October 19-25, 2011
October 19 - 25, 2011
10 NO. 6
contents ELIZABETH WAIBEL
6 Occupy Smith Park Mississippians join together in solidarity to protest America’s corporate elitism. ELIZABETH WAIBEL
Cover photo illustration by Erica Sutton
At the only gubernatorial debate, the candidates put politeness ahead of the issues. VICTOR LEE
jason meeks a locksmith’s sole purpose is to unlock car doors. Meeks says it’s a diverse line of work. “One minute you can be in a hospital, the next in a dark warehouse, then in a bulldozer or a plane,” he says. “It’s a lot of fun.” Meeks’ business is neighborhood-oriented, though he enjoys the commercial end of work, too. People in the area know and trust him to keep their houses and offices safe. “It gives me great satisfaction to help protect people,” he says, “especially when they need to feel a sense of security.” Meeks says he tries to keep watch on neighborhoods, attend local cops’ meetings, and be as knowledgeable as possible about rules and regulations. He helps to teach people break-in prevention and safety habits, such as not leaving purses in cars. “You can’t be easily distracted, because that’s when criminals take advantage,” he warns. “I want to help people be safe.” Meeks lives in Brandon with his wife, Kim, and his two daughters, Tyler and Jordan, 18 and 15. He hopes to some day move into Fondren, where he can keep an even closer eye on the neighborhood. SE Lock & Key is located at 3003 N. State St. For more info, call 601-362-0541, visit singlekeys.com or the Facebook page, or follow Meeks @fondrenlock on Twitter. —Sadaaf Mamoon
41 Food on Sticks If you’re already missing the deep-fried goodies from the fair, here’s how to make them at home.
45 Best Defense When it comes to breast cancer, to stay healthy, arm yourself with facts and a plan.
For a locksmith like Jason Meeks, security is everything. His work’s purpose is to keep people, their belongings and their property safe. The 36-year-old Memphis native has been working full time since he was 14 years old and has been in hardware service most of his life. Meeks moved to Jackson when he was 2 years old and has lived here ever since. He started out at the Ace Hardware store in Madison, where he quickly rose to a management position. Next, Meeks took a position at the Montgomery Ace Hardware in Fondren, working exclusively with locks for the first time. In 1997, Meeks joined Fondren’s Blackstocks Safe and Lock and worked there for five years. He and his wife, Kim, bought the business in 2001 and renamed it SE Lock & Key. SE Lock & Key works for neighborhood businesses, responding to local crime. A large part of his work is going out to houses that have been broken into, ensuring future security with his locks and systems. He also does commercial work for hospitals and prisons, setting up master-key systems. He offers everything from exact house-key replication to complete access-control solutions for businesses. Meeks says that when people think “locksmith,” they don’t always know exactly what the job entails. Many people think
4 ............. Editor’s Note 4 ................... Slowpoke 7 .......................... Talks 12 ................... Editorial 12 .................... Chatter 12 .................... Stiggers 13 .................. Opinion 32 ............... Diversions 33 ..................... 8 Days 34 .............. JFP Events 35 ........................ Music 36 .......... Music Listing 38 ...................... Sports 40 ................. Astrology 41 ........................ Food 45 ............... Body/Soul 46 .... Girl About Town
Kristin Brenemen Art Director Kristin Brenemen is an otaku with penchant for dystopianism. Her Zombie Survival Kit has been upgraded with three new sonic screwdrivers. She designed many pages in this issue.
Erica Sutton Design intern Erica Sutton is a senior graphic-design major at Mississippi College. She enjoys design as well as photography. She designed the cover.
Latasha Willis Events Editor Latasha Willis is a native Jacksonian, a graduate of Tougaloo College and the mother of one cat. Her JFP blog is “The Bricks That Others Throw,” and she sells design pieces at zazzle. com/reasontolive. She wrote for GOOD Ideas.
Ronni Mott Ronni Mott came to Jackson by way of D.C. in 1997. She’s an award-wining writer and the JFP’s managing editor, where she practices her hobbies of herding cats. She teaches yoga in her spare time. She wrote for GOOD ideas and Body Soul.
Elizabeth Waibel Reporter Elizabeth Waibel grew up in Clinton. In May, she received her journalism degree from Union University in Jackson, Tenn. She likes coffee and trying new cake recipes. She wrote for GOOD ideas and Talks.
LaShanda Phillips Editorial assistant LaShanda Phillips is a recent graduate of Jackson State University. She is the third oldest of seven children. Her motto is: “Make-up is fantastic!” She wrote for GOOD ideas and Food.
Marika Cackett Marika Cackett is the public relations manager for the Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau. A Washington, D.C. native, she passes her free time chasing her German shepherd puppy, Atlas, and enjoying craft beer. She wrote for GOOD ideas.
October 19 - 25, 2011
Tom Ramsey is a lobbyist, former investment banker and tobacco executive who teaches private cooking lessons, writes poetry, runs with the bulls and produced an album or two. He owns Ivy & Devine Culinary Group. He wrote a Food story.
by Donna Ladd, Editor-in-Chief
Craig Noone, Crime Fighter
few weeks ago, Jackson State University professor Noel Didla was sitting outside Parlor Market in downtown Jackson waiting for friends. Suddenly, Craig Noone, the young visionary and chef who created the restaurant, saw her and came outside to talk to Noel. He mentioned the current issue of BOOM Jackson magazine in which Noel was photographed at her desk for a small “At Work” feature. Craig asked Noel to autograph his copy and told her how much he liked the small piece. Noel, a native of India who has only been in Jackson since 2005, told me this story in a Facebook message the night of Oct. 14, about 12 hours after most of us learned that Craig had died early that morning in a car accident next to the governor’s mansion downtown. The same night, I attended a gathering of Craig’s friends and staff at Hal & Mal’s where I heard story after story about what Craig had done and wanted to do for Jackson (like a popup benefit for Peaches Restaurant on Farish Street, which is still planned). The first time I had met Craig, girl-about-town Julie Skipper had introduced me to him on Hal & Mal’s stoop about a year and a half ago. He wants to do so much for Jackson, she told me. Craig was delightful to me since that first night I met him. I watched him and his young staff—including his down-to-earth and loveable chefs Jesse Houston and Ryan Bell who moved here to help Craig carry out his Parlor Market vision—singlehandedly take the foodies movement here to a new level. They challenged other restaurants to step it up and help lift the dining standards and tease local palates, even as they started doing everything possible to promote other restaurants through social media months before they opened just over a year ago. Once the PM guys arrived on the scene, chefs across the city suddenly became rock stars (including some who should have been already). Thinking about him Friday, as I worked on this GOOD Ideas issue focusing on crime, I tried to figure out how to explain the phenomenon that was, and is, Craig Noone. I think what made him so special was that he is one of those Jacksonians who could have gone anywhere, whether just to Madison or all the way to New York City or Portland, but decided to put down his roots, and invest his immense talents and energy right here. He opened an upscale restaurant across from a strip of abandoned storefronts on West Capitol Street even as others—and I expect some folks he knew well—declared that people won’t go out to eat in downtown Jackson at night. Right. In so doing, he lifted the burgeoning back-to-Jackson movement to a whole new level while following a philosophy I believe and preach about every day: Mississippi doesn’t just need to get off the bottom; we can be the best. We can have high standards, we can work hard and, more importantly, we can believe in our ability to be the best and make our city
stronger. We can teach and motivate others. Now, I wasn’t around Craig all the time, but I never once heard him complain about Jackson, or crime, or anything else. Nearly every time I saw him, he was stepping out to help someone: whether it was volunteering to serve food in the hot sun at our 2010 BOOM party at the zoo in west Jackson, or standing up to be auctioned as a Man of Character at the 2011 JFP Chick Ball to help fight domestic abuse. He was clearly a young man who believed deeply in the power of individuals to change the world. And he changed ours. When I got that Facebook message from Noel Friday night, I read it and cried. I knew immediately that it was the perfect story to use to explain the Craig Noone I knew a little and admired so much. He was the kind of person who took time to matter. Think about it. Craig took time to get things right. He took time to study and do research to be great at his craft. He took time to train his people well. He took time to walk through his restaurant and treat everyone like a celebrity guest. He took time to get the details right. He took time to make sure that Todd and I had delicious vegetarian meals that weren’t on the menu. He took time to give credit and help to smaller local restaurateurs. He took time to volunteer his time, his staff, his food to our community’s toughest causes. And he took time to walk outside and ask Noel Didla for her autograph. It’s Mississippians like Craig who will change our state and our city. They are the “crazy ones,” as a famous Apple commercial said of change-makers. They believe in our potential to be great, and they know—even if they don’t talk about it all the time—that our diversity is one of our more powerful strengths
if we will tap it. If it’s allowed to marinate and congeal, our diversity in age, background, ethnicity and ideas will bring our creativity and our genius to the surface. Look at Craig’s chef line-up: male, female, black, white. And, boy, can those rock stars cook. After hearing Noel’s story, I realized I couldn’t find a better call to action for our Preventing Crime issue than a tribute to what made Craig Noone such a visionary. I couldn’t help think of all the hand-wringing we’ve endured over the years from folks who can’t think of anything to do about crime but whine, the same ones who told us incessantly that exciting development would never happen in Jackson without getting rid of all the crime first (the same ones who elected a mayor who presided over a rise in crime), who argue that crime is our No. 1 issue rather than a glaring symptom. I think of the media who go on and on about Jackson’s crime to sell ads outside the city limits. I think of the politicians who just want to scare us into voting for them, not caring that they are running off our tax base with their bogus crime rankings. Then I think of someone like Craig: a native Jacksonian who left and learned to be the best and then plopped himself down in downtown to prove that we can be the best, too. His story can and should teach us all several important lessons, including the need to not get so caught up in our work and lives that we don’t take care of ourselves well enough. But frankly, if most of us accomplish a quarter of what Craig did in his too-short 32 years, Jackson will become a shining city on a hill for generations to come. Thank you, Craig Noone. May you rest in glorious peace.
