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Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

New jail program could ease transition to life on the outside

Training aimed at helping offenders find success, avoid reincarceration

January 7, 2008

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Sherman Tolbert attempts to light a cigarette in a downtown Lawrence alleyway en route to the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt. Tolbert is a Lawrence homeless man who has been in and out of jail during his more than 30 years living on the streets. Officials at the Douglas County Jail will soon launch a new program aimed at providing services to offenders after they leave jail to lessen their chances of returning to custody.

Sherman Tolbert attempts to light a cigarette in a downtown Lawrence alleyway en route to the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt. Tolbert is a Lawrence homeless man who has been in and out of jail during his more than 30 years living on the streets. Officials at the Douglas County Jail will soon launch a new program aimed at providing services to offenders after they leave jail to lessen their chances of returning to custody.

Sherman Tolbert has been in and out of jail and prison for more than 30 years.

He has been a regular abuser of alcohol and drugs. And he has been homeless virtually his entire adult life.

"I've been addicted to the streets even more than the drugs," Tolbert, 54, said during a recent interview.

Tolbert ended his most recent stint in the Douglas County Jail on Nov. 29. Convicted of threatening someone, he is now on probation for a year. He is still homeless, but said he intends to make sure he doesn't go back to jail.

"I know I've always been intelligent; I like to read and I like to learn new information," said Tolbert, an avid chess player who during warm weather months has often been seen on downtown Lawrence sidewalks with his chess set.

Tolbert would have been a prime candidate for a new inmate program jail officials hope to launch next month. It will be an intensive program involving several aspects of helping offenders re-enter everyday life outside jail.

"What we are trying to do is reduce the number of times inmates come back to us," said Ken Massey, Douglas County undersheriff in charge of the jail. "To do that we've got to implement some programs and services to give offenders the tools that will allow them to be productive in the community."

Avoiding old habits

The sheriff's office included in its 2008 budget nearly $60,000 to hire a re-entry program director. No announcement has been made about who that person will be. During the past two years Massey has been studying how a re-entry program could work and what it should cover. He attended a national roundtable discussion in Washington, D.C., about programs used elsewhere.

Jail inmates get health care, including mental health care. There are jail education programs available. But once released from jail there is no continuity of those services. Many inmates also don't have housing or jobs once they are free.

If an offender leaving jail doesn't have someone to pick them up, they get a county-paid cab ride to 11th and Massachusetts streets.

"You go back to your old hangouts and old habits," Tolbert said.

And most inmates - such as Tolbert - are addicted to alcohol and drugs. It is difficult to continue treatment for those addictions outside of jail.

The sheriff's office is working with outside agencies and community leaders to see what can be done so that services received in jail are continued in the community, Sheriff Ken McGovern said.

"We're trying to make those services a little more streamlined so (offenders) don't get frustrated and quit when they are released," he said.

If those service gaps can be eliminated it reduces the chances of former inmates recommitting crimes.

"They are more focused on trying to get their life back together on a more positive note," Massey said.

Changing mind-sets

Tolbert said he would have applied for the re-entry program if it existed when he was in jail.

"The problem Mr. Massey will have is sifting out those who truly want to change," he said.

Not every inmate will be in the re-entry program. Inmates will have to show a sincere interest in learning how to make their lives better once on the outside, Massey said. There will be benchmarks for them to meet.

"They won't be just sitting in class," he said.

County jails are used to house inmates who are serving sentences for misdemeanors. Others are awaiting trial. Most inmates convicted of felonies are sent to state prisons.

The county started discussing a re-entry program a few years ago when there was talk about expanding the jail to make room for a growing number of offenders. The program was seen as a possible alternative to reduce the number of returning offenders and thus free up jail space, McGovern said. But if successful it will take three or four years for it work, he said.

"It will take an offender a few times to get it right," Massey said. "You're not going to change their mind-set or their old habits overnight. It takes a lot of education."

Tolbert said he has not used drugs or alcohol since being released in November. He stays at the Salvation Army at night. During the day he looks for jobs in the newspaper classifieds and spends time in the library reading the Bible and chess books. He said he teaches a Bible study class at a local church, and recently worked in a kitchen at a local hotel.

Tolbert also said he stays in touch with Massey and Mike Caron, the jail's volunteer programs director. Massey has checked up on Tolbert and Tolbert said he sometimes calls Caron at the jail to talk.

"I'd like Lawrence to realize that there are a lot of people who want to change," Tolbert said, "and can change if they have the facilities once they get out of jail."

