[ {"id":"c706ac1b-d809-5ab0-90c3-94c50fb38540","type":"article","starttime":"1540114200","starttime_iso8601":"2018-10-21T04:30:00-05:00","sections":[{"editorial":"opinion/editorial"}],"flags":{"top_story":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Editorial: State, Davenport grapple with minority issues","url":"http://qctimes.com/opinion/editorial/article_c706ac1b-d809-5ab0-90c3-94c50fb38540.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/editorial/editorial-state-davenport-grapple-with-minority-issues/article_c706ac1b-d809-5ab0-90c3-94c50fb38540.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/editorial/editorial-state-davenport-grapple-with-minority-issues/article_c706ac1b-d809-5ab0-90c3-94c50fb38540.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Quad-City Times Editorial board","prologue":"Six months ago, the Davenport school district got a jolt. The Iowa Department of Education issued a report outlining how the district had run afoul, in several places, of the federal law governing the education of kids with disabilities. One of the most troubling parts of the state\u2019s examination of the district is how minorities, especially black students, are dealt with \u2013 how often they\u2019re identified for special education services, how frequently they\u2019re suspended or expelled, how much they\u2019re put into restraints or secluded from other students.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["education","district","politics","work","student","school","art tate","state","school district","amy williamson","davenport"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"7b1c59e7-ad3e-58d3-a9e4-e78bb4487ca7","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":1903,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/b1/7b1c59e7-ad3e-58d3-a9e4-e78bb4487ca7/5bca3699606ad.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1808","height":"1146","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/b1/7b1c59e7-ad3e-58d3-a9e4-e78bb4487ca7/5bca36993f5c4.image.jpg?resize=1808%2C1146"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"63","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/b1/7b1c59e7-ad3e-58d3-a9e4-e78bb4487ca7/5bca36993f5c4.image.jpg?resize=100%2C63"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"190","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/b1/7b1c59e7-ad3e-58d3-a9e4-e78bb4487ca7/5bca36993f5c4.image.jpg?resize=300%2C190"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"649","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/b1/7b1c59e7-ad3e-58d3-a9e4-e78bb4487ca7/5bca36993f5c4.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C649"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"c706ac1b-d809-5ab0-90c3-94c50fb38540","body":"

Six months ago, the Davenport school district got a jolt.

The Iowa Department of Education issued a report outlining how the district had run afoul, in several places, of the federal law governing the education of kids with disabilities.

One of the most troubling parts of the state\u2019s examination of the district is how minorities, especially black students, are dealt with \u2013 how often they\u2019re identified for special education services, how frequently they\u2019re suspended or expelled, how much they\u2019re put into restraints or secluded from other students.

In each case, black students are over-represented when compared to their share of the overall student population.

Six months on, we were curious how the district was doing in remedying these problems.

So far, there isn't the data available that would give a clear answer.

\"The district is doing the things that we have asked of them,\" said Amy Williamson, chief of the Iowa Department of Education\u2019s bureau of school improvement.

However, she said, some in the district leadership aren't fully on board with the changes the state says are needed.

Notably, she cited the district\u2019s practice of sending students with behavior problems to Keystone Academy, the facility on West Kimberly Road. A disproportionate amount of the kids who attend Keystone are students of color.

\"I\u2019m not sure everyone at the district understands there is a significant issue here,\u201d she said.

Williamson said sending these kids to Keystone was tantamount to a suspension -- that they were going to a place where they didn\u2019t have access to the same curricular support as they would get in their regular schools.

The state says it told the district in May there needed to be changes.

A talk with Superintendent Art Tate reveals a clear difference with how he and the state see Keystone\u2019s role with respect to kids with behavioral problems.

Tate says kids weren't just sent there and forgotten. \u201cWe were fairly successful at turning them around, but now I don\u2019t have that option,\u201d he said the other day.

The state describes a setting where placement was more permanent.

There isn't even agreement on what the state directed the district to do with respect to Keystone. Tate said he was told to \"disband\" it. Williamson said the state only told the district it had to change the way it was using the facility.

Bottom line: The district is making changes. It's sending general education students, along with staffers, to their home schools by the end of this month.

We\u2019ve been told by people who know Keystone that the transition is happening quickly \u2013 and that it\u2019s not been easy on staff or students. Which strikes us, if true, as just the opposite of what kids with these issues need in their lives.

Still, if there's a way to get those students back to their home schools and help them be successful, that's a win.