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5:30p.m. - 7:30p.m. Duling Green
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Tuesday, November 8th
Marshand Crisler A True Democrat
Crisler will work to ensure public safety, better highways, and support transportation projects in the central district that will create more jobs in our communities.
If we show up at the polls we win! Make your voice heard! Make your vote count! Crisler for Commissioner PO Box 59484, Jackson, Mississippi 39284 (601) 982-9388 | www.VoteCrisler.com
October 19-25, 2011
paid for by Crisler for Commissioner
Protesters ‘Occupy’ Smith Park police officer told the protesters they were not allowed to sleep in the park overnight, so they moved to the sidewalks. Some tried to organize people into shifts so they could take turns sleeping. By Monday, people taking work breaks outnumbered protesters at Smith Park. But rows of signs on the Occupy Mississippi protesters marched Saturday afternoon from outdoor stage and a Smith Park to the state capitol to protest corporate greed. table of fliers weighted down with rocks spoke demonstration that began Saturday to hopes for more enthusiasm in the future. at Smith Park continued through the Gabe Porter said many people had left weekend, and supporters of Occupy to go to work, but he expected them to return Mississippi say they do not plan to later in the day. leave any time soon. Like several protesters, Porter wears About 50 people rallied downtown Sat- a Guy Fawkes mask, like the one in the urday and marched to the state capitol to pro- movie “V for Vendetta,” on the back of test corporate greed. The protest was held at his head. Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the same time as others around the world in the Houses of Parliament in England in support of the ongoing Occupy Wall Street 1605, but Porter says the masks symboldemonstration in New York City. ize standing up for one’s beliefs rather Protesters held a “general assembly” than Fawkes’ tactics. While Porter talks Saturday afternoon and voted to contin- about banks and politicians using monue the demonstration indefinitely. Some ey to control society, he places some of camped out Saturday night to “occupy” the blame on individuals for buying into the park. On Sunday night, a post to the “the system.” Occupy Mississippi Facebook page said a “Me personally, I think we need to
by Elizabeth Waibel change as individuals; we need to do something ourselves,” he said. “We’re kind of hardwired into the system, into the society. We already want to buy the new iPhone and always go to McDonald’s, when we really need to be teaching our kids how to garden before it’s too late and that knowledge is gone. We’re kind of devolving.” People participating in Occupy Mississippi have been quick to say they are protesting a collection of issues. They eschew leaders and spokespeople and refer to themselves as facilitators or supporters. Most demonstrators are vocal in criticizing corporations for taking bailouts and laying off workers before posting healthy profits. They also place at least some of the blame on government officials who take campaign contributions from those corporations. In addition to protesting big corporations, individual protesters have brought with them a variety of grievances that their fellow occupiers may or may not agree with, advocating for more affordable college education, an end to war, doubling the size of the U.S. House of Representatives, legalizing marijuana and voting one way or another on ballot initiatives. Demonstrators said police allowed them to stay in the park Monday night. Protesters say they will occupy Smith Park indefinitely and are planning more meetings Thursday and Saturday. Comment at www.jfp.ms.
We put together a lovely word cloud containing some of the big topics in this Good Ideas issue.
“If a parent agrees, we can teach more science to a child so that those children understand what can go wrong.” —Mississippi gubernatorial candidate Phil Bryant during a debate Oct. 14 regarding his views of public schools teaching sex education to reduce the state’s teen pregnancy rate.
Wednesday, Oct. 12 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says an alleged plot by two Iranians to kill the Saudi Arabian ambassador to America is a “dangerous escalation” in Iran’s support for terrorism. … The Jackson Police Department receives a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to hire new officers. Thursday, Oct. 13 Gallup releases a poll that shows support for the death penalty in America is at the lowest since 1972, when a Supreme Court case led to a four-year halt to executions. … A Mississippi woman sues Facebook over allegations that the company violates wiretap laws. Friday, Oct. 14 A U.N. report says more than 3,000 people have died due to violence in Syria in the past several months. President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has been criticized for using harsh tactics against dissidents. … Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree and Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant make their appeals to voters during a debate for the governor’s race. Saturday, Oct. 15 People in cities around the world, including Jackson, hold demonstrations in support of the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City. … Ole Miss loses to Alabama 52 to 7. Sunday, Oct. 16 Visitation services are held for Parlor Market executive chef and co-owner Craig Noone who died in a car accident Oct. 14. … Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon dies in a 15-car wreck at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway while competing in a race. Monday, Oct. 17 Anadarko Petroleum Corp. agrees to pay BP $4 billion in a settlement over the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster last year. BP operated the oil well, but Anadarko owned a 25-percent stake. The money will go into BP’s fund to settle claims with individuals and businesses. Tuesday, Oct. 18 Hamas releases an Israeli soldier it held for more than five years in exchange for the freedom of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. … Parkway Properties announces that it will move its headquarters from downtown Jackson to Orlando, Fla. Get updates at jfpdaily.com.
news, culture & irreverence
The National Gang Intelligence Center (nationalgangcenter. gov) reports that, as of 2008, Hinds County had fewer than 500 gang members, as did Rankin County. Adams, DeSoto, Grenada, Harrison, Jackson and Marion counties all reported more gang members than did Hinds County.