Comments

couranna1 5 years, 7 months ago

you do the crime you do the time update still on Mass with his hat for free money and chess board

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Windlass 6 years, 3 months ago

But here's what you learn about people, and you'd better learn it young -

People are s****. Forget them forever. Always take care of only yourself. If the other guy, or gal, is suffering that's too damn bad.

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Windlass 6 years, 3 months ago

LawrenceReader -

This is one of the bigger reasons why the system can't help but crash all the time - there is no such thing as privacy, confidentiality! Never was true for crying out loud. You go see someone on staff at Bert Nash, for instance, and everything you said to that person is blabbed all over town before you get home.

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leadstone 6 years, 3 months ago

Geez! There sure are a lot of hateful SOB's out there. Nothing the man does will change his past, but perhaps we should commend the man for not giving up and resorting back to drugs and crime. Give " Sly " a fighting chance.

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smitty 6 years, 3 months ago

Me thinks enforcer's critics protest too much.

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Kathy Gragg 6 years, 3 months ago

yes that is what you do psyco babble, perhaps you and Erin could stay on topic today.

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trinity 6 years, 3 months ago

regurgitation of drivel. can you say psycho babble?

thanks trinity. oh and a ps-it is oppOrtunity, not oppErtunity, fer gawd's sweet sake!

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spywell 6 years, 3 months ago

18 years ago, when I was a student in college. I took a second shift job in a machine shop as a mill operator. All the people that worked for this manufacture looked a little ruff to me and they all were shady looking.

After about a month on the job. I asked the tool crib general manager about the companies employee's, joking of course. However, he responded that all most all the employees that were general labor were in fact freshly paroled convicts from the Kansas state DOC.

Lol.

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Kathy Gragg 6 years, 3 months ago

Good then the topic may move forward.

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Erin Parmelee 6 years, 3 months ago

enforcer (Kathy Gragg) says:

Clearly you do not know what anyone on this thread is talking about. The title might give you a clue. I laugh at the rest of your post.

Well I know what you're talking about. Too bad you apparently lack the courage to stand behind your own words. Unlike you, I don't have to attempt to belittle others to feel good about myself. So, I'm off, have a wonderful evening!

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Kathy Gragg 6 years, 3 months ago

Clearly you do not know what anyone on this thread is talking about. The title might give you a clue. I laugh at the rest of your post.

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Erin Parmelee 6 years, 3 months ago

enforcer (Kathy Gragg) says:

Perhaps when you finish processing whatever shame based guilt you have been experiencing you might want to reread the entire thread & get a grip on the whole thing.

Listen. I have no idea what you are talking about. Clearly, you don't either. I can only assume from your postings you are friends with some of my family. Good for you. Of course, if that were true, I don't think that they would want you making disparging remarks about me on-line, no matter what your intent. Like I said before, you don't know me, and you know diddly about my life. Unlike some other posters here, I don't talk in riddles--so that this is very clear--talking about things you have no real knowledge of only serves to make you look foolish.

How dare you make such assumtions about someone you don't know. Shame on you.

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Kathy Gragg 6 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps when you finish processing whatever shame based guilt you have been experiencing you might want to reread the entire thread & get a grip on the whole thing.

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l_town_playa 6 years, 3 months ago

Kathy Gragg knows so much about addiction because she is a former (perhaps current) meth user with a penchant for enabling the molestation of children. Check the public records.

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Erin Parmelee 6 years, 3 months ago

enforcer (Kathy Gragg) says:

I was speaking in general on the topic, but if the shoe fits you then by all means wear it. There is a center to the universe, but you are not it. The subject in case you have forgotten is about people who have erred in life being afforded the oppertunity via a program to change the dynamics of thier lives.


Um, okay. You said "There is a diffrence between avoiding & being down right hateful by continueing to place blame indefinately."--I'm not sure how in your mind that relates to the topic of "people who have erred in life being afforded the oppertunity via a program to change the dynamics of thier lives" but if your intent was only in reference to the article, I must have mis-read you.

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Kathy Gragg 6 years, 3 months ago

I was speaking in general on the topic, but if the shoe fits you then by all means wear it. There is a center to the universe, but you are not it. The subject in case you have forgotten is about people who have erred in life being afforded the oppertunity via a program to change the dynamics of thier lives. I feel it is money well spent when the cost of continuing to house them in jails is three perhaps four times that cost. Too I really believe when a person finds they have something to offer no matter how minute that may seem to others, it increases their self esteem. When a person feels good about themselves & how they interact with others they contribute to the benifit of the community as a whole.

