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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rep. Cushingberry sponsors legislation allowing reduced time credits for good behavior and, segregating young offenders in Corrections Dept.

Press Release From
The Friends of State Rep. George Cushingberry Jr.

Date: Wednesday, 2/24/2010
Time: 10:30AM
Location: 521 House Office Building, Lansing, MI 48933
Event: Judiciary Committee Meeting
Clerk Phone Number 517-373-7256



House Bills 4497, 4498, and 4499
Credit for good behavior time and segregating youthful offenders at the Department of Corrections.


Representative Cushingberry has sponsored 3 house bills designed to reduce the $2 billion dollar a year Department of Corrections budget by removing non violent offenders out of the system who show remorse, forgiveness, and a willingness to change their destructive ways. It will also remove and segregate youthful offenders into separate facilities, removing them from the general adult population. In order to accomplish this Mr. Cushingberry is asking the Department of Corrections to produce the following information in a summary report for the time period from 2000-2009.

1. The total number and percentage of offenders that never return to the system after serving their sentence. This number will be subdivided into the categories of age in 10 year increments, race, and sex.
a. A prisoner who completes their time on parole
b. A prisoner who completes their time who is not offered parole.
2. The number and percentage of all offenders in the system that are under mental health treatment. This information will be sub divided by the following categories:
a. Offender status (incarcerated, parole, etc)
b. Age grouped in 10 year increments, race, sex,
c. By type of medicine
3. For steps #1 and #2 summary information shall be grouped by year.


HB 4497 will remove young offenders from the general population of adult prisoners who will totally abuse the youthful offenders. On a case by case basis each prisoner is reviewed for possible sentence reduction based on monitored behaviors and remorse for their crime (HB4498). If they violate this then they will be quickly returned to the system with increased penalties. (HB 4499)

For too long the Department of Corrections and law enforcement personnel have been used as surrogate employees for mental health treatment. The jails have been used to house some these people who are truly in need of help. The local police and fire resources are used to pick up these people and clog the judicial system. To correct these imbalance resources can be shifted from corrections to mental health treatment facilities in a joint partnership agreement.

We want to identify and separate an individual between being a criminal or, a person in need of continued mental health treatment.

These bills are all “tied together” meaning that they all dependent upon each other to be approved to become law.

A brief summary of each bill is listed below. A full text reading can be viewed by clicking on the bill number:

HB4497 Establishes a youth correctional facility which shall house only prisoners committed to the jurisdiction of the department who are 19 years of age or less.

HB4498 A record of all major misconduct charges for which a prisoner has been found guilty shall be maintained and given to the parole board as part of the parole eligibility report. This record will allow parole board members apply time reduction for good behavior and redemption while in the Corrections System.

HB4499 If a person has been convicted of any combination of 3 or more felonies or attempts to commit felonies, whether the convictions occurred in this state or would have been for felonies or attempts to commit felonies in this state if obtained in this state, and that person commits a subsequent felony within this state, the person shall be punished upon conviction of the subsequent felony and sentencing under section 13 of this chapter

Our friend George is inviting all interested citizens and organizations to appear in person, send an e-mail, or call your State Representative(click here to find your state rep) to show support for these bills. When sending an e-mail please place the house bill number(s) in the subject. (Ex. Subject: HB 44XX Support/Oppose)

Oral and written testimony will be heard and documented for the record. If you cannot attend in person, please include your name, organization, and other contact information in your correspondence.


State Rep. George Cushingberry Jr.
S0687 House Office Building

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514

Phone: (517) 373-2276
Fax: (517) 373-7186
Toll-Free (888) 347-8008
Email: gcushingberry@house.mi.gov

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Honoring Past and Present Jazz Legends at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge. Tuesday Feb. 16th, 2010 - Detroit MI

By The Friends of George Cushingberry Jr.
Tuesday February 16th, 2010


Baker’s Keyboard Lounge is a jazz club in the City of Detroit with a very large part in the rise and development of many music and entertainment professionals. While the front line and big name acts did well, another group of musicians that played in the background and, to others who grew up in the City, this club served as a place to perfect their skills for the big stage. Big name acts like Sonny Sitt, Les McCann, Kenny Burrell, Earl Klugh, John Coltrane and others frequently played at the club.

Comedian Redd Foxx and others frequently did shows there and walked across the street to the Kroger’s supermarket (which is now a US Post Office) to get something to cook. The “trickle down effect” was in the form of the sons, daughters and friends of this industry who did well. Guitarists such as Edward “T-Money” Green, Randy Jacobs, Saxaphonist Kerry Campbell and others continue to play their instruments with the professionalism of the artistry of the forefathers and foremothers that we all grew up around and went to high school with. A complete roster of the legendary artists who performed at Baker’s Keyboard can be viewed by clicking here.

Some of us youth who grew up in the neighborhood could only look at the marquee and imagine who was playing in there at the time. We were too young to go inside and only relied on play by play descriptions of the action from some of our older brothers and sisters.

While the neighborhood has changed around it, the club remains a mainstay in the community and to honor one of the most successful businesses in Detroit, our friend George will be hosting a Black History event on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @ 6PM at the club. This event will honor the origins of Detroit’s indigenous music and will honor Jazz supporters and musicians. We will start with honoring the ones who have transitioned on like Teddy Harris and the legendary public radio broadcaster Ed Love, all the way to US. Rep John Conyers who is an accomplished musician and big jazz supporter.


We will honor the current owner John Colbert with a special award for being faithful to the City and the neighborhood. Marcus Belgrave Professor of Music at Oberlin College will be another honoree along with legendary Saxophonist James Carter and Dwight Adams.





The featured artists for the evening will be Marian Hayden along with Rodney Whitaker Professor and Chair of Michigan State University Jazz Department.

Gaymond Ensley will kick off the evening starting at 6pm with students from the following educational intuitions, Wayne State University, Marygrove College, and Detroit Cass Technical High School.

Minimum donation requested-$20, Sponsors-$40, Gold Sponsor-$400, Platinum-$4000.

Proceeds will go to the Northwest Detroit Leadership Fund to support scholarships for school expenses.

For More Information contact:

Griffin Rivers (517)974 1863
Sabrina Lewis (517)230-9101
Roscoe Thomas (313)273-3522

(Driving Directions to Bakers via Google Maps 20510 Livernois 48221)

Sponsored by Our Man In Lansing
Co-Sponsors: Mi Hospital Association, NW Detroit Leadership, Michigan NORML

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