Jackson says goodbye to Craig Noone, chef and entrepreneur. p8
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October 19 - 25, 2011
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Doing it For Jackson
n spring 2010, Grady Griffin received an urgent phone call from Craig Noone. A large oak tree had fallen in Greenwood Cemetery, close to Eudora Welty’s grave. “Do you think I could get that tree and make my tables out of it?” Noone asked Griffin, who is the director of education and training for the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association. For months Noone had researched the history of the building at 115 W. Capitol St. that would house the restaurant he had dreamed of opening since he was a child. The south Jackson native decided to name the restaurant Parlor Market, after a grocery store that was located in the space in 1926. It was important to Noone to incorporate Jackson’s history into the place through details such as its marble counters, wooden beams and butcher hooks. “I knew right then that there was something special about him,” Griffin said Oct. 17. “It showed how specific to every detail he wanted to be involved in. From menus to material, he wanted to be a local as possible.” Noone wasn’t satisfied with just serving food. “People in Mississippi are storytellers, and I wanted my restaurant and the food to tell a story,” he said during a September 2011 interview on the radio show “Mississippi Arts Hour” on WLEZ-FM. Around 1 a.m. Friday, Oct. 14, Noone was driving his Chevy Tahoe when he collided with a Ford Taurus at the intersection of West and Capitol streets. A witness reported that Noone was driving at a high speed when he ran a red light and collided with the Taurus. The two passengers in the Taurus suffered minor injuries, but Noone hit a light pole and was ejected from his car and killed. On Monday, Oct. 17, a few hours after his funeral, members from Jackson’s restaurant community hosted the annual “Steel Chef” event, a fundraiser for the Community Place, a nonprofit nursing home. The event was planned to be a cooking competition between Noone and Mike Roemhild of Table 100. The event became a memorial for Noone, instead. The death of the 32-year-old chef comes
Waxing Brazilian $70 Basic Bikini $40 Teeny Bikini $55
by Lacey McLaughlin
Parlor Market executive chef and co-owner Craig Noone died Oct. 14.
weeks after the upscale restaurant celebrated its one-year anniversary. After receiving confirmation that the King Edward would reopen, Noone decided to leave his job at Fearing’s Restaurant in Dallas, Texas, and move to Jackson. Mart Lamar, a local developer who renovated the building on Capitol Street decided to invest in Parlor Market after Noone presented his business plans over dinner in New Orleans. A few days before his death, Noone had moved into a loft apartment in a building next to his restaurant, which Lamar had also renovated. “Other people didn’t have the guts to go downtown and open a restaurant like that, and Craig thought it was a no-brainer,” Lamar said. “He had so much confidence that the restaurant would work that it was unbelievable.” Noone was the first to admit that the success of Parlor Market largely hinged on his staff. When he decided to open his restaurant in Jackson, he called on his friend and chef Jesse Houston in Dallas to help out. Hous-
ton brought along fellow chef Ryan Bell from Dallas. The chefs, all 30 or younger at the time, wanted to incorporate fresh, local food, innovative menus, and most importantly, fun into the new venture. Underground 119 executive chef Tom Ramsey, also a Jackson Free Press food columnist, remembers when Noone and his righthand men came into town. “The whole point of Parlor Market was, ‘Hey, let’s do that restaurant that we have always wanted to work at,’” Ramsey said. “Craig was able to say: ‘Look. I’m going to pay you poorly, and we are going to work unbelievably long hours, but we are going to cook exactly what we want to cook, and we are going to have fun. We are going to make exactly what we want.’ And the joy of that is what translated to customers.” Ramsey said Noone’s attention to detail didn’t stop at food and décor. He was equally dedicated to empowering his staff to make decisions. Noone didn’t hire a general manager, and he weaved seamlessly between the kitchen and dining room, where he spent time interacting with guests. Parlor Market simultaneously serves as a neighborhood haunt with loyal regulars and an upscale dining place for special nights out. The restaurant also became well known for its pop-up restaurants, transforming into a burger joint, taqueria and steak house for one night each, drawing hundreds of people downtown. Noone would often to go to extreme lengths to make customers happy. Dan Blumenthal, co-owner and chef of Mangia Bene restaurants, said somehow Noone would find out when his regular customers were dining at other restaurants and would frequently call in to buy them a bottle of wine or dessert. Parlor Market closed temporarily Oct. 14, but will reopen Oct. 19 at 5:30 p.m. Lamar said Houston and Bell will take over Noone’s responsibilities. “I think it would be Craig’s desire if the people that he put in place could continue on in his memory,” Lamar said. “Craig will be there in spirit.” Comment at www.jfp.ms.
by Lacey McLaughlin
Damon Stevenson is running for District 4 Hinds County Justice Court judge.
he qualifications to run for justice court judge are pretty simple: a high-school diploma and $10 to pay the county circuit clerk to file your paperwork. You also must be a resident of the county you wish to run in for two years before the election and take a training course within six months of beginning your term in office. Perhaps this is why the race has been somewhat an unknown quantity this election season. Of the four districts in Hinds County, only two races are contested: District 1 and District 4. In District 1, “Jackson Jambalaya” blogger and Northside Sun writer James “Jimmy” Hendrix (who also goes by the name “Kingfish,” but records indicate he was born James Whitehead) is running as a Republican against incumbent Don Palmer, a Democrat. In District 4, 28-year-old Damon Stevenson is running as a Democrat against Republican incumbent Jimmy Morton. Stevenson, who owns a law firm, Stevenson Legal Group, is the only candidate who appears to have a campaign website listing his qualifications. Stevenson is a native of Brandon who currently lives in Raymond with his wife, Jessica Morris Stevenson. He graduated from Tougaloo College in 2005 with a degree in economics and received a law degree from
Mississippi College School of Law. He worked as a federal probation officer after graduation until he opened his firm in 2009. Why did you decide to run for justice court? As a practicing attorney, I have had several opportunities to have several cases in justice court in Hinds County and other parts of the state. … You notice things that you think may help the court system move a bit smoother, wiser and be a better investment for taxpayers. Can you be more specific? At this time I think it would be wonderful for the justice court to be more accessible online. If people could schedule hearings and matters online it would improve things. If people could pay fines online, perhaps they wouldn’t even need to come to court. Modernizing the system in those ways would be extremely beneficially. Also, while it’s not a requirement to be an attorney, I think the citizens of Hinds County would benefit from having a person on the bench who understands how the law is supposed to work. Tell me about the cases justice court judges oversee. Justice court handles misdemeanors in Hinds County that are prosecuted through the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department or even the Mississippi Highway Patrol—any misdemeanors such as a speeding violation, traffic ticket, or even domestic violence or a DUI. There is also a civil side of the justice court that handles matters up to $3,500. What qualities do you think a judge must posses? The guiding principle of any court, including the justice court, has to be the law. The laws that are in place deserve to be promoted. If a judge has that in mind and uses that a guiding force, he will automatically be fair. You worked as a federal probations office. What was that like? As a federal probations officer, there are
different facets to your job. … A major part of my job was advising federal judges on sentencing issues related to people who had been convicted. That was extremely eye-opening. Not only do you look at the crime that a person committed, you have an opportunity to look at their background and understand why they committed this crime. You can then tailor a sentence so that you are addressing the root issues on why they are committing the crime. In your experience, what is the best way to counter recidivism? Just locking people up does not solve problem. I think what the justice court judges need to do is take the lead working with churches and employers—different institutions in the community to ensure that when people come through the court system we can put in place things like job training and placement. As an attorney, I have been amazed at the number of people I represent who cannot read and write, and that makes it a whole lot harder to find a job. … We should have different venues for people who come through the court system where we can refer them to a job-training specialist or an education specialist who can work with them to get their GED. Based on what I have seen, people who go out and work meaningful jobs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. are not committing crimes. Do you think your age will be a challenge for you to win this race? No. … Even though I am young, I am the only licensed attorney in the race. My qualifications alone differentiate me a great deal from my opponent. Young people are assets but at the same time our greatest liability. In the court system today, it is no secret that there is a large number of young males. I think my age will actually help me, because it will allow me to relate to them and let them know that it is possible for you as a young person to go out and make a meaningful contribution to society—work, support a family and become a taxpayer instead of becoming a tax burden. See more candidate interviews at www.jfp. ms/politics.