It won't be easy.

The district and state are moving ahead with enlisting the help of national experts to deal with the cultural disconnect the state says has contributed to Davenport\u2019s problem with minorities.

We\u2019re encouraged to hear that, but we cringe when we hear Sandy Schmitz, the state\u2019s adviser overseeing corrective action, say that fixing the problems in Davenport will at times require going back to \u201cSpecial Education 101.\u201d

Both the district and the state tell us fixing the problem isn\u2019t something that happens overnight, that experts will be needed to provide ongoing training.

The district says it is taking this seriously. Board President Ralph Johanson told us last week he's headed to Des Moines next month to deliver that message personally.

We hope, going forward, these problems get ironed out.

The data clearly show the Davenport school district treats its minority students differently. And on this there seems to be universal agreement: These problems will require hard work over a period of years.

"}, {"id":"890391f1-70fc-570d-9346-4d9bd8d2f34f","type":"article","starttime":"1540108800","starttime_iso8601":"2018-10-21T03:00:00-05:00","sections":[{"columnists":"opinion/columnists"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Tight labor market makes hiring difficult","url":"http://qctimes.com/opinion/columnists/article_890391f1-70fc-570d-9346-4d9bd8d2f34f.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/columnists/tight-labor-market-makes-hiring-difficult/article_890391f1-70fc-570d-9346-4d9bd8d2f34f.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/columnists/tight-labor-market-makes-hiring-difficult/article_890391f1-70fc-570d-9346-4d9bd8d2f34f.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Jeff Ashcraft","prologue":"\u201cA hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.\u201d \u2013 Christopher Reeve Reeve is the late actor known for playing Superman on the big screen in the 1970s and 80s, and his words are inspirational, but also like Reeve, and others who face disabilities; it is simply a fact of life.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"e08976ef-6a2b-52ab-9e5c-cce48104ee4e","description":"Jeff Ashcraft, president and CEO of Handicapped Development Center","byline":"","hireswidth":1233,"hiresheight":1473,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/08/e08976ef-6a2b-52ab-9e5c-cce48104ee4e/5bca37c41e33c.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1233","height":"1473","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/08/e08976ef-6a2b-52ab-9e5c-cce48104ee4e/5bca37c40bb81.image.jpg?resize=1233%2C1473"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"119","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/08/e08976ef-6a2b-52ab-9e5c-cce48104ee4e/5bca37c40bb81.image.jpg?resize=100%2C119"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"358","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/08/e08976ef-6a2b-52ab-9e5c-cce48104ee4e/5bca37c40bb81.image.jpg?resize=300%2C358"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1223","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/08/e08976ef-6a2b-52ab-9e5c-cce48104ee4e/5bca37c40bb81.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1223"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"890391f1-70fc-570d-9346-4d9bd8d2f34f","body":"

\u201cA hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.\u201d \u2013 Christopher Reeve

Reeve is the late actor known for playing Superman on the big screen in the 1970s and 80s, and his words are inspirational, but also like Reeve, and others who face disabilities; it is simply a fact of life.

For those professionals who make their living by working directly with individuals with disabilities this is genuinely an inspiring truth. These people are also true superheroes, who find ways each and every day to help the most vulnerable to succeed, to achieve, to grow and to be happy. These people are direct support professionals.

The argument could easily be made that direct support professionals (known as DSPs) are some of the most needed, and unnoticed specialists in the health and human services field. Yet the demand for people who are willing to serve their fellow human beings at the most intimate levels has never been higher. At HDC, DSPs work with participants who have a variety of intellectual and physical disabilities across all of our programs. Many of our DSPs support participants in their employment efforts, or in daytime activities which keep them active and integrated into our communities. However, DSPs may be more widely known for providing residential support by helping assist persons with disabilities with tasks in their everyday living at home or residential facilities.

The unfortunate challenge for agencies like HDC, in need of these positions, is that turnover can be high. Agencies are limited by rates set through the Medicaid funding streams, which often result in limited salaries for staff. Funding is complicated and is dependent on many factors. Of course, if Medicaid rates were increased, DSP salaries would likely be comparatively increased. Frequently, these employees are also needed to work evenings, weekends, and holidays. In an era when unemployment is less than 4% nationwide, with over seven million unfilled positions across the country, and some retail and service-related businesses coming into the Quad Cities (such as Costco and Kwik Star) offering a much higher starting wage, it goes without saying that competition to fill these positions is fierce.

