Category Archives: Tammy Tangent Tuesdays

#Justice4JustinJ – CDCR Pays For Sex Reassignment Surgery, But Not Life-Saving Living Donor Transplants?

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Pays For Sex Reassignment Surgery, But Not Life-Saving Living Donor Transplant?

Life here in California is anything but the California dream. We’re all shocked, full of fear, imprisoned in crisis, isolated while feeling defeated more and more as we try and swim upstream in all this despair.

And it’s not just because of COVID-19, you know!

Yes, part of our pain is due to disease and death, but it’s the exposure of corruption and letdown in our governmental justice system that appears to be screaming, “Mayday, Mayday…”

But when you tell me…

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will not pay for a living donor transplant and this beloved has potential donors

I about lost my mind!

Justin is not my child, but I’m roaring almost as loud as if he was.

So wait a minute…

In 2017, a transgender woman by the name of Shiloh Quine, who was 57 years old, incarcerated since 1980 (37 years), became the first U.S. prisoner to receive state-funded SRS. Quine v. Beard, U.S.D.C. (N.D. Cal.), Case No. 3:14-cv-02726-JST. 

A stunning, unprecedented move, from the CDCR where they decided to pay for this sex reassignment surgery (SRS).

But I am bringing your attention to one particular individual in our state prisons with significant health issues. His name is Justin J. Silva, AN0415, incarcerated at New Folsom/CSP Sacramento.

Justin is medically fragile, suffering from end stage kidney failure and is receiving dialysis three times per week at an outside facility. Justin’s dialysis treatment is costing California taxpayers an amount of approximately $100,000 per year.  Justin is on a cadaver kidney transplant list, but has been denied a “live donor transplant” due to the cost to the CDCR; however, Justin has potential donors.

Governor Newsom’s lawyers told a panel of federal judges that the state is taking “extraordinary and unprecedented protective measures” to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect those medically-fragile.  CDCR/CCHCS proclaims they’re “dedicated to the safety of everyone who lives in, works in, and visits our state prisons.”

Justin has served over half his time for his crime committed during juvenile guidelines. He is and has been subjected to COVID-infected staff during transport, precluding him from social distancing which also puts the community at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19.

Emergency release is also supported by the fact that Justin cannot adequately be protected from COVID-19 at this facility because of the constant transportation and location required in dialysis treatment, along with the fact that CSP-SAC is incapable of providing a renal diet. The diet called for is not followed. His diet consists of processed meat and peanut butter.  

Emergency release is also supported due to complications. He is currently experiencing an uncontrolled secondary hyperparathyroidism and is at risk of needing major surgery from the lack of an adequate renal diet. He has waited “weeks” to even receive his prescribed medication.

Releasing Justin J. Silva to his supportive parents who will care for him and have his life spared with a live kidney transplant is requested. This can and should be done without charging taxpayers what his loving family, who are connected both in faith-based and the greater San Diego communities with prior service in the reentry venue, can perform.  

Why lose more lives, time, and waste tax dollars, when there’s a simple solution to a dire need:  Release Justin J. Silva to his loving parents and have his life spared with a live donor kidney transplant.

The chance that this man would re-offend is exceedingly low, and you have broad power over his fate. Release Justin Silva now. You’ve been summoned to utilize your trademark courage and boldness in the past, but this just requires compassion and a signature to release!

We thank you, Governor Newsom, for using your vast powers in undertaking this emergency action necessary to save this California inmate from dying an “unjust and preventable death behind bars” while saving much-needed California tax dollars.

Decriminalizing human pain equals investing in people, not prisons.

Imprisoned in Crisis

Where the enemy is attempting to bring division, grief and pain, God is restoring unity. What the enemy intended as evil, God will turn it around for good.

#Justice4JustinJ is a call-out campaign to the Governor from the citizens of California, and humanity, insisting that lives must come before dollars. Paying for a transgender surgery, but not for a life-saving transplant and/or release through emergency a medically-fragile beloved whose re-offending nature is extremely low, is unacceptable!

Many elderly and medically-vulnerable prisoners are being kept behind bars for the sake of punishment rather than justice, and it’s time to be a voice for those who can’t speak up for themselves.

I pray you find it in your heart to reach out and email Gov. Newsom, joining in our campaign for #Justice4JustinJ, requesting that Gov. Newsom grant emergency release for Justin J. Silva, who is indeed medically fragile, to the care of his parents who can arrange for his transplant surgery and receive a second chance. It’s hard to be healed and restored when you’re being denied life-saving surgery.

If you’d like to contact the Governor and support this cause, click here. Directions are simple and it’s just an email away.

Every life matters!

Until next time…

Decriminalizing Human Pain…

#TammyTangentTuesdays Tammy Ingram on demoralizing human pain.    My silence means I’m tired of fighting.

Decriminalizing Human Pain Requires Investing In People, Not Prisons!

