ROOT, Inc (Reaching Out to Others Together) “DC Public Safety” Radio

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[Audio Begins]

Len Sipes:  From our nation’s capital, this is DC Public Safety.  I’m your host, Leonard Sipes.  At our microphones today is Kenny Barnes, MS.  He is the founder, CEO of ROOT, Inc.  ROOT is one of these organizations in Washington, DC, very similar to ant-crime organizations throughout the United States, although ROOT has had a very long and illustrious background.  These are individuals who work with ex-offenders.  These are individuals who work with kids in the community.  These are individuals, and this is an organization that is renowned for getting in and solving problems within the city of Washington, DC, working on the streets, working where the problem really is.  Kenny is a recent recipient of the National Service Award from the U.S. Department of Justice for his work with victims.  Joining Kenny today is Clint Murchinson.  Clint is the community outreach coordinator of ROOT.  The address for ROOT is www.rootinc.org, and with that introduction, Kenny Barnes and Clint Murchinson, welcome to DC Public Safety.

Kenny Barnes:  Thank you for having us

Len Sipes:  Kenny, you’ve been around a long time.  You’re well known in Washington, DC.  Everybody likes you, everybody respects you, and everybody knows your work.  But remember, the audience for this program, well, 80% of the audience for this program goes beyond Washington, DC.  In fact, 20% of it goes international.  So give me a 30 second explanation of what ROOT incorporated is and does.

Kenny Barnes:  ROOT is an acronym.  It stands for Reaching Out to Others Together.  It was founded back in 2002 after the horrific murder of my son by a young man who was a product of the juvenile justice system in the District of Columbia.  It also stands for; we need to get to the root of the problem, what is creating such violent young children today.

Len Sipes:  And what, by the way, as long as you bring that up, what is the root of the problem?

Kenny Barnes:  Well, we need to learn, we need to know that violence is a learned behavior.  It’s not innate.  So the root of the problem is, we need to deal with issues that create violence rather than waiting to react to violence.

Len Sipes:  And what are those issues?

Kenny Barnes:  Mental health issue, the trauma that’s imposed on a community, the trauma that’s imposed when youth are exposed to violence, when youth are exposed to drugs, proper parenting, dysfunctional parents in the home, collaborative effort between all agencies and organizations working together, which we’ve not had in DC, which we’re striving to get in DC.

Len Sipes:  Well, I would dare say, and before we get into these larger issues, Clint, you’re community outreach coordinator.  You’re the person who does what?  You’re the person on the street who directly works with individuals who have come out of the prison system who are acting out, who are being disruptive, you are the person who’s there to deal with them one on one, and my guess is that you’re there to get them back into a GED program if they’ve dropped out of school, if they’re acting out, to talk about anger management, if they’ve got potential, to get them into job training, your job is to show them the better nature of what it is they want to be and what it is they want to do and get them out of a life of possibly mugging and thugging, as some people like to put it, and move them in a better direction.  Am I right or wrong?

Clinton Murchinson:  Exactly, you are right.  And one reason why I do what I do is because, you know, I’m ex-offender, as was mentioned, and I know the potentials and a lot of the people that’s out here, and I don’t just deal with ex-offenders, but I’m dealing with those who are out here in society and are being misguided, even though they don’t realize the misguidedship that they are, going down the road, so like, what I do, I work with them, pull them out, and do what ROOT said, reach out to others together as opposed to just mentioning ROOT, Inc, and having them come for us, we reach out to them, unlike other organization does, and when we work with them, you know, like I said, we listen to the kids, the young people’s concerns, because a lot of them want attention, and we listen to their concerns, and in listening to that, then we found out that, okay, this has a lot to do with their household, their upbringing, as opposed to just, you know, living on the streets, playing video games, listening to so called rap music, gangster rap, it starts at home.  It starts at home, and I myself, as mentioned earlier, I’m an ex-offender, and yes, I was out there doing what I thought was right, even though my mother and father was always telling me, don’t do this, don’t do that, I became curious, and becoming curious, I had associates who I thought were friends and thought they were going to lead me right, but they led me down the wrong road –

