Feature: The Conviction That Keeps On Hurting -- Drug Offenders and Federal Benefits (repeat)

Because last week's Chronicle was issued a few days late, and because this feature article deals with issues that DRCNet is directly involved with or plans to be, we reprint it in this week's issue.

Some 15 to 20 million people have been arrested on drug charges and subjected to the tender mercies of the criminal justice system in the past two decades. But, thanks to congressional drug warriors, the punishments drug offenders face often extend far beyond the prison walls or the parole officer's office. A number of federal laws ostensibly aimed at reducing drug use block people with drug convictions from gaining access to federal benefits and services. These laws have a disproportionate impact on society's most vulnerable or marginalized members -- the poor, people of color, and women with children -- and in some cases, do not even require that a person actually be convicted of a drug offense to be punished.

http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/publichousing.jpg
No conviction is needed to be evicted from public housing for drugs -- even someone else's.
A growing number of groups and individuals ranging from the American Bar Association to welfare rights organizations, public health and addiction groups, drug reform organizations, and elected officials have called for changes in these laws or their outright repeal, saying they are cruel, inhumane, counterproductive, and amount to "double jeopardy" for drug offenders trying to become productive members of society.

"We feel that these laws are discriminatory and tend to focus on an illness as opposed to a crime," said Alexa Eggleston of the Legal Action Center, one of the key groups in the movement to adjust those laws. "We also think that if you have a conviction, you should be able to serve your time and come out and resume your life. We say we want people to get sober, get treatment, get a job, get housing, but then we set up all these barriers and roadblocks that seem designed to stop them from moving forward. These lifetime bans are very destructive of people's ability to reintegrate into society and move forward with their lives as productive citizens."

"These discriminatory laws represent incredible barriers in terms of people getting on with their lives, which is why they are part of our platform for change," said Pat Taylor, director of Faces and Voices of Recovery, a national alliance of individuals and organizations committed to securing the rights of people with addictions. "If you can't get housing, can't get a job, it's really hard to get your life back on track."

"One of the problems we constantly face is helping people who have been convicted of a drug crime," said Linda Walker of All of Us or None, a California-based initiative organizers prisoners, ex-prisoners, and felons to fight the discrimination they face because of their criminal convictions. "Why do they ask about that on the student loan applications? Why do they face lifetime bans on public housing? These are people did their time, paid their restitution, they've moved on and matured, and now, because of something they did in their twenties, they can't get into senior housing."

Walker knows a bit about the plight of the ex-con. She was convicted not a drug offense, but for a crime committed in an effort to get money to buy drugs. While Walker's status as a non-drug offender means she is not barred from receiving food stamps or public housing, she still wears the scarlet letter of the ex-con. "I currently work for a county office, and each time I go up for a position or promotion, this becomes a problem," she explained. "I've been out of the criminal justice system for 14 years now, but I'm still being told that because of my criminal history I can't be considered for this job or that."

These "double jeopardy" laws have been formulated in the last 20 years as part of the ratcheting-up of the war on drugs and include:

The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, under which local housing agencies and others who supervise federally assisted housing have the discretion to deny housing when any household member uses alcohol in a way that interferes with the "health, safety or right to peaceful enjoyment" of the premises by other tenants, illegally uses drugs, or is convicted of drug-related criminal activity. People who are evicted or denied housing under the law are cut off from federal housing assistance for three years.

According to a GAO report on the working of laws designed to deny benefits to drug offenders, some 500 individuals or families were evicted under the act in 13 large public housing agencies GAO surveyed in 2003 and about 1,500 were denied admission by 15 agencies in the same year. The agency reported that public housing agencies nationwide evicted about 9,000 people and denied admission to another 49,000 because of criminal convictions in 2003, with drug convictions consisting of some unknown but significant subset of those. While concrete numbers are hard to come by, it seems clear that tens of thousands of people are adversely affected by laws barring drug offenders from receiving public housing or Section 8 assistance.

Subsequent changes in federal laws and accompanying regulations have enshrined housing authorities' discretion and it was further solidified in a 2002 Supreme Court decision. In that case, the high court upheld an Oakland public housing authorities right to use its discretion to evict 64-year-old long-time tenant Pearlie Rucker, her mentally disabled teenage daughter, two grandchildren, and a great-grandchild after the daughter was caught with cocaine three blocks from the building.

Only one class of drug offender is specifically prohibited from obtaining public housing -- persons who have been convicted of manufacturing methamphetamines. They, along with society's other favorite demonized group, registered sex offenders, are the only groups of offenders singled out for prohibitions.