Days are long and lack glamour. Darkness and danger are no longer my shadow. Instead, they outline the green eyes underneath the aging facade and eyewear. I’ve grown accustomed to this new look. Hurt people hurt others, but healed people heal.

Days turn into weeks. Weeks into months. Before I knew it, a whole year had passed consumed with a new role. I often marvel at the thought: How does a beloved who once drove herself off a 350-foot cliff being suicidal circle back?

A survivor of violent crimes stemming from assaults from white, brown and black men heal, with obvious battle scars that one can’t cover over, and give back?

A woman who was once married to a Deputy Sheriff/Correctional Officer that went south real quick and press through honoring?

And a mother whose son is finishing time for his crime in state prison and see a great need, a cause worth fighting for?

Sure, being a chaplain helped, but that’s not what restored my sight.

These deep hurts cause people to make poor decisions and become incarcerated. This is what our state prisons are overwhelmed with; people like me, people with deep hurts that were forgotten.

How does one circle back through that trauma to organizing a nonprofit that many say women don’t belong in because of the darkness and danger?

Really?

I’m sure if you asked Mother Theresa, she’d say, “I see God in every human being. When I wash the leper’s wounds, I feel I am nursing the Lord Himself. Is it not a beautiful experience?”

Better yet, ask one of my heroes who has done a tremendous job changing the abuses in the correctional system, Terri McDonald, who even looks like my mother equipped with my quirkiness.

God’s amazing like that, you know!

Terri McDonald is President of the Association of Women Executives in Corrections, 24-year veteran of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, who held both titles of Chief Deputy Secretary and Undersecretary.

She’s a former Assistant Sheriff for L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and who holds the esteemed title of Chief Probation Officer with the Los Angeles County Probation Department.

She’s all about doing the hard stuff…

Blameless and Forever  Free Ministries when will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery , rather than avenge it?

I can’t hold a candle to that resume, nor would I want to; but what I do hold is a life covered in God’s grace, love and transformation that sustained and delivered healing.

Amazing how God turns our insecurities, indiscretions, faulty character traits and behaviors in need of fine tuning into courage, compassion and confidence to walk through crises all for His plan and purpose.

If God’s transforming power can do all of that for me, helping me forgive my assailants and healing my deep emotional hurts, He can and will touch the lives of our incarcerated reentering society.

From Prison To Community – Where Punishment Ends and Healing Begins!

I believe poverty deserves compassion, not punishment. Addiction needs treatment, not a jail sentence. Mental illness requires care, not a cage. And I’m a HUGE supporter of decriminalizing human pain which requires investing in lives, not prisons.

And that requires a whole new mindset and a whole lot of grace. I don’t have all the answers, make multiple mistakes, but I’m a firm believer that God didn’t create and design us to sit back and expect others to initiate change. If we want safer communities and changed lives, we have to put our faith into action and sit in the trenches with them.

The inarcerated’s need to be loved, forgiven and healed is unashamedly obvious!

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries is advocating as Ambassadors of Hope for restorative justice. Restorative justice is responding to crime and violence in a way that transforms the focus through A.R.T.: Shifting punishment to responsibility (Accountability), rehabilitation and restoration (Reintegration), leading to redemption (Transformation).

We are created in God’s image; therefore, we are God’s masterpiece, His work of ART!

America is the land of the second chance. And when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life, George W. Bush

We operate believing this ART approach not only holds the offender accountable, but it becomes the very stepping stones leading to healing for all beloveds impacted by crime: our victims, the offenders, the families and our communities. And that includes those working in the criminal justice system.

This illustrates really God’s heart of justice: Valuing all human life while promoting accountability. This cultivates community engagement. Together, it changes the culture, inspires the church, and advances justice reform.

The struggle is just one part of the story. Incarceration IS and will ALWAYS be PART of the STORY!

C.W. Lewis proclaims God’s Absolute Truth perfectly, “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”

Blameless is founded on the premise that God’s Great Love Changes Everything. In order to hear, we must listen. Find the need behind the need. Hurt people hurt others, but healed people heal! Listening requires engagement. Engagement understands what happens in prison does not stay in prison!

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries From Prison To Community

From Prison to Community – Where Punishment Ends and Healing Begins!

Decriminalizing human pain requires investing in people, not prisons. Blameless and Forever Free Ministries is launching their building campaign to open up a reentry program center built on the gifts and professions of many lives and partners willing to invest in, build up, participate and bring hope and healing to tragic situations for ALL.

That’s Blameless’ mission: Organized to reduce recidivism rates, expand community safety and awareness, and disrupt the cycle of re-offending.

Our goal is to equip beloveds who were incarcerated and lost to live the lives God created and designed them to live; empowering them to live with a purpose.

My silence means I’m tired of fighting. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s the power of using your voice.” Thank you, Michelle Obama.

Until next time…

Embracing Today’s Offender As Tomorrow’s Neighbor!