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Erin Parmelee 6 years, 3 months ago

enforcer (Kathy Gragg) says:

There is a diffrence between avoiding & being down right hateful by continueing to place blame indefinately.

I assume that is directed at me. Who's placing blame exactly?? Do you know me? No, you don't. You know someone who knew me 20 years ago and that's it. Please don't make the mistake of assuming you are armed with facts. I have forgiven. I don't give this person a second thought in my daily life. I won't forget, and I think that's wise. You can let other people bring you down, or learn from life's experiences and move forward. That is what I have chosen to do.

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Kathy Gragg 6 years, 3 months ago

There is a diffrence between AVOIDING & being down right hateful by continueing to place blame indefinately.

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Lynn731 6 years, 3 months ago

The reason for all of this is that the jail is running out of room, already. Knowing how much it costs to build and staff jails, prisons, etc. any program that will keep these criminals out of jail benefits taxpayers. Douglas county happens to have a proactive sheriff, undersheriff, the entire department. We are fortunate to have them. As a county resident and taxpayer I appreciate them. Thank you, Lynn

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hawkperchedatriverfront 6 years, 3 months ago

KU, sociology, forgiveness, and more poverty pimps talking to those incarcerated. Put them to work, in jail and out of jail. If they don't produce, then the proof is in the jailer's hands. Lock them up.

Rag rugs, Shirley Martin Smith, rich women from Cedar Creek buying rugs, maybe Mr. Meyer at LMH could use a nice rag rug made locally. We keep hearing "green" and buy local. Well, now is the chance to become a leader in the rag rug business, not to mention , rags woven into wall hangings to decorate the new 30 million dollar library and the fancy south jr high and just think of the new building at KU for bringing minorities together , imagine the new building designed by Sabatini with a wall hanging made locally by former prisoners and crafted from fabrics trashed by Penn House. There is a possible revival of "rags to riches".

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Erin Parmelee 6 years, 3 months ago

justthefacts (Anonymous) says:

There is a big difference between forgiving someone unconditionally and forgetting to the point you allow them to do harm (again). Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself is a true and real saying. You only (mainly) harm yourself by lugging around old baggage from days gone by. Learn from it, and move along. If someone is toxic to your health (mental, physical or spiritual) you are best to avoid them. However, forgiving someone and allowing them to continue the abuse or entirely different things! There are some people who are simply going to cause pain to others. And while every relationship has its ups and downs, causing too much pain is abuse. You can forgive an abuser. But you should never allow the abuse to continue!

I agree completely. Thank you so much for your eloquent post.

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Dollypawpaw 6 years, 3 months ago

Just let them go like Arnold wants to.

Maybe they just need to go back through the Liberal public school system.

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justthefacts 6 years, 3 months ago

There is a big difference between forgiving someone unconditionally and forgetting to the point you allow them to do harm (again). Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself is a true and real saying. You only (mainly) harm yourself by lugging around old baggage from days gone by. Learn from it, and move along. If someone is toxic to your health (mental, physical or spiritual) you are best to avoid them. However, forgiving someone and allowing them to continue the abuse or entirely different things! There are some people who are simply going to cause pain to others. And while every relationship has its ups and downs, causing too much pain is abuse. You can forgive an abuser. But you should never allow the abuse to continue!

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Kathy Gragg 6 years, 3 months ago

Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself.

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Dont_Feed_The_Bears 6 years, 3 months ago

$60,000 would buy a lot of bus tickets to the neighboring state of their choice?

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Erin Parmelee 6 years, 3 months ago

Hummmmmm.....my ears are burning. Enforcer, I'll admit I have no idea who you are. Or Kathy if you prefer, but I suspect we are talking about the same person. I will only say this: unless or until you have walked in my shoes, please don't speculate what it has been like to live in the shadow of "this person." She has inflicted more hurt than you can possibly imagine, and not just on me--I'm a big girl and have way moved on, but on my family that I love dearly, but can no longer have a relationship with.

It's easy when it's not your life to tell people to be forgiving, and to move forward. However, when you've been bit over and over for 20 plus years--at some point it becomesabout self preservation. I'm sorry, but saying that this person has been given the chance to move on is crazy. She's been given more chances than most of us get in a lifetime. In my opinion, the most loving thing people can do is back up, back out, and not tolerate the self destrutive behavior. My estrangement from this person isn't based in hate or resent--it's because it's the best thing for all involved.