Len Sipes:  I’ve had a lot of people who come out of the prison system basically said, you know, Leonard, you can kick drugs, kicking drugs is easy, kicking the corner is impossible.  Kicking your friends, kicking what you grew up with, kicking what you’ve become accustomed to is very, very hard to give up.  You know, Kenny, I want to go back to larger issues, root violence, community violence, perception of violence, I mean, everybody in this country wants the golden key to preventing violence in cities.  Everybody in this country essentially wants the same things.  They want people who are caught up in the criminal justice system who, regardless of who they are, because in Washington DC, we’re talking about African Americans, in Minneapolis, we could be talking about whites, and in another city, we could be talking about Hispanics, and in another city, we could be talking about Indians.  It is essentially the same set of dynamics regardless as to where you go and what particular group you look at, everybody wants these individuals to succeed.  Everybody wants them to finish high school.  Everybody wants them to go out and get a job.  Everybody wants them to go on and get job training or education.  Everybody wants everybody else to stay off drugs.  Everybody wants everybody else to do well.  Yet we have a society where we have the Kenny Barnes of the world, and we have ROOTs, and we have organizations like ROOT all throughout the country, and yet here we are sitting in 2010, and sometimes it just doesn’t seem to get any better.

Kenny Barnes:  I’m going to slightly disagree with you, Leonard.

Len Sipes:  Okay, go ahead.

Kenny Barnes:  I think that we have, I know we have a city that reacts very well to violence.  I know we have a country that reacts very well to violence.  We have a prison, school to prison pipeline.  We have a society that believes in incarceration that believes in locking people up instead of, that believes in prevention.  I know this, because in a lot of the funding that is available, it’s not so much available for prevention.  So I think that’s where we need to start gearing our attention.  Ideally, what you were saying is true, ideally, we wouldn’t have a lot of the issues that we have if what you were saying is totally correct.

Len Sipes:  Well, the question is, is that you go back all throughout criminology.  I mean, there’s a book that all, when I left the police department years ago and had to, when I went to study criminology, Street Corner Society, which is a classic book that every criminology student has to read about Italian street corner gangs in New York, they didn’t say New York, but it really was New York in right around the 1920s, and the dynamics from the street corner gangs today and the Italian street corner gangs back in the 1920s, it is in essence the same thing.  There are differences, there are, you know, the level of violence wasn’t there, but these are people who carried guns, these are people who loved to do substances, these are people who dropped out of school, these are people who mistrust authority, these are people who don’t see themselves as having a future, these are people who see themselves as fate decides what happens to you.  I mean, these are all the same things that happen on the street corner of Washington DC, Philadelphia, Oklahoma City, it doesn’t matter.  My point is that there just seems to, decade in, decade out, there seems to be, if you don’t mind me saying this, an underclass, regardless of what race they happen to belong to, that are caught up in the criminal justice system that are caught up in mugging and thugging, and they don’t see a way out for themselves.

Kenny Barnes:  Yes, but I want to make a difference, is that from a criminologist’s perspective, my background is clinical psychology.  So we may have a different viewpoint as to what causes this, I don’t know, because I’ve not studied criminology, I have studied psychology.  The fact of the matter is that we live in a system that almost demands an underclass.  There almost has to be an underclass for this system to be successful.  Now when you throw in racism and you throw in poverty and you throw in lack of education, you throw in dysfunctional families, you throw in dropping out of school, you now add on top of that, you already have a fire burning in the community already.  Now what you do is you add on top of that music, kill, murder, drugs, b, whore, and you add that on top of that to an underclass that is already on fire, that’s like pouring gasoline on the fire, so now what happens is you see children now that are, and I have to say, it’s still a small percentage.  I’m not saying all children, it’s still a small percentage, but it’s growing, and I see children that are almost out of control.

Len Sipes:  And you know, you’ve said so many things, and we could move in so many different directions, and I, there are people out there who just take a look at the music and cannot fathom how it was ever created and how it was ever produced and how it was ever embraced because the messages are so self-destructive to younger people, yet the next person who comes into this studio will see it as an art form and as a form of urban expression and as an expression of who we really are.  You’ve touched upon a lot of different things, but it’s almost not that we have, that this system creates an underclass, needs an underclass, the music part of it is beyond comprehension, because it’s so self-destructive, and that’s something I’ll never quite understand, but I’m glad you brought it up.  Clinton, I want to get you in here.  Somewhere along the line between the two of you gentlemen, I want to get to three things, and we talked about them at the beginning of the program: prevention, the fact that we can’t glorify former offenders, and the fact of what it is that ROOT does, but we need to leave a message to people today from all across the country all around the world who are going to be listening to this program, what communities need to do to lower crime and to get kids in school and to create an atmosphere of success for these kids.  What is it?  You work on the street, you know these kids better than anybody else.  What is it, what should we do?