The 1990 Denial of Federal Benefits Program, which allows state and federal judges to deny drug offenders federal benefits such as grants, contracts, and licenses. According to the GAO, some 600 people a year are affected by this program in the federal courts.

Section 115 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (more familiarly known as the welfare reform act), under which persons convicted of a state or federal felony offense for selling or using drugs are subject to a lifetime ban on receiving cash assistance and food stamps. Convictions for other crimes, including murder, do not result in the loss of benefits. Section 115 affects an estimated 92,000 women and 135,000 children.

The welfare reform act contains a provision allowing states to opt out, although if they fail to act, the lifetime bans remain in effect. In 14 states where legislators have not acted, drug felons still face the federal ban, even though their sentences may be long-finished and their offenses decades old. But in 36 states, legislators have acted to limit the ban in some fashion, allowing drug offenders to get public assistance if they meet certain conditions, such as participating in drug or alcohol treatment, meeting a waiting period, if their conviction was for possession only, or other conditions.

Public Law 104-121, which blocks access to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) for people whose primary disability was alcohol or drug dependence. This 1996 law replaced a 1972 SSI "Drug Abuse and Alcoholism" program that allowed people in drug treatment, which was mandatory, to designate a payee to manage benefits to ensure they would not be used to purchase drugs or alcohol. The Social Security Administration estimates that more than 123,000 people lost benefits when this law went into effect, while another 86,000 managed to retain them by virtue of age or by being reclassified into a different primary care disability category.

The 1998 Higher Education Act's (HEA) drug provision (also known as the "Aid Elimination Penalty"), which states that people with drug convictions cannot receive federal financial aid for a period of time determined by the type and number of convictions. This law does not apply to others with convictions, including drunk-driving offenses, violent crimes, or other criminal offenses. Last year, the provision was reformed to limit its applicability to offenses committed while a student is enrolled in college and receiving federal aid. Since the law went into effect in 2000, some 200,000 have been denied student financial aid.

The Hope Scholarship Credit, which allows for income tax deductions for people paying college tuition and fees. The credit allows taxpayers to take up to a $1,000 credit for tuition and additional credits for related expenses. It specifically excludes the credit for students who were convicted of a drug offense during the tax year in question, or their parents paying the bills.

While GAO notes that "thousands of persons were denied postsecondary education benefits, federally assisted housing, or selected licenses and contracts as a result of federal laws that provide for denying benefits to drug offenders," it is low-balling the real figure, which, according to its own numbers, is in the hundreds of thousands. Additionally, the GAO report does not factor in the number of people who simply did not apply for housing, welfare benefits, or student loans because they knew or believed they were ineligible.

"The focus of all of those provisions is punishing people who've made a mistake as opposed to helping people find treatment," said Donovan Kuehn, a spokesman for NAADAC, the Association of Addiction Professionals, the nation's largest grouping of counselors, educators, and health care professionals dealing with addiction issues. "As addiction treatment professionals, we're very hopeful that with a change in leadership in the Congress, we could move toward helping people find personal solutions to their problems as opposed to criminalizing them."

Kraig Selken, a senior studying history at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota, would like to see that happen. He knows first-hand the sting of the HEA drug provision. After being arrested with a small amount of marijuana, Selken paid his fine and sat through court-ordered drug treatment. He thought he had paid his debt to society. It was not until Selken began reading up on the HEA drug provision after his conviction that he realized his punishment wasn't over. Because of his misdemeanor marijuana conviction, he became ineligible for student financial assistance for two years.

"Ironically, today was fee payment day at school. I had to write my own check instead of paying for it with student loans," Selken told the Chronicle last week. "The lack of access to student loans hit me hard," he said. "Last semester, the only reason I could afford to go to school without loans was because my great-grandmother died and left me a little bit of money. Otherwise, I would not have been able to attend."

Selken said he plans to go on to law school, but even though he will be eligible for financial assistance again, he will still have to pay a price. "I'm still going to have to answer 'yes' on the federal financial aid form and I will have to go through the whole rigamorale of providing documentation to show that I am again eligible."

The HEA drug provision, authored by leading congressional drug warrior Rep. Mark Souder (R-I), may be the first barrier to drug offenders' reintegration to fall. The provision took effect in 2000, but in the face of rising opposition led by the Coalition for Higher Education Act Reform (CHEAR), Souder retreated, and the act was amended last year to count only offenses committed while a student was in school and receiving financial aid. But that move failed to quiet the calls for outright repeal, and with a Democratic majority in the Congress, advocates hope to finally get their way.

