Category: Educational


Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has a new competition going on for high school students throughout Cook County.  Its called the Heads Up PSA Video Challenge and its geared toward raising awareness on the issue of distracted driving.  For the past few months, students have put together 30-60 second viral videos on the topic of safe, non-distracted driving.  Now the voting process has begun and we want all of our readers to get involved.

To vote for your favorite video, please do the following:

1. Visit this address: http://www.cookcountysheriff.org/jail_diversion/youthservices_HeadsUpVideoChallenge.html

2. As you scroll down the page, watch the distracted driving clips posted.

3. Vote for your favorite video, by highlighting it (under the voting poll) and click “cast your vote”.

Various prizes will be awarded to the winning school: Cash incentives toward future community projects, 2011 Auto-show tickets, being on the evening news, etc.

Thanks.

-Ron

Police superintendent Jody Weis has recently caught flack for meeting w/ refuted Westside gang leaders in an attempt to reduce the violence on the streets.  The move, or threat as some view it is part of Chicago’s Gang Violence Reduction Initiative.  During the meeting, Weis warned gang leaders like Labar “Bro Man” Spann, an alleged Four Corner Hustlers leader and Jettie “Bo Diddley” Williams, the 50-year-old reputed leader of the Traveling Vice Lords to stop the killings or life for them would become miserable.

To carry out his threat, Weis told the gang leaders to remember the word RICO, and how homes, cars and other assets would be seized while conspiracy cases were brought upon gang leaders.  Many of the gang leaders in attendance said there’s no way I can be held responsible for what someone else does, and even hinted at the fact that they can’t control the young gang members.  After keeping up w/ this story, it’s interesting that gang leaders have really shown their true colors as being powerless (food for thought).

So is group responsibility a good way to quell the violence amongst rival gang members, senseless crimes, and other horrible behavior?

Should gang leaders be held responsible for the actions of the members below them & could this method work?

Share your thoughts…

-Ron

 

I know we haven’t updated the blog in quite some time but w/ the school year ending and Tom Dart’s Summer Youth Camps in full swing, it would be impossible to regularly update our site.  Here’s an update on how YSD’s summer went down.

  • Sheriff Tom Dart’s Youth Camp (two-weeks) w/ campers from Robbins, Chicago Heights, & Ford Heights was a huge success.  It ran from July 12th-23rd and the youth enjoyed two weeks of fun, excitement, and learned various new things.  Our campers also managed to make new friends heading into the new school year.
  • The second  youth camp during the summer was also a big hit.  The youth went swimming, skating, witnessed a minor league baseball game, and created arts & crafts, while learning new things during the 1st week of August.

-Ron

Everyone Doesn’t Get a Second Chance

Kanye West made an album called "The Graduation"

 

Today is graduation day for students who have completed the Cook County Sheriff Day Reporting Center Program.  I couldn’t be more happy for the students who are graduating today.  I’ve been there mentor for a couple of months and within that time frame, have seen these guys at low points in their lives and some at high points.  They’ve had to overcome some tough obstacles, but no obstacle bigger than themselves.  The guys at this program for the most part were raised by the streets and acted accordingly.  This caused them to go through the judicial system, some multiple times and ultimately drop out of school.  For these guys though, they’ve received a second chance.  They were able to complete the school portion of the DRC program and have now received their highschool diploma. 

Coming into the program, the students are pretty young and very immature.  They’d practically kick n scream everyday b/c they wouldn’t want to wake up for the program; because they didn’t want to be apart of the morning meetings; because anyone who tries to help them was considered the enemy; or practically feel that no one or nothing can help them.  Then came the cross roads: It’s either school or jail.  Students had to overcome their street mentality and ways, let go of their pride, and realize that they have to complete this program in order to compete for jobs, trainings, and acceptance into college.  

 

All in all, in the end I hope the guys who have completed the program understand that not everyone gets a second chance in life.  You may have made one mistake but learn from it and don’t fall into the same trap as before.  The ball is now in your court. 

-Ron

Everytime you turn on the local news in Chicago, u hear about it.  Another person being shot or killed due to gun violence.  As the summer heats up, the streets seem to get even hotter.  Youth especially are dropping at an alarming rate.  Whether we look at how more than 36 CPS students died in 2009, or how more than 40 people were shot this past weekend, something has to be done.