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perkins 6 years, 3 months ago

I think Johnson County has such a program and they seem to think it is worthwhile. I'm kinda suprised the county that enjoys the presence of KU does not already have such a program. Isn't there a sociology dept anymore? That was the "liberal" major when I attended college.

Anyway, in Johnson County probationers seeking a job meet once a week as a group with a "job-resource" specialist and they share leads on who might be hiring, what options exist for housing in a particular area, etc.

Most crimes are for drug possession/sales, I believe. I might be inclined to hire someone caught up in a raid at a party house, who is undergoing or has completed a treatment program, although I personally would be leery of hiring someone convicted of, say, murder.

I think undersheriff Massey deserves praise for trying to help both the taxpayer and the probationer. It is no panacea, no cure-all, but it is worth a $60,000 shot. What are the cost figures on incarceration, anyway? That would have been a great addition to the article.

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Dont_Feed_The_Bears 6 years, 3 months ago

Why not take that $60,000 and build a pink boxer shorts facility at the Farmland site. Gayok should go along with this.

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hawkperchedatriverfront 6 years, 3 months ago

Well, there is an empty building at East Hills business park. The Chamber of Commerce has chartered the DCDI , Douglas county development Incorporated to be the leader in bringing jobs to Lawrence. We keep hearing about all these "poor souls" who get out of jail, for not the first time, but the umpteenth time and they want a job.

Ok, Shirley Martin Smith, here is your chance with your temp agency and here is a chance for DCDI, which is supposedly not for profit to bring jobs to Lawrence. Manufacturing jobs!.. Use that empty building at East Hills for manufacturing, employee those released from jail (the jail is just a few yards across the highway!!!) and those released can make bumper stickers, personalized licensed plates, door knockers, have an area where rag rugs can be made. The vets used to make them at Wadsworth in Leavenworth. There are all kinds of products to be made locally. There is no shortage of rags available. Penn House fills the dumpster up daily with clothes which could be turned into rugs. Rich women like to buy rag rugs made by hand.

Maybe Sue Hack and the other Deciphera investors would like to invest in this new venture.

Hello Mr. Laverne Squier, are you listening?

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FormerCentralKansan 6 years, 3 months ago

This guy isn't homeless....he is a jobless bum hooked on the junk. Instead of coddling him, the LPD should drive his ass out of town and drop him off with instructions never to return. The city is enabling his behavior and just making it easier for him to do what he does best---playing chess, getting plastered and doing nothing.

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Kathy Gragg 6 years, 3 months ago

ok so they chose the wrong person to represent the article? Maybe maybe not. The thing is at what point does society allow a person to move on from their " bad choices" Addiction is more difficult to overcome for some than others. The first thing the court does is sent them to a 12 step group which isn't really a solution unless of course the person spends all their time in meeting or with others in the groups. Even then that is not a sure fired guarantee since often times they relapse together.

Another poster mentioned a family member who are addicted ( I won't point out which poster) and what that poster said was true. There is enabling going on, but too it is difficult to watch someone you care about living on the streets, especially when that person also has quite a few mental health issues. The addiction piece is right up in your face masking the core problems. It's termed self medication. Then there is the reality that continuous use creates problems with reasoning. So you have a person with mental health issues ( most agree this is not the person's fault) who self medicates to subside the symtoms, creating social problems. Does that make the person bad? No & in fact at least one person referred to by another poster is not a bad person, I have seen for myself some great kindnesses in that same person. If that person saw what was written by the poster, that person would be in tears right now. Because I have heard from that person's lips to my ears that the loss of the poster was one of that person's greatest loses & regrets in life. No it did not make that person stop drinking, but then the poster knows the person spoken of is not a strong person.

I'm not telling anyone to forgive murder, I'm not telling anyone to forgive unconditionally. I'm just saying at some point we as individuals & as a society need to afford the oppertunity for these people to move on & do something other than the S.O.S.

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Moderateguy 6 years, 3 months ago

Yup, this guy shot somebody in the head because of an argument about music. Now he spends warm summer days playing chess downtown. He gets free meals and a free place to stay even when he's drunk. All payed for by our tax dollars, and a few misguided peoples spare change. The system is broken.

Well, time to get back to work. Tax freedom day this year is a long way off.

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adriennerm 6 years, 3 months ago

I have a family member that goes to jail all the time. He is a nice person. The best BBQ/er you'll ever meet. He's a math wizard.....and is hooked on liquor and crack. He'll clean up for a while, then go right back. We don't understand. Everyone in my family has tried to help him. However some enable him. He'll be out for a year, then back in jail for a year. It's so sad. I don't think of him as a victim. He is grown and is aware of right and wrong. I just wish I knew why he does this stupid things.