Clinton Murchinson:  Well, a lot of people might disagree with me, but what motivates me in helping these kids and understanding these kids is understanding myself first.  You know, recognizing how precious life is in the beginning, and in doing so, you know, I look at how I want to be treated.  And a lot of people don’t do that.  They don’t do that.  They do not look at how they really want to be treated, and I, myself, for one, is a person who loved myself, which in turn, make me love others.

Len Sipes:  All right, so you’ve got to know yourself, number one, and there’s got to be respect given and respect returned.

Clinton Murchinson:  Exactly, because that’s one thing that is motivating a lot of youth out here in society –

Len Sipes:  Oh, lord knows!

Clinton Murchinson:  – you know, is respect.  They don’t respect anybody.  They don’t even respect themselves.

Len Sipes:  Got it.  Now where does that come from?  Number two?

Clinton Murchinson:  Where did it come from?  I think that comes from a breakdown in the household again.  You know, you have one parent household, the father might be in jail, or he might have ran off, messed with some other woman, and therefore the woman has to fend for herself, and then she, in turn, are doing what she thinks she has to do in order to get by.

Len Sipes:  All right, I’m going to stop you right there, and now the question’s going to go to both of you is, there’s a lot of people who believe that the root cause – the root cause, I love the term, because ROOT Inc. is here before our microphones, ladies and gentlemen, the root cause of all of this is what’s happening in the home, the root of all of this is child abuse.  The root of all of this is that even if Mom is the last one there, even if Dad’s not part of the picture, that kid’s, in essence, raising himself or herself from an early age, and that kid is growing up feeling abandoned and unloved, which goes to the alcohol, which goes to the drugs, which goes to the violence, and is that anywhere, is that feasible as in terms of being the major contributor to the problem that we have today, Kenny?

Kenny Barnes:  I’m going to go heavy on you, Leonard, for a minute.

Len Sipes:  Go ahead, please.

Kenny Barnes:  Okay, as I said, my background is clinical psychology, and so what you do in a scientific experiment, you look at what is variables and interchanging variables.  What is going on today that didn’t go on 40 years ago, 50 years ago?  Why are children becoming more violent today?  Why do we have, and it’s getting younger, why do we have some of the most violent young people we’ve ever had in the history of the United States?  What’s changed?

Len Sipes:  Why?

Kenny Barnes:  Number one, this is going to cause some controversy on your show, you’re going to get all kinds of calls about this.

Len Sipes:  All right.

Kenny Barnes:  First of all is, African Americans, we don’t live in a patriarchal society.  We live in a matriarchal society.  We need to understand that first of all.  We need to understand that a lot of times, black men weren’t in the families before just as they’re not there today.  The only difference is that if they were in the family before, all they did was basically brought a paycheck home.  The woman was always the strength of the family, always the black family.  So number one, what is the first missing variable is that women of today are no longer the matriarchs like they were years ago.  We have three types of women that we see dealing with these children.  One is the good mother that’s out there struggling and trying to keep her family together.  She’s working, she can’t afford it.  No man around.  The second mother is the type that’s out there running the streets chasing men all over the place or hanging out running the streets.  And then the third type of mother is the one that’s on drugs and alcohol, but under either situation, children are raising themselves together.

Len Sipes:  Well, okay, we agree.  Kids are basically raising themselves or getting up in the morning and pouring their own cereal.  We’re talking about 6 year olds, 7 year olds, they are pouring their own cereal, they are sitting down in front of the television, they are dressing themselves, and if they go to school, they’re going to school by themselves, Mom’s not in the house, or Mom’s sleeping it off.

Kenny Barnes:  And Father’s not around.

Len Sipes:  And Dad’s not around at all.

Kenny Barnes:  That drives them to gangs, because why do you join a gang?

Len Sipes:  Right, for companionship.  Or family.

Kenny Barnes:  Or either for safety.  The gang’s got my back.  Okay, that’s the first problem.  The second problem is going to create some controversy to, and you’re going to say, wow, I didn’t think about that, is the church.  Before years ago, churches were an integral part of the community.  It was a part of the family, extended family.  Churches have become corporate entities now, more concerned about making profit than they are about the community.  Their doors are no longer open to the communities and families.  It’s more about making money.  That’s a second issue.  And the third issue, when you take those two issues, it goes back to what we talked about.  From the time a child wakes up now, they see 18 hours of video or TV every day, and that subconsciously has to have an effect on your mind.  So you put all these three factors together, and I’ve got to say this one last thing.  I want you to think for a minute, if you’re a black child in America, and you have a mother that you can’t respect, then who can you respect?