"We are very optimistic that this harmful and discriminatory penalty will finally be repealed by this Congress," said Tom Angell, communications director for Students for Sensible Drug Policy, one of the most active groups in the CHEAR coalition.

"There is so much wrong with the HEA drug provision, I hardly know where to begin," said Drug Reform Coordination Network associate director David Guard, CHEAR's coordinator. "The drug provision disproportionately hurts the children of low- and middle-income families -- the very people the HEA is designed to assist -- and it disproportionately affects minorities, who, even though they use drugs at the same rate as whites, are much more likely to be arrested. Students who are forced out of college by losing their financial aid are less likely to come back to school," Guard said. "Let's hope Congress moves to repeal it this year," he said.

The HEA drug provision also hurts students seeking state financial aid. While states are under no obligation to blindly follow the federal financial aid guidelines when it comes to drug offenders, many do so, often merely because it is convenient. In at least one state, Maryland, legislative efforts are under way end the state's reflexive echo of the federal penalty.

There is also a chance of progress this year on the food stamp program, which, as part of the passage of the food bill, will be up for consideration early this year. According to the Food Research and Action Center, the House and Senate Agriculture Committees will soon begin hearings on Title IV of the food bill, which includes food stamps, and the center is preparing the way for renewed discussions on relief for states which have not opted out of the ban.

While it was politically expedient to attempt to further punish some of society's most despised individuals -- drug users and offenders -- serious studies of the impact of these measures have led to calls for their reform or repeal. In 2003, the Join Together coalition, which supports community-based efforts to advance effective alcohol and drug policy, prevention, and treatment, put together a prestigious policy panel, headed by former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke to examine ways of ending discrimination against drug users.

In its final report, that panel made a number of recommendations. Those included:

  • People with drug convictions but no current drug use should face no obstacles getting student loans, other grants, scholarships, or access to government training programs.
  • Persons with nonviolent drug convictions but no current drug use should not be subject to bans on receiving cash assistance and food stamps.
  • Public housing agencies and providers of Section 8 and other federally assisted housing should use the discretion given to them in the public housing law to help people get treatment, rather than permanently barring them and their families from housing.
  • People who are disabled as a result of their alcohol or other drug disease should be eligible for Social Security Disability Income and Supplemental Security Income.

The American Bar Association has also weighed in against doubly penalizing drug offenders and drug users. In a 2004 resolution, the group adopted recommendations based on those of the Join Together policy panel. Like Join Together, the ABA called for alcoholism and drug addiction to be considered as a chronic treatable disease and public health matter. It also urged that "people seeking treatment or recovery from alcohol or other drug diseases should not be subject to legally imposed bans or other barriers based solely on their addiction. Such bans should be identified and removed."

While a movement to undo federal laws and programs that doubly penalize drug offenders or users is growing and has significant support among some Democratic members of Congress, with the exception of the HEA, little progress has been made in cutting them back, although that could change now that Democrats are in control of the Congress.

For a sense of how previous Republican-led congresses have felt about rethinking these punitive laws and programs, one need only look at the fate of the bill filed by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) and cosponsored by 10 other legislators, including sole Republican Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. That bill, which would have temporarily waived provisions denying federal benefits to drug users or offenders in areas affected by the storm, went nowhere.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

Punishment Forever

I was indicted in January 2000 for extremely serious charges relating to illegal substances. I was overseas at the time and was advised by defense lawyers that "Justice delayed is Justice". In August of 2000 I was arrested in a false case in India because someone had told the local police I was wanted in the USA and they'd get a big payoff from me. Well, I would not pay. The false charges eventually were dismissed and then I was held for extradition in New Delhi. For nearly two years I remain there going to court once or twice a week; all the legal procedures had been violated by the US and the Indian Governments, but my judge actually stated in open court that he did not care what the rules say, he was going to send me because they want me!

Anyway, eventually the US Government agreed to drop all the absurd charges and allow me to plead to one count of sales of drug paraphernalia. When this was in writing, I surrendered and went to the USA to serve one more year. Altogether I was incarcerated for a few weeks more than six years.

Surprise Surprises! Within a few days of my release I get a letter from the FAA demanding that I surrender my private pilots license! I've not actually flown since I sold my plane in 1987,. but the license still had validity and meant something to me. I was shocked, and I wrote the FAA protesting. There is not any common sense and they wrote again demanding that I surrender my license within ten days.