My aunt gives him money, knowing what he'll spend it on. My aunt let him move in.....he stole her latter and end tables(weird in know). Well he's back in there so hopefully this program will be up and running so he can take advantage of it. However not all people want to change. Sometimes we want them to change more than they want to.

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akt2 6 years, 3 months ago

Russ was a peacekeeper. He was a big guy with a heart of gold. His family suffers to this day. His family and friends have to see his grave everytime they travel 15th st. You can see the headstone from the street. And apparently this Tolbert is still threatening people and going to jail for it. He is a dangerous person.

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otto 6 years, 3 months ago

86 KILLING UP FOR PAROLE Email iPod-friendly Print By Chris Koger

February 22, 1998

Advertisement A Lawrence man who was sent to prison for his involvement in a May 1986 shooting that killed a man in Centennial Park is eligible for parole in March.

Sherman E. Tolbert, 43, was sentenced to five to 15 years in prison for his role in the death of Russell Gensler, who was 26 years old when he was shot to death after an altercation in the park. Tolbert was charged with second-degree murder in the death but received a lesser charge by pleading guilty to aiding and abetting voluntary manslaughter.

Gensler's death came after two groups became embroiled in an argument over music at the park. He was shot in the head with a .22-caliber pistol, and witnesses said that although they didn't see him shoot Gensler, Tolbert was seen with a gun that night.

Curtis White, who was with Tolbert the night of the shooting, was convicted of voluntary manslaughter.

Following is a list of other inmates who are up for parole. The list includes the county or counties in which they were convicted, the crimes for which they were convicted and the facility where they are being held.

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otto 6 years, 3 months ago

it was russ gensler not ginsler

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kneejerkreaction 6 years, 3 months ago

KUBABYJ (Anonymous) says: Sherman Tolbert is a good person. I too would like to know about this murder.


The irony is overwhelming. Just what compels you to say this guy is a "good" person? The evidence all points other ways.

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slickmick 6 years, 3 months ago

I was suprised to learn from these postings that Sherman was the perp in the park shooting. The kasper website seems to back this up. One would only need to go to the 1986 archives to verify. There was quite a bit printed about this case. My memory is that Sherman got into a fight earlier with one of the people hanging out. I believe I went to Junior High with the guy who Sherman fought. Any way, Sherman came back with a handgun and started shooting. An inocent bystander was killed. Sherman didn't receive much time for the crime a fact which created some uproar in the community. The victims parents and family were super devistated.

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akt2 6 years, 3 months ago

Broddie The last name is spelled Gensler. I grew up with him and his brother. Lower Centennial is referring to an area in Centennial Park in Lawrence. This all happened a long time ago, but I can still remember writing letters to the parole board when Tolbert would come up for parole, asking them to deny it. Russ was a good man and he did not deserve to die like that. Now this killer is allowed to walk the streets.

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ontheotherhand 6 years, 3 months ago

coolhawk and wishicouldhelp, I hope your family members make it--I am touched by your concern for your loved ones. Good luck to Sherman Tolbert.

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macon47 6 years, 3 months ago

i dont believe it. nearly 40 posts, and no one has blamed george bush or dick cheney.. what a wonder!!!!!

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broddie 6 years, 3 months ago

ksdivakat: a search of the J-W's archives revealed nothing about a Russell Ginsler.

Please fill us in on the details. And what is the "Lower Centennial?"

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justthefacts 6 years, 3 months ago

I've been involved in helping out people as long as I can remember. And it's taught me that the only people you can successfully help are those who want to do it for themselves as soon as possible. There simply are some people who are "broken" - for whatever reason. Some recognize the main problem has been them and their choices, and they work really hard to do better and get better. There are success stories about such people. There are other people who go from one sad story to the next, always getting help from those kind or caring people they can con out of a few dollars, a place to stay, some food, clothing, whatever. They know how to work others and the system, as best as possible. It's no way to live in my opinion, and yet they will work real hard to keep from getting better; choosing to do the unhealthy things. I am all for helping out those who need it - especially the innocent children or aging or chronically mentally ill who through no fault of their own ended up in a bad way. And I know that society itself suffers and pays whenever a human being gets off track (e.g. if the man in this story COULD get "fixed" we'd all benefit from not having to pay for his errors). But you cannot help everyone. Those who do not want to get better on their own will not do the work (and it's hard work) to make healthier and better life choices. No one can do that for them. It's called "enabling" behaviors to keep bailing out someone who needs to suffer the results of their bad behavior.