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Raising the Bar
by Elizabeth Waibel
Bryant, DuPree Play Nice
T ELIZABETH WAIBEL
he two candidates for governor in Mississippi talked up bipartisan cooperation and downplayed their differences at a debate Oct. 14. Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican, and Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree, a Democrat, carefully avoided any appearance
Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree, left, and Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant stayed polite and composed at a debate Friday night.
October 19 - 25, 2011
of negative campaigning or attacks on their opponents, which resulted in a chummy atmosphere and little substantive discussion of issues that set the two men apart. DuPree and Bryant answered questions about partisan gridlock, health-care reform and teen pregnancy at the only scheduled debate between the two nominees. The Mississippi College School of Law hosted the televised debate, and AARP sponsored it. On most issues, the candidates’ views seemed to vary little. Regarding how to reduce the number of teen births in Mississippi, both emphasized the community’s role in teaching teens to wait until they are older to have children. Bryant said last year’s law requiring school districts to adopt a sex-education policy will allow schools—in some districts, at least—to teach abstinence-plus sex education. “If a parent agrees, we can teach more science to a child, so that those children understand what can go wrong,” he said. “...
But again, I think we need to say to parents and grandparents alike: ‘I am not individually responsible for what happens to your child. Now, we all have a shared destiny, but you have to step up.’” DuPree, who said his wife and he started out as teen parents, said the church, the educational system and the community must work together to help teens, as people did when he and his wife were young parents. “This teen pregnancy issue is not something you’re going to solve overnight,” he said. “... It’s going to take education in order to do that, it’s going to take, again, the community to pull together.” Bryant and DuPree did differ on the health-care reform bill that Congress passed last year. “I’m extremely concerned with the ‘Obamacare’ health care, as some people call it,” Bryant said, adding that the act will add 400,000 Mississippians to the Medicaid roll. “You’ve got to realize, we’ve got 640,000 Mississippians now on the Medicaid roll; that’s a million people in a state of 3 million. ... That’s impossible to afford,” he said. Bryant said the state contributes 25 percent of Medicaid expenses; however, under the reform bill, the federal government would pay 100 percent for individuals at or below 133.3 percent of the federal poverty level beginning in 2013. Bryant touted a health-care exchange, nationwide tort reform and job creation as the best ways to bring down the cost of health insurance. He also criticized the act’s controversial individual insurance requirement, calling it a violation of civil liberties. DuPree said some aspects of the healthcare reform act should concern people, but it will bring in $20 million to help uninsured people in the state get insurance. He said the bill makes a health-care exchange possible. “Without the $20 million, it wouldn’t happen, and we would still be talking about what we are going to do with the half a million people in Mississippi (without insurance),” DuPree said. Comment at www.jfp.ms.
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s Sonny Tillman, the founder of Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q once said, “with a little hard work, anything’s possible.” Floyd “Sonny” Tillman and his wife, Lucille, founded Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q in Gainesville, Florida, in 1968. Their goal was to offer authentic southern Bar-B-Q with a side of southern hospitality. Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Sonny knows there’s only one way to cook real southern Bar-B-Q and that means slow-cooking the meat over real hardwood for a long time. Sonny’s goes through over 500 tons of oak in all of their 129 locations to get that real smoke flavor in every bite. In fact, today, all of Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-BQ locations still use the same type of smoker that Sonny used in his first restaurant in 1968. You can’t really enjoy Bar-B-Q without the sauce. Sonny’s has got you covered with five different types, sure to please. Starting with the most popular flavor, Sweet, considered the “Gold Standard” among Bar-B-Q aficionados. If mild is your thing, Sonny’s blend of tomato, mustard, cider vinegar, and spices will treat you right. If you like your Bar-B-Q with a little kick, just pour on some of Sonny’s Sizzlin’ Sweet sauce. If want a real kick to your ’Q, give the Smokin’ flavor a try. Blended with spices and a hint of chipotle, this sauce will surely take your taste buds for a ride. Maybe you’re a fan of Carolina-style Bar-B-Q. Don’t fret; you can still get the taste of the Carolinas right here in the Magnolia state with Sonny’s Mustard sauce. This combination of mustard and Worcestershire puts the zing in your ’Q! If you’re a real Bar-B-Q traditionalist and like your ribs dry-rubbed, Sonny’s has got you covered. With so many sauces, you’re going to need some serious meat to soak up all that goodness. Fortunately, Sonny’s has plenty of options. From the pulled brisket to sliced brisket, BarB-Q chicken to smoked turkey, if it can be smoked, Sonny’s has it on the menu. Maybe you like your Bar-B-Q sauce over something from the sea. Give Sonny’s “Gone Fishin’” platter, a lightly seasoned catfish fillet with Gulf fried shrimp, a try. Feeling like a sandwich or a burger? Sonny’s has got it and more available in a combo with a side and a drink, all for a great value. Speaking of sides, what’s authentic Bar-B-Q without all the fixings? Get your fix of fixings with a baked potato, baked sweet potato, homemade macaroni and cheese, corn on the cob, original recipe Bar-B-Q beans, and fresh-made coleslaw, just to name a few. So whether you’re a Bar-B-Q novice or an aficionado, you can find what you’re looking for, with a healthy serving of great customer service every time, at Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q.
PA I D A DV E RT I S E M E N T
opining, grousing & pontificating
Guns for Safety?
t so happens that in the past few weeks, a number of people with ties to the Jackson Free Press—staff and former staff—have encountered the same piece of advice from Jackson Police Department officers. The advice: Buy a gun. Thoughtful gun advocates and detractors alike can agree on a few things. First, guns are deadly force, not human remote controls, and as such, require a willingness on the part of the gun-toting victims to kill their assailant. Second, guns require training and experience in their use; a gun in the wrong hands can be deadly to the holder and to other unintended victims. Third, situations involving crimes and guns are high-stress, highadrenaline experiences that can slow down reaction times and muddle decision-making. The Crime Lab at the University of Chicago (an academic lab making a strong case for evidence-based gun discussions) warns that guns “intensify violence” in property-crime situations leading to more homicides. Communities with widespread gun ownership correlate with an increased number of guns in the hands of youth and felons. Widespread gun ownership does not correlate with a decrease in burglaries, nor does it convey a “public benefit” in reducing property crime, in part because the presence of guns makes for valuable “loot” in a burglary. It’s your call whether you wish to purchase a legal gun, train extensively in its use and take responsibility for its safe storage (including locks that keep it secure from children and in the case your home or car is burglarized successfully). But we feel strongly that Jackson Police Department officers should not make a suggestion to Jackson citizens that lacks precision or empirical evidence that guns make a community safer as a whole. When reached for comment, Jackson Police Chief Rebecca Coleman said, however, that it is not JPD’s policy to tell residents to purchase guns for safety. The department’s Quality of Life and Crime Prevention units give safety presentations and tips on what citizens should do in potentially dangerous situations. As an alternative to guns, Coleman suggested that citizens secure their vehicles, be aware of their surroundings and park vehicles in well-lighted areas. We encourage Chief Coleman to ensure that officers under her command know and follow JPD’s policy and increase education when it comes to gun ownership and gun safety. Let’s have an empirical, evidence-based approach to this problem.