I was informed that after one year I may apply for a new license and undergo all the same tests and porcedures that I underwent back in 1979 when I first was licensed to fly.

Of course for me this is not a major problem; but if I earned my way through the air, it would be disasterous. It makes no sense to continue punishing a person after they have paid the price in the form of jail, fine, public service, loss of family often, loss of livelihood, etc. I have used up 90% of my life's savings, my businesses that were successful in 2000 are now dead or nearly dead, and at the age of 57 I am not in a mood to "start over"; yet it seems there is no alternative.

Problem here extends way beyond bad drug law.

What we've got here is "The Perfect Storm" of perverse laws all working together to screw everybody. Let's start out by defining a perverse law as any law that does not protect life, liberty, or property. With that definition we can start listing the perverse laws involved in our "Perfect Storm".

First we have student loans, other grants, scholarships, or access to government training programs. Followed by, receiving cash assistance and food stamps. Third we have Public housing agencies, Section 8, and other federally assisted housing. For good measure we include Social Security Disability Income and Supplemental Security Income. And finally the supposed most dreadful of them all, the one that binds them all together into our storm is the drug law.

The real trajedy here is that Americans have ignored their constitution and rely on the government instead of community based cooperative solutions to the problems that the above listed government services are supposed to provide. For example if feeding and housing the poor were provided for cooperatively and locally like it should be then things like Section 115 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 would have no teeth.

We've now got a country of whiny babies fighting over their federal entitlements instead of a strong self reliant nation that we started out as. It is truly a shame that we have strayed so far.

perfect storm

well stated and to the point...everyone who is a citizen should act on the constitution and our rights stated within...but sheep need to keep their wool away from their eyes and ears!

Punishment Forever?

The only way this hateful issue and the many others similar there to can change, is when, we as a citizenry are individually allowed to decide, how and where, our tax dollars are spent. What we will and will not fund. Our preverted politicans have shown time and time again they are in no way capable of making these decisions.

Unfair food stamp law

In 2000 I was arrested and convicted for posession of drugs. I did not even know the drugs were on my property. The person responsible for the drugs went to court with me and told them that the drugs were his. NOT MINE. The prosecuter didn't care, and the judge didn't hear of this. I served two years in a state jail for something I didn't do. I am now on SSI thankfully but that income barely pay's the bills. The law needs to be reformed.

SSDI Drug Test?

I was told that after you start receiving SSDI that you are subject to drug tests and if found dirty that your benefits would be cancelled.

Was this a valid statement???

conviction is death sentence

those who have no family support or money in the bank will not usually survive as a free person for long. either they go back to prison or they die on the street. many of the bums you see on the street pamhandling for money were once working but now are forced to beg while they wait to die on the street. many of these people have mental issues but an even larger group are people who recieved drug convictions, did their time, then found the state has a legal way to rid itself of undersirables. see, they can't outright murder you but they can use the system to make sure you are done away with nonetheless. for every successful inmate who went on with his live when he was released there were 50 who have dropped out, died in one form or another, or went back to prison. many inmates will tell you it was go back to prison or literally starve to death on a street corner. if you have a drug conviction you will not receive state or federal help and you better be healthy because the only work you will recieve will be under the table and back breaking. my advice to young kids using, stop. those who are older and still using, stop. those you have been caught, tried, and convicted, i say god bless your soul because your life is in the hands of a non caring society that looks upon you as something they wish they could scrape off the bottom of your shoe. those who do find employment and a stable family life are indeed the lucky ones. statistics show fewer than 10 per cent ever make anything near low income wages, have stable families, or remain out of prison. i guess you might as well put a gun to your head or just wait for the government to do it for you. truth is only those with connections and the right kind of family get to move on with their life, see the presiden's daughter as a fine example caught with enough drugs to get the average person a 10 year sentence sge got a slap on the wrist. of course she is among that 10 per cent. how about the rest of you?