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ksdivakat 6 years, 3 months ago

srj .............sorry I do not, I just remember when it happened, thats when all us teenagers hung out at lower centennial and that he was the one who did it and went to prison for it as well, but no im sorry I dont have details or personal information on it.

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Kylee Manahan 6 years, 3 months ago

Sherman Tolbert is a good person. I too would like to know about this murder.

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budwhysir 6 years, 3 months ago

just waiting for the program that helps out the working man

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wishicouldhelp 6 years, 3 months ago

I know that. It doesn't ease the pain when you know they are sleeping out in the cold.

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Erin Parmelee 6 years, 3 months ago

wishicouldhelp (Anonymous) says:

my sister is also living on the street, same as Tolbert. She is a sister, a mother, a grandmother, age 55, and an alcoholic. She has had help from the family many times. She is a KU grad, owned a beautiful home, had a wonderful husband, and an alcoholic. She is not a bad person, she has had bad situations. In loosing everything, she has ended up on the streets of Lawrence. I wish I could help her. I wish there was a local program that could help those who want it. It sounds easy to say "get a job" but these folks can't even take a shower, no transportation, and a record. It's not that easy I'm sure.

Well, now I'm going to sound like a cynical b*tch. And maybe I am. WishIcouldhelp, I don't know your sister at all, so don't take this the wrong way. I too have a drug addict/alcoholic in my family. About the same age as your sister, actually. She doesn't live on the streets, but if my family knew what was good for her, she would. Instead they continue to enable her horrible behavior by giving her money, food, and a place to live. The fact of the matter is that we ALL have "bad situations." It's how we chose to deal with them that matters. I know I am getting off the main topic of this article....but it starts to irk me when people look at these people as "victims." They are only victims of their own bad decision making.

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smitty 6 years, 3 months ago

freeordie (Anonymous) says:

This guy reminds me of a lot of neocons: teach'in bible school and committ'in crimes. Maybe they could help him out.

I am wondering if humans relation specialist Paul Winn who also is an outspoken pastor of the church at 7th and Conn is where this guy teaches. In the stories about Winn, this was the type of ex-Conn that Winn stated he was housing at 13th and NY(slum lording and had to be demolished)

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wishicouldhelp 6 years, 3 months ago

my sister is also living on the street, same as Tolbert. She is a sister, a mother, a grandmother, age 55, and an alcoholic. She has had help from the family many times. She is a KU grad, owned a beautiful home, had a wonderful husband, and an alcoholic. She is not a bad person, she has had bad situations. In loosing everything, she has ended up on the streets of Lawrence. I wish I could help her. I wish there was a local program that could help those who want it. It sounds easy to say "get a job" but these folks can't even take a shower, no transportation, and a record. It's not that easy I'm sure.

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Jason Bowers-Chaika 6 years, 3 months ago

Jail populations are increasing because they are the replacement for closed mental hospitals. Why do some offenders return repeatedly? It is cold outside. They have three hots and a cot in jail, health care, and mental health services. Our featured offender in the article last was inside for threatening someone. He may have intentionally violated his parole just to go back inside.

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Kathy Gragg 6 years, 3 months ago

Coolhawk that is why reintergration programs can assist a person in not returning to jail. Followup is really in the hands of the individual. One major skill learned through these programs is advocating for self. There are flaws in all programs, but the best thing to remember is everyone has a supervisor. Regardless the program or level of structure there are guidelines of procedure that must be followed. While these procedures vary you can bet there is a standard set. I would encourage your relative to pick up the phone.

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Flap Doodle 6 years, 3 months ago

snap writes:

countdown

to

an

enforcer

melt-down

beginning

now

.

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Lawrencereader 6 years, 3 months ago

I do more than you could ever dream of doing.

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Kathy Gragg 6 years, 3 months ago

Like I said get a warrant if you think you know so much. In the meantime try to lend a hand up to someone & see if it makes you feel better than what you do now. Perhaps you could volunteer at the CDIC or mentor for the new jail program.