Quell the Anxiety
October 19 - 25, 2011
iss Doodle Mae: “Jojo just concluded an important meeting with the Jojo’s Discount Dollar Store staff. The purpose of this meeting was to quell the anxiety of the staff regarding the Occupy Wall Street movement. The anxiety started after Nurse Tootie McBride’s speech during the Ghetto Science Community Grass Roots Occupy Wall Street Solidarity Brigade and convoy to New York. Jojo volunteered his staff to help prepare for the solidarity brigade and convoy. This morning the staff wanted to know what the Occupy movement was about. As usual Jojo had an explanation.” Jojo: “The movement that you and I support is a struggle for balance. As you know, many in our community and around this nation struggle with economic imbalance. A minimum-wage worker can barely pay bills and afford health care. A college graduate, loaded down with a large student loan, cannot find a job. Middle class couples get laid off, lose their homes and do not have enough money to feed their families. Many people suffer at the hands of some insensitive, uncaring and greedy individuals. Therefore, your non-judgmental solidarity with the poor, middle class and common folk reflects the proverb that says, ‘Whoever is kind to the needy honors God.’ “So, in the words of Bartles and Jaymes (the wine cooler guys), ‘Thank you for your support.’” Miss Doodle Mae: “Let the staff say, ‘Amen, brother Jojo.’ Now it’s time to get ready for Jojo’s Discount Dollar Store’s Double for Your Trouble Cus12 tomer Appreciation Sale.”
by Rev. Rob Hill
Relationships, Not Gates
would like to claim that Broadmeadow United Methodist Church first reached out to the neighborhood, but the truth is that the neighborhood reached out first to Broadmeadow. It began a little more than 10 years ago, when area youth showed up at the church gym and asked if they could play basketball. Faithfully, the church said “yes.” Not long after, several church members added a tutoring and mentoring component to complement the basketball, and Broadmeadow’s “Books and Basketball” program was born. It was a decision that helped transform the church into an open and inclusive community, and it was a decision that has transformed the lives of many young people. While I wish I could describe a science as to how it works, there is no science. It only requires the willingness to look around and see the potential that surrounds you. In this case, it was the willingness to recognize the potential that resides within young people all around our church. That’s exactly what happened to me one day five years ago when I looked outside my church and noticed that the young men in our program were wearing team jerseys with Broadmeadow U.M.C. emblazoned across their chests. What impressed me was that the church had not provided those jerseys. These young men had paid to have them made. I realized that while none of them had ever participated in worship at Broadmeadow, they were indeed “our” youth; they claimed the church before the church claimed them. From that point forward, church members made it a point to actively incorporate these young men, all African American, into the life of a predominately white church. The tutoring program and exposure to the broader world through educational
trips to New York City and Washington, D.C., made a difference in their lives. The church community as a whole, and its attitude, began to look different. It took a little time, but gradually these young men went from being known around the church as the “basketball boys” to being known as vital members of the church family. So often, churches and other organizations see changing neighborhoods and changing demographics as threats. Their response is not welcoming. Instead, they leave or hunker down into a defensive posture protecting everything they hold dear—including their misconceptions. The Jackson City Council has recently determined that citizens can protect themselves and prevent crime in the city by allowing neighborhoods to construct gates at their entrances. While I certainly understand the desire for people to feel secure in their homes and neighborhoods, this response saddens me. Neighborhood gates might deter some crime, but they don’t address or solve the problem. The only real way to deal with perceived threats is through building relationships, not through building fences. When you get to know someone who is different from you, you soon discover that the only thing they threaten is the dismantling of your own fears and prejudices. That’s exactly what happened at Broadmeadow. Maybe it can happen for you. Rev. Rob Hill is the pastor of Broadmeadow United Methodist Church in Jackson where he has served since June of 2005. A native of Forest, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State University in 1997 and a master’s degree in divinity from Duke University in 2002.
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n Oct. 22, youth from all over Mississippi, but mostly Jackson, will gather at Metrocenter Mall for a special event: the first Art, Poetry and Justice SLAM. The event is part of National Youth Justice Awareness Month and brings together the Southern Regional Office of the Childrenâ€™s Defense Fund, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the ACLU of Mississippi, the NAACP of Mississippi, The Young Peopleâ€™s Project and F.A.I.T.H. Inc. Young people will share perspectives on justice in their communities through art, spoken word and poetry. The young artists who present the best pieces will receive prizes. This collaboration will celebrate the enormous potential of Mississippiâ€™s youth, prioritize the important perspectives of our young people and highlight that adults have much to learn from the voices of our youth. This event is also an opportunity to engage in some truth telling and to bust the myths that surround youth justice in Mississippi. While youth justice in Mississippi still has a long way to go, itâ€™s important to remember that our state has made significant progress in reforming a once-brutal systemâ€”especially its two juvenile prisons, Oakley and Columbia. In 2004, Brad Schlozman, then the acting head of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, called Oakley and Columbia Training Schools â€œthe worst the Department of Justice had seen in 20 years.â€? Children sent to Oakley and Columbia endured physical and sexual abuse, prolonged isolation, and denials of medical, mentalhealth and educational services. As a result of tremendous leadership from Mississippi state representativesâ€”including Earle Banks, D-Jackson, George Flaggs, D-Vicksburg, and John Hines, DGreenvilleâ€”the Columbia Training School is permanently closed. And, because of incredibly hard work from the Youth Court Judges Council, the Division of Youth Services and legislators, Oakley has made an almost complete turnaround. Youth there have positive incentives for good behavior, and recidivism rates have dropped dramatically. Over the last eight years, state legislative and policy changes have reduced the populations in our facilities and ensured that our training school, Oakley, only has youth who have committed the most serious offenses. And crime has not gone up. All over Mississippi, communitybased alternatives and preventative-based programming are beginning to take hold. Investing in community-based alternatives so that our youth can be supervised in their communities will reduce detention rates, conserve taxpayer resources and maintain our safety. Annie E. Caseyâ€™s Juvenile Detention Alternativeâ€™s Initiative (JDAI) is already in place in four Mississippi counties. These simple activities ensure that a youth does not need to be held unnecessarily between their first contact with law enforcement and their
court hearing. Pre ve n t a t i ve based programming will limit the â€œopportunitiesâ€? for youth to come into contact with the law. This common-sense approach is really the only proven way to reduce juvenile crime. It advocates investing in vocational programs, mentorship opportunities and strong community connections through churches, sports or the arts. There is still room for more transformation. Many of our schools perpetuate the myth that some youth just donâ€™t want to learn. This is not true. â€œZero toleranceâ€? policiesâ€”once meant for drug or weapons offenses in schoolâ€”have now come to mean â€œhabitual offenderâ€? for things like talking back, dress-code violations and tardiness. These misguided policies explicitly exclude youth whom schools believe get in the way of othersâ€™ learning. Thus, a myth is compounded by a system that pushes young people out instead of educating them. In my experience, be it in a detention center, in a regular school or in an alternative school, I have never come across a youth who saysâ€”or even impliesâ€”â€œI do not want to learn.â€? This thinking is railroading too many youth, especially black male youth in our state, into the criminal justice system. We will crack these myths when it is the youth who are speaking and the adults who are listening. We encourage youth to participate in the SLAM for just this reason. We have to re-think what we are doing and how we are doing it. Too often, we leave the media, our elected or appointed officials, advocates and the people in charge of caring for our children (in schools, detention centers or elsewhere) responsible for â€œbeingâ€? their voice. Before we realize it, we forget the best interests of the youth. The adults at the SLAM will be asked to listen. As part of National Youth Justice Awareness Month, the partner organizations will be there to provide the platform for the youth. The young people I work for know the lies and stories told about them, and they come to me asking why people say these things. I rarely have an answer beyond a ramble about social, racial, educational or economic injustice. What I do know is that my voice isnâ€™t the one that needs to be heard. It is the voices of the hundreds of thousands of youth in our state that are our most valuable assets. See you on Oct. 22. Come ready to listen. The Art, Poetry & Justice SLAM is 7 p.m. Oct. 22, at the Metrocenter Mall on Highway 80. For more information, see the eventâ€™s Facebook page. All are welcome. Jed Oppenheim is the Senior Advocate for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Mississippi. Everyone is responsible for ending the school-toprison pipeline that is pushing our children out of school. So what are you waiting for?