Len Sipes:  If you can’t go to the church because the church has lost its authenticity, if you can’t go to the mosque because it’s lost its authenticity –

Kenny Barnes:  You can’t go to government.

Len Sipes:  – if you can’t go to the government –

Kenny Barnes:  You can’t go to the police.

Len Sipes:  The only person that you’re going to go to are gangs.

Kenny Barnes:  That’s all you’ve got left.

Len Sipes:  Ladies and gentlemen, we’re halfway through a program that’s streaking by like a comet going through the evening sky.  I want to reintroduce our guest.  Kenny Barnes, MS, he is the founder and CEO of ROOT, Inc.  ROOT is a grassroots organization here in the city of Washington DC working on the streets with individuals, ex-offenders, people in trouble, people caught up in the criminal justice system to try to intervene.  He is the recipient of the National Service Award for victim services from the United States Department of Justice.  With Kenny Today is Clint Murchinson.  Clint is a community outreach coordinator.  The address is www.rootinc.org.  So in essence, let’s get back to the conversation, gentlemen.  The bottom line is this, that you’re talking about it in terms of the African American community.  I want to talk about it in terms of any community, and I’m not trying just to be politically correct here.  If you go and work with, I did street counseling on the streets of the city of Baltimore.  I was out there doing gang counseling on my own.  Clint, I used to do what you’re doing.  And all I had was the Appalachian kids, from the mountains, whose parents brought them down to Baltimore City, and so I’m out there, you know, 11:00, midnight, 1:00 in the morning on the streets with the Appalachian kids.  There were some black kids there, there were some other kids there from some other races, but it’s principally Appalachian.  Kenny, what you just said applies to them.  And we’re talking about during the 1970s and 1980s –

Kenny Barnes:  Let me tell you the difference, though.

Len Sipes:  Okay, go ahead.

Kenny Barnes:  Okay.  You picked out one segment, and I’m not going to debate you, I wouldn’t debate you about economics plays a role.  It does.  But look what you did.  You picked out one segment of the white community, the poorest segment of the white community to make a comparison.  What I’m talking about takes place in every major city in the United States of America.  What you’re talking about, you picked out one segment, right?  Okay, that’s the difference.  We’re talking about a problem that is systemic and endemic in the African American community, not one segment of it.

Len Sipes:  Is it systemic regardless of what community you go into, or is it just the African American community?

Kenny Barnes:  The issues that I’m talking about, let me show you the difference.  When I talk about this, and it does offend people, I’m not going to lie about that.  But if you look at a black family, and you look at a mother raising her children, when the black man leaves his family, his children, he’ll leave his children, he will go to another family, and he will help raise the other family, and he’ll raise children from the other family, or have new children, and forget all about the children he left behind.  With a white family, the mother and the father will fight, they may hate each other, they may try to kill each other, murder each other, but they will fight for the death of their children, and let me give you another example –

Len Sipes:  What do we do about all this?

Kenny Barnes:  Let me give you one more example.  I went to Loyola, Loyola College in Baltimore.  I was in the doctoral program there; I was the only African American at the time.  I looked at, because the fact of the matter is, white people, 80% of rap music is more about white people.  That’s the fact of the matter.  I looked at these kids who were trying to be cool when I was at Loyola, listening to rap music.  Now again, the difference is, when they graduated, Len, they went on to become right wing Republicans!

Len Sipes:  That’s the point, that’s –

Kenny Barnes:  But to us, it becomes a way of life.

Len Sipes:  You know, when my kids screwed up, they had safety nets.  They had a mother and a father who was going to get in their face and threaten them and say, we’re going to cut you off and yadda, yadda, yadda, we worked hard for these kids –

Kenny Barnes:  But that’s my point.

Len Sipes:  – loving them, threatening them, doing whatever is possible, most kids caught up in the criminal justice system, they don’t have that luxury.  They don’t have parents who are fighting tooth and nail to try and pull that kid out.  They’re on their own.

Kenny Barnes:  Well now, you just validated what I’m trying to say.

Len Sipes:  No, no, it’s not that I disagree with what it is that you’re trying to say.  I do believe that an awful lot of it applies to any group, an awful lot of it applies through, not just to today, but it applies all throughout the history of criminology within this country –

Kenny Barnes:  But the difference, Len, the difference is, if you look at percentages, look at percentage of homicide.  52% of the homicides taking place in America today are black people killing black people.  If you look at the prison system, the percentagewise, the largest percentage of people in the prison system, percentagewise, are black people.  If you look at the economy, the largest percent of the people unemployed in any city you go in are black people.  So we have to stop the systemic and endemic, directly affecting black people.