To be sure, there is nothing glamorous about being a direct support professional. The work can be difficult and stressful, the hours may be long and challenging, but the rewards can fulfill one\u2019s soul in unmeasurable ways that are not always apparent on a pay stub. DSPs do this type of work because they are committed to making a difference in the life of the people they serve. For many, the field has become less of a job and more of a calling.

If we open our eyes it is easy to see ordinary people doing praiseworthy work every day. Nurses, police officers, and teachers often come to the top of any list of everyday heroes, and rightly so, but the overlooked, mild-mannered direct support professionals provide a service that is often unseen and unrewarded by society. At the end of the day, the most gratifying aspect of working as a DSP is to know that you have made a difference by making sure that someone\u2019s brother, daughter, uncle or friend is cared for, safe and loved.

"}, {"id":"ccc937a6-1ac4-58e0-85e5-b355c002839d","type":"article","starttime":"1540103400","starttime_iso8601":"2018-10-21T01:30:00-05:00","sections":[{"letters":"opinion/letters"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Letter: Marttila is a giver","url":"http://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/article_ccc937a6-1ac4-58e0-85e5-b355c002839d.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/letter-marttila-is-a-giver/article_ccc937a6-1ac4-58e0-85e5-b355c002839d.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/letter-marttila-is-a-giver/article_ccc937a6-1ac4-58e0-85e5-b355c002839d.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"I won\u2019t be voting for Joan Marttila in the November election, but only because I don\u2019t live in her district. I wish that I did. While we could pick any number of problems and issues facing our state and our country, perhaps none is more important than our ability, or inability, to engage others with different views in a civil manner.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":2,"commentID":"ccc937a6-1ac4-58e0-85e5-b355c002839d","body":"

I won\u2019t be voting for Joan Marttila in the November election, but only because I don\u2019t live in her district. I wish that I did. While we could pick any number of problems and issues facing our state and our country, perhaps none is more important than our ability, or inability, to engage others with different views in a civil manner.

Joan came to this election with no political ambitions. She is smart but courteous. She will listen to all sides of a subject and be an excellent spokesperson and advocate for her point of view. Joan has served as president of both the Iowa Speech Language Hearing Association and the Iowa Speech Language Hearing Foundation.

In a world of \u2018givers\u2019 or \u2018takers\u2019, Joan is a giver. She is a volunteer at the Figge Art Museum, she volunteers teaching yoga at St. Peter\u2019s Episcopal Church in Bettendorf, and at the Scott County Jail for female inmates. She quietly goes about giving of herself where she sees a need. That willingness to give has led her to run for office. It is not in her nature to beat her own drum. I\u2019m writing to beat it for her. Joan will take to our Iowa House of Representatives intelligence, persistence, and a drive to help the people of her district and her state.

Jerry Yeast

Davenport

"}, {"id":"5fbaf369-473c-5559-8aad-9bbb0a6f2985","type":"article","starttime":"1540103400","starttime_iso8601":"2018-10-21T01:30:00-05:00","sections":[{"letters":"opinion/letters"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Letter: Mommsen supports U.S. 30 efforts","url":"http://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/article_5fbaf369-473c-5559-8aad-9bbb0a6f2985.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/letter-mommsen-supports-u-s-efforts/article_5fbaf369-473c-5559-8aad-9bbb0a6f2985.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/letter-mommsen-supports-u-s-efforts/article_5fbaf369-473c-5559-8aad-9bbb0a6f2985.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"Over the last few years we have had the opportunity to work with Rep. Norlin Mommsen on completing Highway 30 across Iowa. This has been a\u00a0 challenging task, and Norlin has stepped up to the task. He has traveled\u00a0 the state to help make presentations on the importance of a four-lane road, especially the remaining piece from DeWitt to Lisbon. Norlin realizes this is economic survival for small towns along this route. Norlin is very good at meeting with the Highway 30 Coalition at the Capitol. and is able to set up meetings concerning development of Highway 30.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":3,"commentID":"5fbaf369-473c-5559-8aad-9bbb0a6f2985","body":"

Over the last few years we have had the opportunity to work with Rep. Norlin Mommsen on completing Highway 30 across Iowa. This has been a\u00a0 challenging task, and Norlin has stepped up to the task. He has traveled\u00a0 the state to help make presentations on the importance of a four-lane road, especially the remaining piece from DeWitt to Lisbon. Norlin realizes this is economic survival for small towns along this route. Norlin is very good at meeting with the Highway 30 Coalition at the Capitol. and is able to set up meetings concerning development of Highway 30.