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Editor in Chief Donna Ladd Publisher Todd Stauffer
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by Donna Ladd
1. Mental health: Witnessing 40 aggression causes depression, 20 anxiety, sadness, withdrawalâ€”conditions that can lead 0 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 to aggression in those without self-regulation skills. 9EAR 4OTAL 2. Connectedness: Kids need Fear: Larger Than Crime? to participate and connect socially to stay engaged in FDUHGRIWKHLURZQVKDGRZVSHRSOHFDQÂśWHQMR\DEHWWHUOLIHLI school. Kids who are less vicWKH\ZRUU\WKHERRJH\PDQPLJKWVWULNHDWDQ\PRPHQW)HDURI timized like school more. FULPHFRUURGHVTXDOLW\RIOLIHDVWXG\IURPWKH86'HSDUWPHQW RI-XVWLFHVWDWHV*DU\&RUGQHUZURWHLQWKHVWXG\Âł5HGXFLQJ)HDU 3. Absenteeism: Students who RI&ULPH6WUDWHJLHVIRU3ROLFHÂ´WKDWHYHQDVFULPHUDWHVIHOOOHYHOVRI see school as physically or IHDULQFUHDVHG,WÂśVDODUJHHQRXJKJDSWRJHWWKHJRYHUQPHQWDGYLV emotionally dangerous often LQJSROLFHGHSDUWPHQWVRQKRZWRUHGXFHIHDU&RUGQHUVXJJHVWVWKDW avoid school and drop out. SROLFHVXUYH\UHVLGHQWVWRDVVHVVDFRPPXQLW\ÂśVIHDUVHHZZZMIS PVFULPHIHDUWRVHHDVXUYH\DQGLGHDVIRUUHGXFLQJIHDU Schools must help chil Â˛9DOHULH:HOOV dren learn â€œpro-socialâ€? behav iors, Bausch says, or as Athens plague us.â€? Tolerating brutal advises, to teach children to engage with others as community ization of children is â€œequally members, thus building empathy skills. The men argue for the violent and equally evil, and kinds of efforts this GOOD Ideas issue lays: life-skills training; Violent Exposure we reap what we sow.â€? Athensâ€™ theory complements cognitive research that finds anti-bullying programs; mentoring of at-risk children, discour that direct exposure to aggression and violence, and indirect aging overly aggressive coaching athletes, counseling for bellig â€˜Body Bagâ€™ Media exposure in media, â€œhave extreme noxious effects on develop- erent youth (and adults), smart gun control, intervention and In 1994, criminal-jus ment and quality of life for U.S. youth,â€? as Columbia Univer- rehabilitation. Athens disagrees with conservative approaches tice researcher Susan Ruel sityâ€™s Charles E. Bausch writes in the October 2011 Journal of to discipline and violence, but he doesnâ€™t sugarcoat the need for presented a paper, â€œBody Bag School Health. Exposure to violence, including harsh parental harsh punishment of â€œultraviolentâ€? criminals who are clearly Journalism: Crime Cover discipline, is particularly harmful for urban youth of color who past rehabilitation. The point, he argues, is to let fewer people age by the U.S. Mediaâ€? to already have unequal access to good education, health care, get to that point with smart practices and interventions. the International Conference housing and jobs: a perfect storm to cause criminality. on Violence in the Media in Contrary to popular opinion, schools are the safest place To Whip or Not? New York. She warned that for young people (and homes the least safe); less than 1 perAthens says the U.S. has a higher violent crime rate than U.S. media, especially TV, cent of homicides among school-age other industrial democracies because Leading Causes had become obsessed with children occur at school. However, more Americans undergo â€œviolentizaÂł>7@HPDVVQHZVPHGLDDUHGULYHQWR of U.S. Deaths crime coverageâ€”from the children take problems to school with tionâ€? from an early age. He criticizes +HDUWGLVHDVH SXEOLFL]HFULPHQRWUHDVVXUDQFH O.J. Simpson trial to gangs: &DQFHUV them and then threaten, assault, bulthe belief by many Christian conserEHFDXVH FULPH DWWUDFWV UHDGHUV a â€œshameless pandering to the $FFLGHQWVPRVWO\YHKLFOH
ly, fightâ€”or avoid school altogether vatives that children should be punDQG YLHZHUV ZKR LQ WXUQ DWWUDFW publicâ€™s blood lust for violent 9DULRXVGLVHDVHV due to fear. Verbal aggression is a ished physically. He calls on churches 1XWULWLRQ0DOQXWULWLRQ stories.â€? TV coverage of crime DGYHUWLVLQJUHYHQXHÂ´ huge part of violentization, especially to encourage humane punishment 6XLFLGH had doubled as crime rates reÂ˛86'HSDUWPHQWRI-XVWLFH +RPLFLGH for children of color who hear â€œhate among their members. â€œThe African SOURCE: U.S. CENSUS )XOOUHSRUWZZZMISPVFULPHIHDU
mained stable. Then, as crime wordsâ€? about their race, sexual orienAmerican community, once violently rates dropped dramatically in tation, disability, religion, etc. enslaved,â€? he writes, â€œhas depended the mid-1990s, crime coverAggressive and violent tendencies have three major cau- for its survival on conservative Christian values that encourage age, especially of youth crime, spiked dramatically, scaring the tions, per Bausch: physical punishment, and has been segregated by racial prejupublic and leading to support for harsh, counter-productive dice into impoverished turbulent and malignant minor compublic policy that actually increased crime (see page 24). munities where policing is both sporadic and more punitive.â€? â€œ[C]itizens who are exposed to selective media reports Athens says the South, statistically the most violent region, 4 Steps of Violentization about certain types of crimes and not others are effectively cocombines poverty, violent tendencies, gun ownership, belief in erced into worrying about street crimes exclusively,â€? researcher violent punishment and social segregation. â€œIndeed,â€? he says, "RUTALIZATION7KH\RXQJSHUVRQLVWKUHDWHQHGRUDEXVHGLQWRVXEPLW Matthew B. Robinson wrote in Western Criminology Review. WLQJWRDQDJJUHVVLYHDXWKRULW\ÂżJXUHZLWQHVVHVVXEMXJDWLRQRILQWLPDWHV â€œso-called black violence may well be a subset of southern vioSuch coverage creates the perception that residents can do DQGWKXVOHDUQVWRXVHYLROHQFHWRVHWWOHGLVSXWHV lence since African American culture derives directly from the nothing to help stop crime, and that itâ€™s up to someone else: "ELLIGERENCY7KHGLVSLULWHGVXEMHFWKHHGVKLVFRDFKDQGUHVROYHVWR southern culture in which it was originally embedded before UHVRUWWRIXUWKHUYLROHQFH a state that criminologists warn againstâ€”a problem seen often the great migration of African Americans to northern cities.â€? 6IOLENT 0ERFORMANCES7KHYLROHQWUHVSRQVH in Jackson mediaâ€™s misunderstanding of the role â€œperceptionâ€? VXFFHHGVDQGKHUHDGVUHVSHFWDQGIHDULQWKH The answer, he argues, is â€œpersonal witness.â€? He rejects plays in crime-fighting. Ruel warned that â€œbody bag journalH\HVRIRWKHUV blaming criminal violence solely on race, poverty, culture or the ismâ€? was dangerous and said the public must direct appeals for 6IRULENCY7KHUHVSRQVHH[FLWHVWKHVXEMHFW genetics of â€œthose people over there,â€? while giving ourselves a DQG KH GHFLGHV WR FRQWLQXH XVLQJ VHULRXV YLR change to the consciences of people with influence in the news pass on our role in forming and changing the culture that creOHQFHWRGHDOZLWKSHRSOHERQGLQJZLWKRWKHUV business, demanding accurate depictions of violence and its ZKREHOLHYHDVKHGRHV ates violence. Vulnerable children, he says, per Rhodes, â€œsuffer SOURCE: â€œWHY THEY KILL,â€? RICHARD RHODES causes. This GOOD Ideas issue attempts to heed Ruelâ€™s call. for our neglect of their welfare and return in vengeful wrath to 14
October 19 - 25, 2011
espite popular belief, violent criminals arenâ€™t born with a moral screw loose. Theyâ€™re not even turned into criminals because they grow up in single-parent homes or just from living in a crime-ridden neighborhood. Studies show that being abused, witnessing violent behavior at home and in communities, and societal influences (including media violence and crime fixations)â€” what criminology researcher Dr. Lonnie Athens of Seton Hall University calls â€œviolentizationâ€?â€”turns people toward crime. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes details Athensâ€™ â€œviolentizationâ€? theory in â€œWhy They Killâ€? (Knopf, 1999, $26.95). Athens, formerly of Georgetown University, found that all seriously violent people follow a four-stage violentization process that leads to â€œsocial retardationâ€? and, thus, violence (see box).