Len Sipes:  We’ve got 10 minutes to solve all this!

Kenny Barnes:  That you can’t correlate with overall society.  That’s what I’m saying.

Len Sipes:  Kenny and Clinton, we’ve got 10 minutes to solve all this.  So the point of this is that I have, every time I listen to music, and I’ve heard the lyrics, it’s like, oh my god, why don’t we just stop playing this crap?  How self-destructive could this possibly be?  But it just explodes and continues and moves on, and it gets mainstream, I mean, sometimes you begin to wonder, okay, is the only solution here to move away from the problem, which seems to be the preferred solution of people, regardless of what city you go to, to get away from all of the ills of society, you just move, and that doesn’t really solve the problem.  What do we do with all this information?  If we know what’s causing the root of the crime problem in our cities, what do we do about it?

Kenny Barnes:  Well, again, we have a system that, in the prison system, once again, it’s a for profit system right now, which means that it’s about money, it’s about making money, it’s about numbers.  It really isn’t about rehabilitation anymore.  It’s about how many people, because the more people you have in prison, the more money you make.  Okay.  So when you look at it from that perspective, you begin to understand why.  You begin to understand –

Len Sipes:  So we want the system to fail?  We don’t want these kids to go to school, we don’t want these kids to get an education, I mean, so the society is set up to the point where that’s our desire?  Our desire is to have the kid fail and go to prison because it’s a money making enterprise?

Kenny Barnes:  Well, let me say this.  From my perspective, if you know, and what we are both agreeing to, that if there is no support system there, you’re doomed almost to failure.  It takes an extremely strong individual with no support system to come overcome their situation.

Len Sipes:  I agree, I agree.  How do we get to that support system?  Clinton?

Clinton Murchinson:  Well, like, I kind of differ on some of the things that Kenny has mentioned as far as, like, you know, the prison system not rehabilitating.  Yes, being incarcerated, I have noticed that back in this 80s, they have gotten away from the theory of rehabilitation, but I’m going to say in the 90s, they’ve taken things away from you that they was giving you in the prison system, like certain magazines, you couldn’t even order.  I’m talking about, like, what is it, Ebony Magazine, and one reason for that, because they have pretty women in there, so they use that to kind of curtail a lot of sex offenders that were incarcerated, right?  And musical magazines, because of the rap music.  They take all that away from you in prison.  This was in the 90s they started doing this, and I myself have seen that that was a form of, like, rehabilitating you by taking away from you what was motivating you, but again, that goes back to a person has to understand themselves.  I’m talking about not just understand that I’m black, or I’m from DC, or I’m some, understanding the nature of being a human being, and that ties in with spirituality.  Once a person would tie into that, then they’ll want to do good.  They want to do what is right, because they fear the ultimate punishment.

Len Sipes:  Every person coming out of the prison system says that you’ve got to make that decision for yourself.  I do agree with Kenny from the standpoint that only 11% of people in this country, in our prison systems in the criminal justice system get drug treatment.  11% who need it get it, which means that the overwhelming majority don’t.  So for those people who say that they believe that the system is self-perpetuating, and it’s set up to be self-perpetuating, that it’s going to just continue, well there’s a piece of evidence right there that the vast majority of people who need the drug treatment programs, need the mental health treatment programs, they don’t get it, and I’m not talking necessarily about the federal prison system, I’m talking about any prison system, the money is not there to help them, and the research is pretty clear that, if they got the help, then they would do a lot better.  But let’s get off the prison system just for a second, and we can do an entire additional show on the prison system if you like.  So what do we as a society do?  I mean, what I’m hearing is religion, what I’m hearing is ethics –

Kenny Barnes:  No, no.

Len Sipes:  – what I’m hearing is changing –

Kenny Barnes:  You heard that from Clint.  You’re not hearing religion from me.

Len Sipes:  Well, tell me.  Tell me.

Kenny Barnes:  No, religion, not at all.  When my son was murdered, and I saw a bullet hole in his head, and a minister came to me and said, that’s the will, turn it over to Jesus, that’s the will of God, I didn’t want to hear that.  When you have people that are hopeless and despair, and you have ministers that are out there trying to get them to give them their last dollar, people have a tendency to sort of shy away from religion.