One of the major bills for the state is the Hotel/Motel Tax. Norlin was able to get this bill out of the House, but it failed in the Senate. We are all hopeful it will pass this year, but we need Norlin present to carry it through.

Norlin comes from a farm background, and he still operates the family's Century Farm. When we send him to Des Moines, he'll be a strong voice for rural Iowa. Our agricultural state is first in producing food. Because of this, we'll always be important to the world. We need someone like Norlin who sees the big picture. He understands our highways to the river are the first step in providing food to the world. He also understands the needs of the people of Iowa. Norlin is an excellent choice for Iowa\u2019s House. We will triple our return on investment by investing in Norlin.

Tom Determann, Clinton

David Rose, Clinton

\u00a0

"}, {"id":"c2f86827-c5e0-5f17-8a09-26ac5ab5baad","type":"article","starttime":"1540103400","starttime_iso8601":"2018-10-21T01:30:00-05:00","sections":[{"letters":"opinion/letters"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Letter: Peters the leader Iowa needs","url":"http://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/article_c2f86827-c5e0-5f17-8a09-26ac5ab5baad.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/letter-peters-the-leader-iowa-needs/article_c2f86827-c5e0-5f17-8a09-26ac5ab5baad.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/letter-peters-the-leader-iowa-needs/article_c2f86827-c5e0-5f17-8a09-26ac5ab5baad.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"Dr. Christopher Peters is the leader that Iowans need in Washington. An Army veteran, local small business owner, and parent of three, Dr. Peters will let D.C. know what Midwesterners expect of our government. Those who represent us must live up to our values of hard work, personal responsibility, and liberty, and we are fed up with career politicians.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":2,"commentID":"c2f86827-c5e0-5f17-8a09-26ac5ab5baad","body":"

Dr. Christopher Peters is the leader that Iowans need in Washington. An Army veteran, local small business owner, and parent of three, Dr. Peters will let D.C. know what Midwesterners expect of our government. Those who represent us must live up to our values of hard work, personal responsibility, and liberty, and we are fed up with career politicians.

Responsible people balance their budgets and fulfill commitments, we expect America to do the same. Dr. Peters will work to fix the Social Security system, protecting those who have paid in and providing a safety net for future generations. He will fight to reduce wasteful spending, the national debt and continuing the fight against an overburdening tax code; ending special breaks for big donors and lobbyists.

Dr. Peters understands that true choice will only exist if decisions remain between you and your doctor, without government interference. That the answer to healthcare is to restore patient-focused care and encourage free market practices to break down barriers causing skyrocketing prices.

Having served, Dr. Peters knows the human cost of war; America\u2019s brave young women and men should only be deployed when our national security is at risk and we must have a clear objective before the boots hit the ground. It\u2019s time to make Congress fulfill its constitutional duty for war authorization.

Elect Dr. Christopher Peters to represent the 2nd congressional district, and we will have someone trustworthy to protect those ideals that Iowans hold dear and build a better world for our children.

Benjamin Held

Coralville

"}, {"id":"e84c9f34-6071-549f-b8dd-27acf66789b5","type":"article","starttime":"1540017000","starttime_iso8601":"2018-10-20T01:30:00-05:00","sections":[{"letters":"opinion/letters"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Letter: Thanks for your hard work","url":"http://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/article_e84c9f34-6071-549f-b8dd-27acf66789b5.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/letter-thanks-for-your-hard-work/article_e84c9f34-6071-549f-b8dd-27acf66789b5.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/letter-thanks-for-your-hard-work/article_e84c9f34-6071-549f-b8dd-27acf66789b5.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"While strolling through Blackhawk Park in Rock Island on a beautiful sunny fall day, we came across 15 to 20 young men working together with parks department employees. They were a group of very jovial people who were repairing the trail and stairs, and were very friendly and hard working, which made our hike more enjoyable. We found out they were members of the baseball team of Black Hawk College who were doing volunteer work for the benefit of the community. I would like to thank them, the baseball team and Black Hawk College for their community work which should be an example for the lovers of the park and the QC community. Thank you.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":2,"commentID":"e84c9f34-6071-549f-b8dd-27acf66789b5","body":"

While strolling through Blackhawk Park in Rock Island on a beautiful sunny fall day, we came across 15 to 20 young men working together with parks department employees. They were a group of very jovial people who were repairing the trail and stairs, and were very friendly and hard working, which made our hike more enjoyable. We found out they were members of the baseball team of Black Hawk College who were doing volunteer work for the benefit of the community. I would like to thank them, the baseball team and Black Hawk College for their community work which should be an example for the lovers of the park and the QC community. Thank you.