Citizen Policewoman by Marika Cackett
by Marika Cackett
• If you carry a knife on your person where the stock and blade are more than four inches in length, police will consider it a concealed weapon. A screwdriver, however, can do more bodily harm and isn’t considered a weapon. • Be a “nosy neighbor.” Get to know your neighbors. If you know someone is going out of town and then see a moving van pull up, be suspicious. Don’t be afraid to call the police if you see something or someone out of the ordinary. Be an advocate for your block.
• Did you know that the average percentage of solved versus unsolved crimes in the United States is about 67 percent? Jackson’s average last year was
• The age of consent in Mississippi is 16. What should a parent do to protect their child? Be an active parent. Know your kids’ friends. Check their phones, ask questions, and remember that while you may strive to set the right values, you have to know and understand peer pressure and know that if you aren’t teaching your kids, their friends are. • Since Mississippi passed a law requiring a prescription for drugs containing pseudoephedrine, there has been an 85 percent decrease in meth labs, according to the JPD. The most common illegal street drug is still crack cocaine. • The Jackson police SWAT team is one of the oldest in the U.S., formed in 1971. Jackson’s SWAT team is made up of six members, and includes a sniper and a fully licensed medical doctor who had to pass the same qualifiers as the rest of the team. • Mississippi has four bomb squads, based in Jackson, Clinton, Tupelo and Biloxi. The FBI regulates each squad, and they agree to the stipulations handed down by that agency. Each squad must respond to calls 90 miles in any direction.
JPD Sez …
I even had the opportunity to shoot three guns at the JPD rifle range. Considering I’ve never shot a gun before, I listened intently to my instructors and was able to shoot dead center on my targets. The thing I found most amazing about my experience was the percentage of crimes JPD solved compared to the national average. Last year, JPD’s average of solved versus unsolved crimes was 80 percent. The national average is about 67 percent. Our police department has a better crime-solving average than the U.S. as a whole. That says something. When I graduated from the JPD’s Citizen Police Academy, I received a certificate, a hat and a mini-badge that I have proudly displayed in my office. My head is full of facts and figures, information and experiences. This much is clear: We have a great police force and a mayor and police chief who are committed to keeping the streets of Jackson safe. But they can’t do it alone. We, as citizens of this city, must take an active role in preventing crime. For starters, get to know your neighbors. Be a strong advocate for a neighborhood watch. Go to your monthly COPS meetings. Report suspicious people, vehicles and activities to the police. Be a smart shopper and not only lock your car, but don’t leave valuables in plain sight. Enroll in the next Citizen’s Police Academy and learn firsthand about how our police department works. We all have a stake in a safe city, but we also need to recognize that it is the everyday citizen who sees what the police can’t. We must be the eyes and ears of our city. It is our civic responsibility to partner with the Police department to help curb crime. I was so inspired by this class that I have applied to serve on the JPD’s Citizen Reserve. This is my city. My home is here, and my life is here. I have decided to be a champion for my little piece of Fondren. What has happened to the suspicious activity happening behind my house? I called the police, and I called the mayor’s 311 line to report suspicious activity on a regular basis. And you know what? No more suspicious activity. Working together works. So the next time someone asks me about crime in Jackson, I can proudly say we fight crime in this city as a team, made up of dedicated public servants and concerned citizens who work together to prevent crime. When crime does strike, we have one of the finest police departments in the country, whose crime-solving ability is far above that of the nation as a whole. The next time you see a Jackson police officer, thank him or her for their service, and make a commitment to partner with JPD so that you may also become a champion for your city. SOPHIE MCNEIL
’m going to be completely honest: I’d never held a gun before. I always thought guns were for thugs and hunters. I simply didn’t need one. So it may surprise you that on Saturday, Oct. 8, I spent the better part of the day at the Jackson Police Department rifle range working on my target practice. I moved to Fondren in March, renting a little duplex in the Broadmeadow neighborhood for just my dog, a German shepherd named Atlas, and me. Everything was going great until the neighborhood dogs started barking—all night long— followed by the sound of power tools at all hours and some suspicious behavior coming from the empty lot behind my house. At my landlord’s suggestion, Marika Cackett learned a lot at the Citizens Police Academy, including how to shoot a gun accurately. I decided to attend my local Community Oriented Policing Strategies meetings for Precinct 4 and address my concerns to our Precinct Commander I was the first to sign up. it that Jackson has so much crime if there Wendell Watts. At the COPS meeting, I Working for the Jackson Convention is no mention of any other city’s crime? It found out I wasn’t the only one who had a and Visitors Bureau, it is my job to bring makes sense for the local media to report on problem with the illegal business going on tourists, family reunions, meetings and crimes in their own back yard. Maybe it’s in my neighborhood. events to Jackson. Many times the JCVB easier than trekking out to the suburbs to During the meeting, a quality-of-life misses out on opportunities because of the sniff out a story. officer mentioned the Citizens Police Acad- “perception” of crime in our city. Every time I spent the week of Oct. 3 as a student emy class beginning the first week of Octo- you turn on the news, it’s as if yet another of the Jackson Police Department. Each ber. In this class, participants would have crime has been committed in Jackson. Even evening, the instructors educated us on the opportunity to shoot a police-issued our neighbors in other cities use crime per- different aspects of life as a Jackson police Glock handgun and go on a ride-along ception to win elections. officer. From dispatcher to SWAT unit, we with a JPD officer. We would also discover The Jackson Police Department is the learned to trace an incident from the first that the police department doesn’t solve a only local police department that reports 911 call to the case being delivered to a crime in 30 minutes like on TV. crime numbers; the rest don’t. So why is grand jury.
Crime Follows Poverty Because: by Lacey McLaughlin and Donna Ladd
Persons below poverty level, 2009: County Madison County Hinds County . . Rankin County .
Below Poverty Level . . . . 12.7% . . . . 23.3% . . . . 11.2%
City Jackson. . . Clinton . . . Hattiesburg . Meridian . . Tupelo . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .
. 23.5% . 8% . 28.3% . 28.6% . 12.7%
Mississippi . . . . . . . 19.9%
f you struggle to pay your bills and donâ€™t know where your next meal is coming from, studies show you are more likely to be incarcerated. Once you fall into that cycle, itâ€™s difficult to break out. When people get out of jail, they usually have no money or a stable home to return to. If you are African American, the chances that you will be incarcerated are even higher. Studies show that people resort to crime only if they determine that potential benefits outweigh the cost or consequences of committing that. Therefore, people living in poverty are more likely to commit burglary, larceny or theft.
Statistics: â€˘ Lower-class youth commit four times more violent crimes than middle-class youth. â€˘ The total cost of crime in the U.S. is $2 trillion per yearâ€”$1.3 trillion comes from street crime and the remainder from economic crimes such as fraud. â€˘ The victimization costs of street crime are approximately $700 billion per year. â€˘ Poverty raises the cost of crime by at least $170 billion annually. â€˘ Fifty-three percent of people in prison earned less than $10,000 per year before incarceration.