Len Sipes:  Okay.  So what do we do?  What do we do then?  If it’s not spiritual –

Kenny Barnes:  Okay, what we do is, first thing we do is we know that the, turning to violence, research shows that it starts to begin from early kindergarten and elementary school to middle school.  We know that the transition starts to take place.  So what do we need to do?  We need to go in early on and start doing preventative measures early on, early on prior to transitioning for violence to take place.  That’s what we need to do, number one.

Len Sipes:  I agree, by the way.  You know what?  There’s a review of research, talking about the most powerful prevention programs out there, the most powerful prevention program is working with the young mother early on when the kid just begins –

Kenny Barnes:  Exactly.

Len Sipes:  So you are 1,000% correct.

Kenny Barnes:  Exactly.

Len Sipes:  What’s your next point?

Kenny Barnes:  Okay.  The second point is, it’s almost like the public health model, the way the public health model is the tertiary model.  You have prevention early on from elementary school and pre-elementary school, you have prevention methods.  By the time a child gets to middle school, some thoughts and theories have formed in their mind.  Some things begin to take place.  Then you need intervention.

Len Sipes:  Okay, so give me something specific.  Okay, so we’ve said we’re going to send, the first example, we’re going to send social workers in to work with a mom to make sure that she’s reading to the kid, be sure that she knows she can’t hit the kid, be sure that she knows she’s got to give the kid a hot breakfast every day, basics that she may not know.  So now we’re taking it into, the kid’s now 7 and 8 years old, though, what do you do for that kid?  Prevention, you’re talking about prevention.

Kenny Barnes:  I’m talking about prevention.

Len Sipes:  Give me an example.

Kenny Barnes:  Okay, we can talk about issues that create violence.  We can talk about gang violence, how to prevent them from joining gang violence.  We can set up a default system for parenting.  We can give parenting classes.  We can give therapy.  We can give psychology.  Okay, we can do all type of interventions, and it has to be a multimodal comprehensive approach.  It’s not any one answer.

Len Sipes:  So what you’re talking about is replicating the gang.  You’re talking about a gang for good.  You’re talking about making sure that the kids are in a group environment, and they’re being supportive of each other and getting the services that they need.

Kenny Barnes:  You know Maslow’s theory of hierarchy.  You know about that.

Len Sipes:  Mm-hm.

Kenny Barnes:  What is the foundation for Maslow’s theory of hierarchy?  Public safety, housing, food, shelter.  If we don’t provide basic fundamental security for young people, why do we expect that they won’t join gangs?

Len Sipes:  Okay, and getting into the last minutes of the program, give me one more.  You’re doing a good job.  You’re doing a good job laying out specifics.  Give me one more.

Kenny Barnes:  Education.

Len Sipes:  Education.

Kenny Barnes:  Education.

Len Sipes:  School’s got to be 1,000 times better.

Kenny Barnes:  Education.  The other thing is community policing.

Len Sipes:  All right.

Kenny Barnes:  Community policing, and what I mean by community policing, I mean we’re policing the community, actually begin to understand each other with, and I didn’t say more police, I said community policing, with a strong emphasis on violent offenders, because we know, you know and I know, that most violent offenders are recidivists.  So we have to pay close attention, and I don’t care, I don’t care what age they are, we have to pay close attention to violent offenders.

Len Sipes:  You have done what I consider to be an extraordinary job, because most of the people that come to the microphones, they can tell you why they have the problem.  We all know why we have the problem, but very few people can come up with specifics in terms of how to deal with the problem, and you’ve just given us four.  We’ve got 30 seconds left, Kenny.  You want to sum up?  I mean, in the final analysis to the child listening to this program, the mother listening to this program, the mayor of Minneapolis listening to this program, you say what to that person?

Kenny Barnes:  We must learn how to prevent violence rather than react to it, and we do, far too many instances react to it, and that’s what’s increasing a prison population that’s increasing and bulging at the seams.

Len Sipes:  You’ve got the final word, and Kenny and Clinton, you guys are invited back.  There’s just no way that you can cover this within a half an hour, just went by way too fast.  Kenny Barnes, MS, he is the recipient of the National Service Award for Victim Services from the United States Department of Justice from our current U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, he is the founder, CEO of ROOT, Inc, Clinton Murchinson, he is a community outreach coordinator for the ROOT, Inc. program here in Washington, DC, that’s www.rootinc.org.  Ladies and gentlemen, this is DC Public Safety.  I’ve been your host, Leonard Sipes, and we really appreciate your participation in the program, the emails, the letters, and the comments that you give us.  Look for us next time as we explore another topic within the criminal justice system.  I want everybody to have themselves a very, very pleasant day.

[Audio Ends]

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