In response to conviction is a death sentence

I can definitely empathize with your comment about conviction is a death sentence. I was convicted and paid my penalty in full to society, but it I am still paying for it. I have basically been rejected by gainful employers. I am a Telecommunications professional and now I can't even get a job at McDonalds. I have a wife who has received two liver transplants and is holding up the fort, by working part time and through social security benefits. She is going to be jailed this month because she received food stamps knowing that there is a felon in the household. It is a sad situation when my family is hurting so bad that we have to lie to make ends meet and now my wife is being punished. We actually need the help to put food on the table. With all the medical bills, utility bills, etc. we are struggling to make ends meet.
It has been devastating for us. I have two children in school one in high school and the other will be graduating from college this year, thank God for school loans. They too are suffering this travesty of justice. I can definitely see why some return to prison as the desperation can be hard to overcome, without some kind of support system.
In fact, some of the crimes we see on news networks I believe are individuals lashing out at society as a result of this injustice. Change has to come in some form to allow convicts to re-establish their lives after they complete there sentences or this country is headed for disaster. We are a nation which houses 25% of the worlds prison population many of which are in for non-violent crimes. Sadly, post 9/11 the stigma of a conviction will never go away as almost everyone does background checks. Many of these non violent individuals will be released to a world not willing to give them a chance. Obviously something is wrong with our system. Because of my beliefs I have learned to cope with this dire situation and I strive every day to do better. I am constantly looking for a break somewhere. It is all I can do right now, I have a family. My heart goes out to those who have fallen into a state of homelessness and despair may God have mercy on those who have created their situation. If justice does not come in the form of government in my lifetime, I patiently await the supreme justice that is sure to come.

Damn

I'm a black man with an educated father. We operate in the wireless industry and all i can say is i thank got he's educated, or else i would be back out there selling something, i'm married with a two year old that i would give my life for, no doubt!

I am a mother of 6 children.

I am a mother of 6 children. Who has been clean for over 5 years . I have been told that I cant even go to school for nursing because of my criminal background . Most of my convictions were in my early 20s. I am now a 31 year old waitress. How sad is that? I would like to spend my life helping people who are sick and need help. Society would love to have me on there team if they only gave me a chance. I have no interest in going back to the troubled position I put myself in the past. I only looked forward to my future, but what kind of future can i have when I cant even go to school. Or get a grant or get a loan. Why can someone who has killed get a second chance. Like loans and housing?? NoNoNo not me . I got high. I am screwed forever.

how sad is that

I am a mother of 6 children. Who has been clean for over 5 years . I have been told that I cant even go to school for nursing because of my criminal background . Most of my convictions were in my early 20s. I am now a 31 year old waitress. How sad is that? I would like to spend my life helping people who are sick and need help. Society would love to have me on there team if they only gave me a chance. I have no interest in going back to the troubled position I put myself in the past. I only looked forward to my future, but what kind of future can i have when I cant even go to school. Or get a grant or get a loan. Why can someone who has killed get a second chance. Like loans and housing?? NoNoNo not me . I got high. I am screwed forever.

conviction

I have never physically been to jail or prison.

I have never been convicted of any crime.

Yet, as the mother of a child who has a felony drug conviction I feel the condemnation just a powerfully. My son received his first felony on his 18th birthday, just one year after his father died. It was not for major drug trafficking but for possession of a small amount of cocaine. I was advised to use tough love and let him hit rock bottom so he could learn at an early age....learn what is the question I ask now.

Learn how a drug conviction puts you out of circulation, for the rest of your life.

Learn that your choices for earning a living and becoming a respected man in mainstream society melt like snow under the afternoon sun.

Learn that education will remain a dream unrealized.

After a sentence is served, and fines are pain, and isolation has driven a young man to medication and disability claims, where, how, can a young man regain his freedom to live in this great country.  Land of the free and home of the brave?  I grieve his loss as intensely as he does.  When will the farce of this "war on drugs" come clean and call itself what it really is? The War on Youth!

Sincerely , RLSpina

ur a hero

i dont know if ur child is ok i would like 2 u and i  and our children share this unfortunate demonic disease addiction and even though u and i dont participate its like we have it 2 and in all honesty we do so i have been wanting 2 b a person who wants 2 change the world for good lets band 2gether 2 b our childrens heros in getting laws changed to help them have a future i hope ull contact me even if its 4 u and i 2 talk God is with u Niki trinnme@yahoo.com