Poverty and crime go hand in hand because:
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Poor Children ,Q0LVVLVVLSSL
LQRIDOOFKLOGUHQSHUFHQWRU DUHSRRU LQSHUFHQWRU ZKLWHQRQ/DWLQR FKLOGUHQDUHSRRU LQSHUFHQWRU /DWLQRFKLOGUHQDUHSRRU LQSHUFHQWRU EODFNFKLOGUHQDUHSRRU SOURCE: CHILDRENâ€™S DEFENSE FUND
SOURCE: â€œTHE ECONOMIC COSTS OF CHILDHOOD POVERTY IN THE UNITED STATES,â€? THE JOURNAL OF CHILDREN AND POVERTY MARCH 2008
Blame the Burbs?
High Crime Rates Among Poor: Why
1. Uber-wealthy 2. Middle class 3. Poor 4. People with nice cars Answer: The poor. They are also the least likely to report it. SOURCE: â€œDEFENSIBLE SPACE,â€? OSCAR NEWMAN, 1996
October 19 - 25, 2011
Who is most likely to be a victim of crime?
hey may be shrinking for everyone, but it was already bad for the poor. A congressional study found, prerecession, that two-thirds of all new jobs are being created in the suburbs (where many city poor do not have transportation to get to). Meanwhile, the study found that three-quarters of welfare recipients live in the inner city or urban areas. And it found that 95 percent of welfare recipients do not own a car. FILE PHOTO
t is a fact that neighborhoods where the poor are concentrated are more prone to high crime rates, and poor residents are the most common victims of crimes. Beyond a simplistic answer of â€œpoor people want/need more stuff so they have to take it,â€? what are other, more researched answers? Oscar Newman offered several in â€œCreating Defensible Spaceâ€? (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 1996, $15): â€˘ A one-parent household headed by a female is more vulnerable to criminal attack. â€˘ Families with only one adult present are less able to control their teenage children. â€˘ Young teenage mothers are often victimized by their boyfriends. â€˘ The criminal activity by the poor is tolerated, if not condoned, among the poor. â€˘ The poor, and particularly the poor members of racial minorities, are unable to demand as much police protection. â€˘ Committing crimes against residents in rundown and â€œghettoâ€? areas requires minimal skill and risk.
oes white flight/suburban flight create poor communities and, thus, increase crime? The â€œnew urbanistsâ€? who wrote â€œSuburban Nationâ€? (North Point Press, 2001, $19) give a resounding â€œyes.â€? They write: â€œInevitable or not, the fact remains that the inner city is now where Americaâ€™s least privileged are most concentrated, a condition exacerbated by sprawl. Two aspects of suburbanization contribute dramatically to the plight of the urban poor: â€˘ Government investment in suburb-serving highways has left many inner-city neighborhoods sundered by highspeed traffic. â€˘ Disinvestment by fleeing corporations robs city residents of adequate access to jobs.â€?
Where are the jobs?
Question of the Day:
Rich Cities, Poor Cities
any people, politicians and corporate media love to talk about Jacksonâ€™s placement in CQ Pressâ€™â€”letâ€™s be honest, bogusâ€”â€œdangerousâ€? rankings every year. But the part they donâ€™t always pick up on is how many poor cities tend to have more crime. The authors of â€œSuburban Nationâ€? (North Point Press, 2001, $19) explain why certain cities are richer (and safer) and others are dirt-poor (and suffer the resulting effects of crime):
Rich Cities/Suburbs have:
Poor Cities have:
> Good infrastructure > More services > Better (funded) schools > More effective city management (they can afford it)
> Deteriorating physical environment > Very inadequate services > Severely limited tax base â€Ś thus: > Inability to attract jobs, commerce, real estate investment > Congregations of needy in needy places, thus institutionalizing their â€œcharacter of povertyâ€?
Ways to Prevent Juvenile Crime by R.L. Nave
Treat ‘Em like Adults
Treat ‘Em Like Kids
rown folks with responsibilities don’t have time to be running the streets. At least that’s the thinking behind programs designed to keep kids out of trouble by putting them to work. On a recent Tuesday afternoon at Café Reconcile in New Orleans, every table was occupied, while more patrons waited to be seated. The popular lunch spot is the cornerstone of Cafe Reconcile’s 12-week job-training program which offers young participants life-skills training and real-world experience, all aimed at breaking the generational poverty cycle and serving as an economic engine for the surrounding Central City neighborhood, which has one of the city’s highest crime rates. Expectations are set high for the 50 students participating in the program at a given time. “They’re expected to show up on time, complete their tasks, and keep their attitudes in check,” Sister Mary Lou Specha said. But the hard work often pays off. Upon completing the program, 65 to 70 percent of participants receive jobs (a case manager also follows their progress for one year), Specha noted. Similarly, Los Angeles-based Homeboy Industries employs up to 250 former and atrisk gang members who might bake muffins or screen-print the Homeboy logo onto infant onesies in one of Homeboy’s six businesses. Mona Hobson, Homeboy development director, says its solar-installation certification program touts a 70 percent employment rate upon completion. She attributes the success of Homeboy, one of the nation’s largest and most-lauded gang-intervention initiatives, to the street cred earned by founder Father Greg Boyle and to the kids motivating themselves. “They come when they’re tired of living the gang life,” she said.
About 30 years ago, Missouri figured out a way to reduce juvenile recidivism essentially by treating kids like they’re in summer camp and not in jail. This is done through the use of small group homes, treatment centers, and camps under the supervision of youth development experts instead of correctional facilities and prison guards. It was also accomplished without increasing the burden on the state’s taxpayers. Now, what has become known as the Missouri Model has been replicated around the country, including at Oakley Training School near Raymond.
Public schools do more than educate children. They measure a city’s pride. They reflect community. They predict the social and economic well-being of a city’s future. For 20 years, Parents for Public Schools of Jackson has worked to keep our public schools strong, to empower parents as leaders for positive change, and to engage community support of our public schools.
Join us. For our city. For our children. For our future.
Change the Law While working toward reforming the juvenilejustice system in the Albuquerque, N.M., area, officials realized that existing laws made it difficult for the changes to stick. So, in 2003, youth justice advocates and officials set out to alter New Mexico’s children’s code. One of the major changes was requiring that kids demonstrate “significant” risk of danger, flight or failure to appear for court appointments to be detained in a state facility. Another was to prohibit anyone over the age of 18 to be housed in youth detention centers to increase safety for younger kids. As a result, Bernadillo County reduced its average daily population by 58 percent between 1999 and 2004 while the number of kids booked on a felony charges fell from 4,726 in 1999 to 3,892 in 2005, the Annie E. Casey Foundation reports. Also, ethnic disparities are shrinking. In 2005, 62 percent of those booked by the county were ethnic minorities, down from 72 percent in 1999.
Founding Chapter, Parents for Public Schools, 1989 200 N. Congress, Suite 500, Jackson, MS 39201
1. Vision problems 2. Asthma 3. Teen pregnancy 4. Witnessing aggression and violence
5. Lack of physical activity 6. No healthy breakfast 7. Inattention and hyperactivity
READ more about the correlation between low blood sugar/diet and violent crime in “Feeding the Brain: How Foods Affect Children” (C. Keith Conners, Ph.D, Da Capo Press, 2001, $21).
ould cutting back on P.E. in schools lead to a more violent city and state? No doubt. The research is indisputable that healthier students learn better and act out less—which means they are less likely to get involved in crime. The October 2011 Journal of School Health reported on findings by Charles E. Basch of Columbia University’s Department of Health and Behavior Studies. He found seven “educationally relevant health disparities” that make urban minority youth fall behind:
by Donna Ladd
Face Block =Shared Street
onâ€™t downplay the importance of street space to the formation of society. Studies show that a community hierarchy includes the shared street as a key component to a strong, and safer, neighborhood. If you live on a street where people seldom walk and commune together in shared space, youâ€™re in the middle of a breeding ground for crime. Beware.