Political Roundup: Bedford Street Fire Update / DCF Plantation Report

This column appears in the March 27 – April 3 edition of the Hartford News,,, The City of Hartford continues to run from the Community Party’s inquiries about the fire hazard in low income housing units which have security bars on the windows. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/the-bedford-street-fire-tragedy-an-interview-with-hfd-captain-james-mcloughlin/  An investigation by CP has revealed that buildings such as those in the Bowles Park and Westbrook Village housing projects have security bars on all first floor windows. The Philadelphia Fire Department report on security bars finds that people could become trapped in their homes and that firefighters could be delayed entering homes because of the bars. The report recommends that at least one emergency escape window and a bedroom window should be equipped with bars that have a quick release device which can be opened from the inside. http://www.phila.gov/fire/pdfs/Security_Bars_and_Lo.pdf  CP wants an ordinance to be introduced which would make the quick release devices mandatory.
 
Last week CP contacted city council member Kyle Anderson, who heads the council board’s public safety committee. Anderson did not respond. In my opinion, classism and racism are the reasons why the city refuses to address this issue. Yes, Mayor Segarra is Latino and Anderson is Black, but they are members of the Democratic Party, who like the Republicans are controlled by the white ruling class. The wage and wealth gap between people of color and whites is enormous. Blacks and Latinos earn about 60 cents for every dollar whites make and possess about ten cents of net wealth for every dollar whites have. Low income people of color have no political power because they do not have the money to lobby elected officials, like the wealthy and corporations do. Stay tuned for updates.
 
Safe Work Environment Act Update: Last week a group of state employees and activists delivered a letter about abusive workplace conduct at state agencies to Gov. Dannel Malloy. More info in coming weeks. This week we’ll share posts from Cornell Lewis’ DCF Plantation blog. http://dcfplantation.blogspot.com/
 
 
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                                                                                   GOING AFTER RAY MONTEIRO THROUGH HIS SON

 
 
 

The DCF Plantation blog was contacted by several Youth Services Officers at Connecticut Juvenile Training School about insidious activity by CJTS management. Sources indicate that “Brother Ray” [as Monteiro is called] has worked at CJTS as an YSO for over a dozen years and is thought of as a dependable and reliable worker. He started a project for incarcerated residents called Icy Dreams. The idea is to teach entrepreneurial skills to residents by allowing them to sell slush cones or ice cream. All profits are used for the residents and to build up business: for some reason Ray’s idea did not resonate with management, they tried closing it down. Let me state Ray is also an employee of color; dangerous appellation for male employees at CJTS. For years white management and their supervisory black lackeys hounded Ray, but failed in their goal to fire him. However in America we know that whites in power have more than one way to skin a brother.

Ray’s son is employed at CJTS and is currently under investigation about something shrouded in mystery. According to sources within CJTS, Ray’s son was sitting in an area waiting for confirmation whether he had to work another shift at CJTS. DCF Plantation has been informed a telephone call to management was made that perhaps Ray’s son was not attentive while sitting down. In other words management decided to investigate Ray’s son, and in this manner they could strike a blow at the father. If you think these tactics are foul consider that white management has allowed a white female YSO to get away with calling black and brown residents “porch monkeys.” She is being treated with a soft investigation while Ray’s son is looking forward to a kangaroo type investigation where the outcome is already decided [guilty of course].

At this juncture the shameful event is continuing to unfold and this innocent worker is being held hostage due to people in management seeking to get to Ray.

 
 
 

THE REAL PROBLEM ACCORDING TO FRONT LINE STAFF

 
The DCF Plantation blog has been contacted by several Youth Service Officers at Connecticut Juvenile Training School about the memo below. I will not mention the names of the YSOs, but will mention their particular Unit and comments.
Female YSO Unit 6B said- ” how come DCF always places blame on front line staff ?”

Male   YSO  Unit 4D said- ” for years management allowed the things in this memo to occur & ignored it.”

Male YSO    Unit 4B said- “seems to me Katz is cracking down now when management did not
                                           discipline people they favored. One YSO hit a kid in 2009 and got 10 days off.”

Female YSO Unit 6C said.- “now that the DCF plantation blog is exposing management as inept memos like
                                            this appear. This is a joke.”

Female YSO Unit 5B  said- ” DCF is targeting certain YSOs in this memo but not management.”

Male    YSO Unit 5C  said- ” hell, only when things were unraveling did such a memo come out.”

