3 years in Rikers Island, 2 in solitary confinement, this high school student, NEVER CHARGED, gets released
16-year-old high school sophomore Kalief Browder, of the Bronx, spent nearly three years locked up at the Rikers Jail after he says he was falsely accused of stealing a backpack. Amazingly, Browder never pleaded guilty, actually refused to plead guilty and requested a trial, even when pressured, but was never convicted and was only offered plea deals while the trial was repeatedly delayed.
Near the end of his time in jail, the judge “offered” to sentence him to time served if a guilty plea was entered, and warned him he could face 15 years in prison if convicted, but Browder still refused to accept the deal. The only reason Browder was finally released was because his case was dismissed, but the damage had been done.
Browder, a high school student, spent an unbelievable 800 days, or over 2 years, in solitary confinement, which is a common juvenile imprisonment practice that the New York Department of Corrections has now banned after several investigations.
How does a teen end up in jail for 3 years, of which 2 years was spent in solitary confinement, and never be charged with a crime?
Browder’s case highlights several broken mechanisms in the New York legal system that feeds itself to civil liberty abuses on our youth.
- The 6th amendment gives us a right to a speedy trial, but in New York they have a “Ready Rule”. The “Ready Rule” allows the courts to postpone trial dates by offering continuances. The system may give a continuance for 1 week, but logistically it may be 1 month before the trial actually comes to fruition and the still not convicted civilian only gets “credit” for the 1 week, not the actual time they have served. In Browder’s case, he was given an absolutely ridiculous number of continuances initiated by the prosecution which left him locked up because he could not afford the $3000 bail.
- Browder was a high school student and juveniles are supposed to continue their education while behind bars .. except for juveniles that are in solitary confinement. Guards would place juveniles in solitary and the schooling would stop relinquishing any educational support.
- While in solitary, Browder says that guards would routinely refuse to give him his meals. Hunger is a common complaint by teens that are locked up because of the 12-hour stretch between dinner and breakfast. Guards would use starve tactics at their discretion for punishment or their own personal enjoyment. Browder says the worst of his starvations lasted for 4 meals in a row, meaning he was denied breakfast, lunch, dinner and another breakfast.
- As it stands, the courts place people in these situations and it is human nature for some to strike a plea deal just to get out of jail. But Browder did not play into their game and take a plea deal, but maintained his innocence and requested a trial which came at a snail’s pace. This leads one to believe that the courts use this a planned tactic or procedure to play on human nature all in the name of getting convictions.
- The issues of using a Public Defender have long been recorded across the country. In New York, court appointed lawyers make $75 a case. In order to make money, that PD has to take on huge caseloads which leads to other problems. Browder, although locked up for nearly three years in Rikers, where his PD was located everyday, never once was visited by his PD or had anyone to advocate his case for him. This shows a reckless disregard which leads to a vicious cycle of apathy that often leads innocent people to copping pleas or getting longer sentences.
Just filled out my health insurance forms!
I hate when people complain about “oh health forms are stupid they want my biological sex instead of my gender!!!!” or “they only have male or female!!!”
There’s a reason for that, you dumb fucks, and they’re referring to biological sex
Different health risks are present in different sexes, and whatever gender is in your head does not change the fact that if you were born female, you have a higher risk for certain cancers and osteoporosis, and if you were born male you have a higher risk for heart disease and often a shorter lifespan than a female.
In other words, your biological sex is an important factor in health and health insurance, and your special snowflake status doesn’t change that.
Coulda said it nicer but it’s true; it’s about health.
No. There gets a point where nice doesn’t work. There’s too many stupid ass angsty teens on here that are gonna get themselves seriously hurt or sick because they wanna be a special fucking snowflake. Lemme tell you a thing. Doctors don’t give a flying fuck what you identify as. All they want to know is do you have two X chromosomes or an XY? Because cancer and lupus and certain medicines don’t give a flying fuck what pronouns you use. This is about your fucking LIFE. stop being angsty for TWELVE SECONDS because when you’re in an ambulance or going into cardiac arrest or whatever the situation may be, it’s ESSENTIAL that you get your head out of your ass long enough to tell them your BIOLOGICAL SEX that you were BORN WITH. It literally may save your life.
this is all very violent imo
hi im one of those doctors you idiots keep using as an excuse to yell at trans people
every single thing you’ve said is incorrect, and you do not know what you are talking about
I may need to know what organs a patient does or does not have, their hormonal status and history of exposure, and even their karyotype. Ideas like “biological sex” can often imply a lot of this. In medicine, that isn’t good enough. We have to be able to catch exceptions, side-effects, sequelae, and anomalies that might affect only one in a million patients. Exceptions to any one or more elements of the “biological sex” paradigm are much, much, much, much more common than that.
You genuinely do not know a patient’s chromosomes until you’ve run an expensive test, and even then, who knows! they could be a mosaic. Whether this information is important, and when, and why, depends. It all completely depends. A gender/sex/whatever marker on a form is not and never will be important. No matter how you cut it, is and always will be a miniscule source of information. Frankly, by disclosing a trans background on this form, the OP has made it more diagnostically useful to a clinician than that form has ever been before - we trans people are statistically very uncommon and tend to encounter distinct hardships and challenges that are highly relevant to our medical needs. Even then, it would still be no substitute for actually interviewing the patient.
So that’s the other thing you House addicts don’t have a clue about. Good doctors do “give a flying fuck” about how the patient identifies, because a patient’s background is absolutely key to their health. Knowing a patient’s basic demographics can help me think about what may be more or less likely in terms of their care needs.
More importantly, it helps me treat my patient with respect. This is both the decent thing to do and an absolute minimum requirement for being able to get damn near anything done.
I hate when people try to talk to me right when I get home from work like please…….. I need to decompress….. Let me live
Hey remember all those Pakistani children saying they were afraid to go to school because they feared being attacked by US drone strikes? no? you only know about Malala Yousafzai? because she was attacked by the Taliban instead of your taxes? oh, okay.
Hey Tumblr - Here’s a video of Ten Men Women Have Warned Me Against Becoming, a poem that I originally posted here in April as part of my 30/30 challenge, then took down after it got plagiarized heavily by another person on Tumblr. Hooray for intellectual property on social media!
I’m hoping to get a better video of this poem in the next few months, but I’ve been sitting on this piece for a while and I’m ready to put it out there.
I’m so appreciative of the 3000+ folks who liked/reposted the original draft, and those who have followed my writing since. I hope you enjoy this iteration of Ten Men. You helped give this poem life.
Thanks to B.F. for the video!
ps - I’ve also added this to my “Performance Videos” page
Yo, this kid is only 17 and has more sense than the average victim blaming adult. Why didn’t I know people like him in high school?
Why don’t I know people like him right now?
*SHOUTING TO THE HEAVENS*
I WANNA SCREAM FROM THE MOUNTAIN TOPS BECAUSE MY LIFE IS NOT FALLING APART ANYMORE AND IM SO GREATFUL!!! Also the new mobile app has a pretty flower when you press the create a post thing which is fun and cute
I haven’t cried from saddness since I started regularly taking anti-depressants and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing like “cool I’m not sad” or a bad thing like “my dog is being put down and I cannot shed a single tear do I even have emotions anymore??”