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coolhawk 6 years, 3 months ago

I can speak from experience on this. I have a close relative that was released in October. There is no continuity of the programs. His offense was a misdemeanor and he was in jail for 10 months due to probation violation. He is not a hardened criminal. He just blew off his responsibilities and paid the price for doing so. As a result, he ended up in jail for 10 months. If you think being coddled is 20 hours a day locked up in your cell or 23 hours a day if you are in lock down, then think again. Or, if you piss off the wrong guard and they throw you in solitary for a week because you didn't kiss ass, then you have another thing to think about. Deals are made in jail between inmates and prosecutors to turn evidence or act as a witness. They are encouraged to lie so that another person can be convicted - even if it is not true. Believe me, it happens. While in jail, he received help for mental and alcohol problems. Those services ended when he was released. When he has tried to follow up to receive these services, there is no process to acquire them on the outside. Things get lost. No one cares. You are told to call back and or come back and no one wants to talk to you. The existing system is broken and a farce. I have witnessed it first hand. He was and is a person trying to work within the system and cannot get help. I am not a liberal nor am I a conservative - I'm just calling it the way I see it. If you have not walked in these shoes, you have no idea of the bureaucratic mess it truly is. The jail is autonomous and answers to no one. If you complain, you just make things worse for the inmate. Guards take it out on the inmate by denying priveliges or singling him out for retribution. There is nowhere to go and no process to follow. They asked him to turn against a fellow prisoner. He did not hear any conversations nor had anything to turn. They told him what he heard and said it could help his cause. He said he couldn't snitch on something he didn't know anything about. Ends up, he didn't snitch. But he was encouraged to even if it was false. If you think, that everything is moral, right and just in the prison and inmate process you are wrong. This person told me that the guards, cops and prosecutors are just as crooked as the inmates. There was no difference. Think about it. Question authority. I think the guy in the newspaper story is an extreme example. There are lots of guys in that jail that are not hardened criminals.

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Lawrencereader 6 years, 3 months ago

Very mature, enforcer. You clearly cannot defend yourself because you know it's true.

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Kathy Gragg 6 years, 3 months ago

Run downtown & get yourself a warrant lawrencereader.

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Lawrencereader 6 years, 3 months ago

Enforcer...and who gave you permission to tell this story? I hope you don't work in a field that requires confidentiality because you can't keep your mouth shut about anything.

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JJE007 6 years, 3 months ago

A sick thought just came to me. To the greatest extent possible, lest you are carried away, stay where you were born, come hell or high water. Crazy, eh? Worth may just belong, and have a duty there...and an apparent worthlessness may have no home. People lie and cheat and steal their way aboard new ships of passage. It's a good thing if it's for a good reason but perhaps we should not conspire...to make anything too terribly easy.

this is the blog a dirty word a dirty flight let it fly

then perhaps

prevent its landing

-thelatestinsanity

We should all feel a bit sick and dirty, here.

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Steve Jacob 6 years, 3 months ago

To ksdivakat..

Interesting, do you have any more info on Russell Ginsler murder?

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Kathy Gragg 6 years, 3 months ago

What smitty says about the CDIC program has been true in the past. I know of two Case Managers hired by them that used drugs & alcohol with the clients, But it is my undertanding they have found a better CM who is doing more than the previous. The problem with CDIC is there are no requirements from the participants to work within a structured program. That is the participants volunteer & too drop out as they choose. The Salvation Army on the other hand requires a set amount of class hours to utilize the shelter & they do not allow folks to enter drunk. The problem there is that there is so much drug use/dealing just outside the doors.

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monkeyhawk 6 years, 3 months ago

Has there been a determination as to why the jail population is growing? Could it be that word is out about Lawrence being a great place to get coddled? How many offenders are actually from Lawrence? Could this be the cycle of: get free meals, live on the streets until it gets cold, commit a crime to go to jail to stay warm for a while, get out and start all over again?

Surely LJW can provide data to show how effective this program has been elsewhere.

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Kathy Gragg 6 years, 3 months ago

Yes that was good geekin, you get a big gold star & two happy faces. I worked with a gal a few years ago ( now before anyone cries federal confidetiality, I have permission to tell this story) she had never worked, used drugs most of her life, was in her 40s. She was hired by a local fast food place, the first day she was fired & returned in tears. I told her maybe that wasn't the job for her. It took awhile but she found another job & worked there even though she was laid off a few times. She returned everytime they called her back, She moved away for a short period of time, but returned to that job when she moved back. Today she is married to a real good guy, attending school to do something she always wanted to do & helps others in recovery who are like she once was. That is not to say there have not been hills & valleys along the way for her, but she was able to change her life by working within a structured program of reintigration with a Case Manager. Once in the process she told me that she had not intended to change her life, but in fact was just trying to keep herself out of prison. I wasn't surprised by that declaration, often people do use these programs to cover their butts on a temporary basis, but then sometimes despite that their lives change. When people feel change they like it. When a person is used to how things go day to day they don't see any reason to try something new, but once they experience something better they more often than not wonder why they never tried before. The outcomes for programs such as this one are generally pretty low in success, but there are some who do succeed. The bean counters will look at the numbers & scoff, but the reality is there are people out there who have made it & are grateful for the help the various programs have offered.