Mayor Daley and a host of others have proposed a Chicago Handgun Ban throughout the city.  The purpose behind the new law is to decrease the number of guns on the street, while creating harsher punishments and consequences for thugs or delinquents who possess weapons.  I like the means behind the idea but it also put many at a disadvantage.  The biggest problem w/ the new law though is that its unconstitutional.  Chicago citizens have a constitutional right to keep & bear arms.  The other huge problem w/ this law is that now everyday working class citizens have a true reason to feel unsafe.  If a gun-toting home invader walks into someone’s home w/ the intent to steal, what leverage does the home owner have? It’s illegal to have a weapon in one’s own home, according to the new handgun ban.  This law makes home owners and citizens in general very uneasy, considering how often some see and hear about violence in their neighborhoods. 

Imagine, gang members & other criminals walking around w/ illegal weapons but you have nothing to fend for yourself nor family.  It’s a scary situation.  Even though the Supreme Court has struck down this handgun ban, something has to be done.  Mayor Daley plans to revise the ban but I don’t think it solves the bigger issue at hand.

Any suggestions???

-Ron

Expungement Summit

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, June 5th 2010

Dorothy Brown, the Clerk of the Circuit of Cook County and a host of others will be hosting a “Expungement Summit” on Saturday June 5, 2010.  This event is for adults & juveniles, and will have volunteer attorneys on site to help w/ expungement and sealing applications. Information on employment, job training, health care and other services for ex-offenders will be available.  The expungement process is when a “record of criminal conviction is destroyed or sealed from the state of Federal repository.” 

There’s a process one has to undergo and a fee but in the end it can make all the difference.  This summit will give you great information on this topic and available resources in your community.

Where:

Dwight D. Eisenhower High School

12700 Sacramento Ave., Blue Island, IL

When:

June 5, 2010

Registration begins at 8:30 am and the doors close at 6 pm.

Contact info:

For more information, you can call 312-603-5696 or visit www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org

Also, please read up on the information provided in the expungement packet which can be found at the site above.  It will tell you what information to bring, the expungement process, and help you to find if you qualify for expungement.

-Ron

When Sex Ed Goes Illegal

The District Attorney of Juneau County Wisconsin,  signed a new law that could hand out jail time for teaching comprehensive sex education in schools. This specifically includes teaching about how to properly use a condom and/or birth control. Teachers caught in violation of teaching on this subject could face 9 months in jail and up to $10,000 in fines. Can we all say WOW!?! I guess its safe to say stories about storks, birds, and bees may become a whole lot more common in High Schools in that area.

District Attorney Scott Southworth is said to be a devout Evangelical Republican. Wisconsin itself is very conservative and even has laws that can land teens under 17 in jail for having sex. Apparently the D.A. was offended when the Democratic Governor, Jim Doyle signed a state law requiring schools that teach sex education to include comprehensive teachings about contraceptives. He states that such teaching are encouraging minors to have sex and therefore assisting in illegal activity.

I imagine some people are in agreement with the new practice but there are many parents, teachers, and teens harshly speaking out against it. But there is a catch. Southworth can’t really override what is already state law. So in all likely hood even if he tries to prosecute someone in his district of Mauston Wisconsin,  for teaching comprehensive sex ed , the case probably wont hold up in court because its legal in state law to do so. Which makes Southworth a true Cheesehead!

Like This guy

-Erik

The Black Star Project has created a mentor program called “The Warrior, Scholar, & Healer” and are looking for 50 young males ages 13-18 years old.  If you’re looking to give back to your community, get service hours for school, or volunteer opportunities to place on your resume, this is something for you.

I currently mentor youth on a daily basis and let me be the first to say there’s great reward in helping others.  Not only do you get to meet a wide range of people, but you can also have a lasting impact on someone’s life.  Here’s a little bit about the opportunity:

 The Warrior, Scholar, Healer Mentor Program meets four times a month; has a one mentor to 4 youth ratio; works on the issues of respecting elders; teaches youth to value education; teaches youth to honoring parents, young women and girls; teaches youth to be leaders and not followers; connects youth to positive male role models; travels to other parts of the city on field trips; brings in guest speakers; practices self-discipline; and more.

Youth must live between 2200 South and 5500 South in Chicago to participate in this program.

Here’s the contact info: Call Comella or Chris at 773.285.9600.  The Black Star Warrior, Scholar, Healer Mentor Program will be based at 3509 South King Drive, Suite 2B in Chicago, Illinois.

-Ron