencies working to combat this issue," said Joe LaRocca, NRF senior asset protection adviser.
WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO ACKNOWLEDGE A DEFICIT IN PROVIDING OPPORTUNITY AND AUGMENT THE CONSEQUENCES IN AS POSITIVE A WAY AS POSSIBLE. SCAPEGOATING THE POOR AS CRIMINALS FOR TRYING TO SURVIVE FAILS IN THIS!
Blacks Miss Out as Jobs Rebound in New York City
By PATRICK McGEEHAN Published: June 20, 2012
For months now, New York officials have been highlighting how the city has regained all the jobs lost during the long recession and then some. But by several measures, the city’s recovery has left black New Yorkers behind.
More than half of all of African-Americans and other non-Hispanic blacks in the city who were old enough to work had no job at all this year, according to an analysis of employment data compiled by the federal Labor Department. And when black New Yorkers lose their jobs, they spend a full year, on average, trying to find new jobs — far longer than New Yorkers of other races.
Nationally, the employment outlook for blacks has begun to brighten: there were about one million more black Americans with jobs in May than there were a year earlier, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
But that is not the case in New York City, where the decline in employment since the recession began here, in 2008, has been much steeper for blacks than for white or Hispanic residents, said James Parrott, chief economist for the Fiscal Policy Institute, a liberal research group.
One problem, said David R. Jones, the president and chief executive of the Community Service Society of New York, is that blacks were overrepresented in fields that suffered the most in the downturn, including government agencies, construction and manufacturing.
“It’s being in the wrong place in the economy, so the recovery is not trickling down to these workers,” Mr. Jones said.
Kevin Starkes, 53, who is black and lives in the South Bronx, said he had been trying for about 10 weeks to find work as an accountant.
“Employers are getting more for less,” said Mr. Starkes, who was at a Workforce1 Career Center in Harlem on Wednesday. “People who used to get a job with a bachelor’s degree now need a master’s. I just think that’s the state of the economy right now.”
Mr. Jones said he was also troubled by the inability of less-skilled and less-educated workers to find jobs for long periods. For example, he said, his agency, which provides services to poor and low-income New Yorkers, found that about half of the people holding jobs as security guards had bachelor’s degrees or had attended college. That was up from about 26 percent six years ago, he said.
“The wage didn’t go up,” Mr. Jones said. “This is a low-wage job. It pays $10 an hour with no health insurance.”
The dim prospects have caused the number of blacks in the city characterized by the Labor Department as “discouraged workers” — those who have given up looking for jobs after long-term unemployment — to triple since 2008, before the recession hit, the numbers show.
Four years ago, there were about the same number of discouraged blacks and whites in the city. But since then, the number of discouraged black workers has grown to almost 40,000, from about 13,000, while the number of discouraged whites increased to about 22,000, from about 12,000.
Latoya Ingram, 33, who lives in Harlem, said she had been looking for full-time work since 2009. In that time, she said, she had sent off more than 1,000 copies of her résumé.
Unlike some other unemployed New Yorkers interviewed, Ms. Ingram, who is black and earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Syracuse University in 2001, said she believed her race was a factor in her inability to land a job.
“I could be wrong, but I’ve had interviews, and they seem really, really interested,” she said.
“Then they see me in person and they’re not that interested,” added Ms. Ingram, who has been collecting $215 a week in unemployment benefits. “I think it’s a combination of being black and overweight: they think you are lazy.”
According to Dr. Parrott’s analysis of the federal data, fewer than half — 49.2 percent — of all black women of working age in the city had jobs in the year that ended in May. That was about the same rate for black men in the same period, as well as in the first four months of 2012.
That less-than-half measure in a statistic known as the employment-to-population ratio covers all black New Yorkers, whether they are seeking work or not. It is down from 55 percent in the 12 months that ended in May 2008, when the city’s economy was still in high gear, Dr. Parrott found. Nationally, about 53 percent of all blacks and 60 percent of whites are working.
Not all economists are convinced that blacks are lagging as far behind in the recovery as Dr. Parrott’s numbers indicate. But they agree that the most likely cause of any disparity is the type of businesses that are growing and those that are cutting back.
Frank Braconi, chief economist for the city comptroller’s office, pointed out that a lot of the job gains in the city had come in professional and business services, like law and accounting, fields in which blacks tended to be underrepresented.
“African-Americans in New York City basically inhabit the middle market in the labor force in terms of wages and education, not the low end,” Dr. Braconi said. “And the middle market has been weak.”
Dr. Braconi and other economists have been puzzling over the recent divergence in the results of the two surveys the Labor Department conducts each month. Employers have been reporting healthy increases to their payrolls all year, prompting some economists to call the current rate of hiring to be unprecedented and city officials to pronounce the local economy to be rebounding faster and stronger than the nation’s.
But the monthly surveys of city residents have produced a persistently high unemployment rate for the city. It rose to 9.7 percent in May, not far off the 10 percent level at which it peaked during the recession.
Wayne Nesmith, 45, a Bronx resident who is African-American, is already trying to head off unemployment when the financing runs out for his job as a clinical associate at the Lander Center for Educational Research of Touro College. He said he found the job market to be “pretty adverse,” even though he had a degree in economics from the City University of New York and two master’s degrees.
“I definitely believe it is more adverse for African-Americans,” Mr. Nesmith said. But, he added, “You don’t give up, and you don’t give in.”
Aaron Edwards and Eric P. Newcomer contributed reporting.