Male    YSO Unit 5D   said- ” no one mentioned the things Operations Staff got away i.e. computer use etc.
                                                Now people want to correct things that were part of past practice.”                    
                           

DEPARTMENT of CHILDREN and FAMILIES
Making a Difference for Children, Families and Communities
Joette Katz
Commissioner
Dannel P. Malloy
Governor
MEMORANDUM
TO: Connecticut Juvenile Training School Staff
FROM: Joette Katz, Commissioner
RE: Expectations
DATE: December 31, 2013
The mission of the Connecticut Juvenile Training School is to provide a safe, secure and therapeutic environment for male youth as well as to furnish opportunities for growth and success. National best practices interventions and standards are integrated into facility operations with the goal of reducing risk of re-offending, preparing youth for community re-entry and developing positive youth outcomes. This mission is achieved by our many dedicated staff who believe in this mission and who work extraordinarily hard each day for the young men in our care and custody. The success that many of our young men have achieved is a direct reflection of our work and the connection to the changes that have occurred in the regions and within DCF.
In the past year, there have been some actions by certain staff that are damaging to this mission and serve to erode the progress occurring within CJTS. There have been allegations of abuse and neglect; lack of supervision that has resulted in youth being injured; language grievances regarding how staff speak to youth; lack of immediately reporting or accurately reporting incidents and overall a sense that some staff are not here at CJTS for the benefit of the youth we serve. These behaviors will not be tolerated.
It is the responsibility of each employee to become familiar with and adhere to department and work site policies and procedures that explicitly inform staff of expectations as state employees and behaviors that are not permitted. Incorporated among them is the mandate that employees are not to neglect their duties. Neglect of duty includes being inattentive to job functions and responsibilities; leaving a duty station or assigned responsibility without permission; failing to follow prescribed department or work site policy relevant to job duties and responsibilities; or any other activity deemed by the department administrator to endanger the health, safety, or wellbeing of clients or staff. If an employee is found to be in neglect of his/her duties, disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, may be taken. It would seem obvious that watching television or using a computer for personal enjoyment while on assignment constitutes a neglect of duty, but apparently, the recent rash of such behavior by staff who were supposed to be monitoring youth at CJTS has necessitated a reminder and this message. Additionally, any employee who engages in workplace violence will also be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. Moreover, managers and supervisors who learn of such deviations must immediately evaluate, investigate, report and take appropriate action in response thereto. Again, these are obvious employment conditions that have been set forth in our employee handbook as well as our HR policies, but recent allegations of abuse and the failure to immediately report same require this reminder.
Because of these recent deviations from policy, there will be adjustments made to the way we monitor and supervise. I anticipate that these modifications will cause some consternation but am confident that they will ultimately set a better tone and make all of us more accountable. We each are here at DCF to act in the best interest of children and must behave in ways that fundamentally advance the therapeutic work occurring within CJTS. You are part of a facility that has achieved many significant changes and have helped to elevate the expectations about how youth are to be treated within secure care. I am confident that I speak to the majority of you at CJTS when I express my gratitude for the difficult work you do and for the majority of you at CJTS when I remind us all that there can be no excuse or room for behaviors that jeopardize our mission.

 
 
 
 

HELP WITH LEGAL FUND

 
The Department of Children and Families (DCF) has a unlimited checkbook funded by taxpayers money. DCF monies are used to support bias policies and silence employees that speak against discrimination. That is why I am asking people to donate to this defense fund, in order to pay for legal services to combat what DCF is doing to people like me. All funds will go directly to legal costs.
 
                                                                    www.gofundme.com/Cornel-Defense-Fund
 
 
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 We need folks to call and email legislators in their districts and urge them to support the Trayvon Martin Act. Identify your legislators by providing your info on this page. http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/CGAFindLeg.asp   You can read our Trayvon Act bill language here. https://www.facebook.com/notes/stop-racial-profiling-obey-the-law/community-party-trayvon-martin-act-bill-language/617004948349355     

Contact the Labor and Public Employees Committee and tell them to support CP’s Safe Work Environment Act. Our bill would remove the legal requirement for an employee to prove malice and intent by an employer, which is basically impossible. Workers should not have to prove psychological or physical harm. We also want lawmakers to create a workplace bullying advisory board, which would solicit and implement input from public employees when they recommend future legislation. Our legislation would incorporate a bill which has been introduced in Nevada by State Senator Richard Segerblom. (https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/workplace-bullying-report-2/).  Municipal employees should tell committee members to expand the scope of any legislation to include city employees, in addition to state workers. City teachers have reported rampant workplace bullying at Capital Preparatory Magnet School; a former Capital Prep teacher has filed a Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities complaint against Principal Steve Perry and the school.   https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/jonathan-pelto-talks-about-rep-matt-ritters-workplace-bullying-town-hall-january-27/ Call and email labor committee co-chairs Sen. Gary Holder-Winfield and Rep. Peter Tercyak and legislators representing your district.The contact info for committee members can be viewed here.  http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/MemberList.asp?code=LAB
 
 
Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and global headlines and updates on the status of our Trayvon Martin Act and Safe Work Environment Act, including action alerts. https://twitter.com/CommunityParty1 Visit our Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/CommunityPartyAction   Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for public service announcements on CP’s racial justice initiatives. https://www.facebook.com/wqtqfm Contact us at 860-206-8879 or info.community.party@gmail.com.
 
 
 
 
Resources
 
Open Secrets website; tracks the influence of money in politics:
 
 http://www.opensecrets.org/            
 
Between the Lines report on former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ call for a constitutional amendment focused on campaign finance reform:
 
 
Report on corporatism / fascism:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                
 
 
 
 
 
 
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