Dr. Myron Fields

Rock Island

"}, {"id":"87cc6126-9577-5ebb-abbc-5033713f71dd","type":"article","starttime":"1540017000","starttime_iso8601":"2018-10-20T01:30:00-05:00","sections":[{"letters":"opinion/letters"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Letter: Anderson will fight for pensions","url":"http://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/article_87cc6126-9577-5ebb-abbc-5033713f71dd.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/letter-anderson-will-fight-for-pensions/article_87cc6126-9577-5ebb-abbc-5033713f71dd.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/letter-anderson-will-fight-for-pensions/article_87cc6126-9577-5ebb-abbc-5033713f71dd.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"I am a retired police officer and a member of the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). I believe Gregg Johnson is making misleading and inaccurate claims that Neil Anderson wants to eliminate police and teacher pensions. The FOP enthusiastically endorsed Neil Anderson in part because he has and we believe he will continue to fight to protect our hard earned pensions. To claim otherwise is simply straying from the facts.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":2,"commentID":"87cc6126-9577-5ebb-abbc-5033713f71dd","body":"

I am a retired police officer and a member of the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). I believe Gregg Johnson is making misleading and inaccurate claims that Neil Anderson wants to eliminate police and teacher pensions.

The FOP enthusiastically endorsed Neil Anderson in part because he has and we believe he will continue to fight to protect our hard earned pensions. To claim otherwise is simply straying from the facts.

Neil is a union firefighter. He is versed in the collective bargaining process and he understands the importance of protecting the rights of working men and women. He appreciates the important role unions have in protecting those rights.

Neil has pushed back against his own political party in order to protect pensions and other benefits that have been earned by those in the education and public safety fields. Neil Anderson is the obvious choice for State Senate in the 36th District. I urge you to cast your vote for Neil Anderson.

Shawn Roselieb

Western Springs, Ill.

Editor's note: Roselieb is a retired East Moline Police Officer, Executive Director \u2013 Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council.

"}, {"id":"703c66ed-657d-5ea9-809e-e50d22c750e1","type":"article","starttime":"1540017000","starttime_iso8601":"2018-10-20T01:30:00-05:00","sections":[{"letters":"opinion/letters"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Letter: Change is needed in prison system MOLINE","url":"http://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/article_703c66ed-657d-5ea9-809e-e50d22c750e1.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/letter-change-is-needed-in-prison-system-moline/article_703c66ed-657d-5ea9-809e-e50d22c750e1.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/opinion/letters/letter-change-is-needed-in-prison-system-moline/article_703c66ed-657d-5ea9-809e-e50d22c750e1.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"Are you tired of the USA being the leader in prison population? (The U.S. has five percent of the inhabitants of the earth, but 25 percent of detainees locked up). Geo Group and CCA earn millions per year locking up minorities and poor people. And now, these for profit companies can charge states and others for not having their pokeys 95 percent full. (American Perspective, June 2015.)","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":6,"commentID":"703c66ed-657d-5ea9-809e-e50d22c750e1","body":"

Are you tired of the USA being the leader in prison population? (The U.S. has five percent of the inhabitants of the earth, but 25 percent of detainees locked up). Geo Group and CCA earn millions per year locking up minorities and poor people. And now, these for profit companies can charge states and others for not having their pokeys 95 percent full. (American Perspective, June 2015.)

So, the courts and law enforcement have an incentive to arrest victims for nonviolent crimes like possession and alcohol related violations, costing taxpayers enormous sums of money.

So what can you do? Register to vote, but don't bother voting since most elections are rigged and hacked. (\"If voting made a difference they wouldn't let us do it,\" Mark Twain said.) We have at our disposal a method called jury nullification, which the judges and lawyers won't tell you about. According to Wikipedia, jury nullification is a concept where one member of a trial jury can find a defendant not guilty if they do not support a government's law, do not believe it is constitutional or humane, or do not support a possible punishment for breaking the law. (A juror cannot get in trouble, by law, for doing this).

Do your part, and be the change you would like to see.

Tom Keith

Moline

"} ]