Something must be

Something must be accomplished at the Federal level. The most important aspect of recidivist statutes is that they punish someone who was bound to do it again. I have long wondered why rehabilitation is not available for someone who is arrested on his eighteenth birthday. Clearly, someone who is 18 years is old is what is commonly referred to as an adult. How can that be? Teenager or adult? Why, he was both. Is it not amazing when you consider that this gentleman's voting rights were in jeopardy for the remainder of his life? How can a 45 year old be held responsible for a mistake made as a teenager? Cocaine is certainly not medically needed but neither is a 14 year old's Adderall prescription. As bad as heroine is, Oxycontin is chemically the same. We have a loonngggggg way to go with drug policy. Luckily, the Feds appear to be more interested in seizing a car or other properties so as to teach young adults a little bit of discipline. This appears to be a succesful strategy, primarily because when you have your car taken away from the law, you learn a lot about what else the law can take away: your ability to eat food which is intended for human consumption. There is no easy solution. 33% of NFL players tested positive for marijuana in the 2011 draft. 84% of police officers admitted to frequent experimentation with marijuana and the Denver Police Department could not hire an officer. Marc Emery was extradited by the United States Government for distribution of marijuana seeds, in spite of his paying US income tax while living in Canada. It costs anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 for a federal inmate in low through maximum security Federal prison; that does not take into account the amount of money which could be contributed if thatbperson were paying taxes. 1/34 people is on the way to jail, in jail, or on supercised release from jail. Before you get mad at the DEA, remember that they are experimenting with civil asset forfeitures as a means of disciplining someone in hopes that they will not return to the same lifestyle.

my story

WELL MY STORY IS THAT AFTER BEING MOLESTED AND BEATEN  BY MY FATHER FOR NEARLY  14 YEARS, MY MOTHER WAS IN DENIAL . TOOK HIS SIDE AND HATED ME. I DIDN'T KNOW WHERE TO TURN OR WHO TO TURN TO. SO, I SOUGHT FRIENDSHIP WITH AN INDIVIDUAL I HARDLY NEW. HE WAS IN COLLEGE SO I WAS ABLE TO HANG AT HIS DORM OFTEN. I BIRTHED TWO CHILDREN FROM THIS RELATIONSHIP THAT DIDN'T LEAD TO ANYTHING. IT TOOK YEARS BEFORE I RECEIVED CS. I HAVE STRUGGLED WITH MY CHILDREN ON MY OWN. NOT HAVING AN EDUCATION I TURNED TO STREET LIFE. MY ONLY ACQUAINTANCES WERE STREET THUGS. WHO INTRODUCED ME TO STREET HUSTLE. AS I GOT OLDER I DEPARTED MYSELF FROM THAT LIFE BUT IT WAS ALWAYS HARD WORKING THE MINIMUM WAGE JOB DECIDING WHETHER TO PAY THE BABY SITTER OR MY RENT. I WAS FINALLY INTRODUCED TO DANCING IN THE STRIP CLUB ARENA. IT DIDN'T TAKE LONG BEFORE THAT LIFE GOT OLD. NOW BACK STRUGGLING WITH MY NOW TEENAGERS. LIVING IN SHELTERS STAYING WITH A FRIEND SOME TIMES FOR ABOUT A MONTH. LIVING IN A VEHICLE. NOT KNOWING WHAT TOMORROW WILL BRING AND UNABLE TO GET HOUSING ASSISTENCE DUE TO PILLS I HAD IN A PURSE THAT WERE NOT BOTTLED WHEN A COP WAS TAILING MYSELF AND 3 AFRICAN AMERICAN INDIVIDUALS. IT IS MY BELIEF THAT THE OFFICER WAS RACIAL PROFILING. IT WAS MID AFTERNOON, NO ONE WAS SPEEDING NOR INTOXICATED. BEFORE WE KNEW IT WE HAD ANYWHERE FROM TEN TO 15 UNITS WITH FIREARMS POINTED IN OUR DIRECTION. THE FUNNY THING IS IS THAT ONLY ONE OTHER PASSENGER BESIDES MYSELF WENT TO JAIL FOR MINUTE REASONS. IN A HOUSTON COURT THE JUDGE WOULD NOT ALLOW ME TO SPEAK ON MY BEHALF BEING THAT I WAS A DRUG ABUSING MOTHER AS SHE PUT IT. BECAUSE OF A POSSESSION OF A DANGEROUS DRUG CONVICTION I AM NOT ALLOWED TO MOVE INTO ANY TYPE OF PUBLIC HOUSING. NOW MY CHILDREN AND I LIVE DAY TO DAY.

BY THE WAY THE CHILD SUPPORT

BY THE WAY THE CHILD SUPPORT OF 50 DOLLARS ONLY LASTED ABOUT 3 YEARS. MY CHILDREN'S  FATHER A COLLEGE GRADUATE AND X MARINE WAS CHARGED WITH KIDNAPPING AND SENTENCED TO 20 YEARS FLAT.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <img> <i> <blockquote> <p> <address> <pre> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <br> <object> <param> <embed> <b>

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Safe Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School