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smitty 6 years, 3 months ago

Here IS the problem.....Jail inmates get health care, including mental health care. There are jail education programs available. But once released from jail there is no continuity of those services.*Here is an honest reponse to what must hapen and how long to initiate.....**The county started discussing a re-entry program a few years ago when there was talk about expanding the jail to make room for a growing number of offenders. The program was seen as a possible alternative to reduce the number of returning offenders and thus free up jail space, McGovern said. But if successful it will take three or four years for it work, he said.

Why isn't there continuity??? the city has funded case workers(Bert Nash) and the wet shelter. Wet shelter doesn't do a damn thing to support over coming addiction problems. We have spent our tax dollars on the wrong shelter and programs!

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imastinker 6 years, 3 months ago

There are all sorts of people that will hire criminals. Most any industrial manufacturer will not have that disqualify a person. They pay and benefits are also better than the retail and certian parts o the service industry.

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Jeteras 6 years, 3 months ago

Homeless, Hungry? I be he surely lines up on New Hampshire Street at noon and 5 but yet has enough money to buy a 5 dollar pack of smokes? hmmm go figure. That always amazes me the number of homeless outside with their belly full all smoking in a big circle. sheesh

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ksdivakat 6 years, 3 months ago

alm77 .....I never once said i was surprised that someone wouldnt hire him, what I said was if he wanted a job he would have one by now, even if it was slinging burgers at mcdonalds. I dont believe in a hand out but rather a hand up, and in order to do that you must first do something positive for yourself!

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geekin_topekan 6 years, 3 months ago

Sounds cozy and all but no program,housing,job or Bible will get you anywhere unless you realize that YOU and your way of thinking and doing are the problem.Once that is established than maybe a program will HELP.Not "work" but "help". Reading/carrying the Bible doesn't make you spritually sound.Anymore than owning a choice set of tools makes you a mechanic.You got to seek out principles and take action.Clumsly at first but practice,practice,practice.Don't aim for or claim Sainthood,Just believe that someone other than yourself,wants you clean and sober and happy.Learning to love the challenge is half the battle.And remember,you are not alone and you don't have to go it alone.Many are out there that know your pain and frustration and have trudged forward because they sought a new outlook on the world and have made progress.Seek these people out,they will not come to you.I know it would be easy to blame them for not rescueing you but,that's not how it works.

Hey!Someone should be writing this down!This is good stuff!!Check me out.

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Wilbur_Nether 6 years, 3 months ago

I'd rather spend some money on programs that will reduce recidivism than on reincarceration. In the long run, over multiple numbers of parolees/releasees, it's much cheaper.

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Kathy Gragg 6 years, 3 months ago

Seems to me like there isn't a whole lot of alternatives. Either a Case Manger works with him to reintigrate him into some kind of productive life or he keeps hanging out until the next incident. There are no guarantees for programs like this one, but it's a better shot than throwing one's hands up.

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alm77 6 years, 3 months ago

ksdivakat - first you say "Im amazed that with his violent background, hes out on the streets again!" but then you're surprised that he can't find someone to hire him?

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macon47 6 years, 3 months ago

the city needs to ban smoking in alleys

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sawman 6 years, 3 months ago

This reprobate robbed me and my roomates at knife point about 35 years ago. Too bad someone hasn't shanked or shot him in the interim. Apparently he's been a burden on society ever since, and continues to be one.

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ksdivakat 6 years, 3 months ago

This is the guy who killed russell ginsler at lower centennial 15-20 yrs ago and did time for it, Im amazed that with his violent background, hes out on the streets again! I know Im supposed to forgive and forget, but you have to show me something that makes me think you want to change. If this guy has been looking for a job since nov, he would have one by now even if it was slinging burgers at mcdonalds. Show me that you really want to change and i will be more apt to support it.

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freeordie 6 years, 3 months ago

This guy reminds me of a lot of neocons: teach'in bible school and committ'in crimes. Maybe they could help him out.

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b3 6 years, 3 months ago

You made your own bed, now sleep in it.

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Dont_Feed_The_Bears 6 years, 3 months ago

Great... lets build halfway houses all over town and do everything we can to attract more like this. gez....

Build it and they will come, Feed them and they will stay.

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