I am writing as a crime victim and hero in Harris County, who was subject to horrendous treatment by the court system and who never saw an ounce of justice, to publically request that the parishioners of Emerson Church and Interfaith Ministries no long support Harris County’s STAR Drug Court. That they put victims first and do not support religious coverups. Pastor Becky and the Gelb’s apparently don’t want to speak about why they support religious cover-ups and drug offenders over crime victims, so I have chosen to appeal directly to the parishioners of Emerson Church for myself and the other victims in our case. As a direct result of Emerson funding the STAR Drug Court, several crime victims’ lives in our case have been negatively affected, and even, ruined. Drug Courts offer differentiated treatment to offenders, usually treatment versus jailed combined with a cleaned record, versus offenders who commit the same crime and are not drug users. Worse, the drug court allows recent drug addicts, who claim to be clean and highly sympathic to only fellow drug users, to guide criminal justice policy in Houston. In our case, the heroin addicted daughter of a man who founded and ran the rehab Teen and Family Services as Mercy Street Chapelwood, a church composed almost entirely of ex-drug addicts, ex-alcoholics, and ex-criminals, went on a yearlong crime spree. During this timeframe, the women’s father ran the rehab at Chapelwood, a church with which Emerson routinely host co-events, while a drug addict at the same time. This women stole my car and other items from me, and drove my car through the parking gate of my condo. Niether I, my neighbors, the condo, or insurance were paid a penny by the women. At the trial, a fellow victim, who was made the unknowing getaway car in one of the defendant’s crimes, was threatened and thrown out of the court room by the head preacher of Mercy Street, himself an ex-addict and self-admitted thief. As a victim, I was never ordered a dollar of restitution, but had a probation order put against me calling me, as the VICTIM, of bad character and ill repute. Harris County is still unable to offer an explanation for this. The judge on the case later apologized to me. I took the offender into my home after finding out she was homeless and/or living with her dealer, and being prostituted at a strip club owned by the former head of the NJ mafia. This mafia leader was under the supposed surveillance of the feds, in witness protection for several murders, who also do not want to investigate this case – gee, wonder why. That, and drug court is Obama’s new criminal justice initiative. Her dad was too busy getting high at Chapelwood, the drug church associated with our court system. My female rooomate and I fed her, clothed her, took the time to take her to a rehab and pay for it, report her dealers to police, etc. I have also taken in and helped 4 other individuals. I personally have overcome dyslexia and a neurological disease and many other hardships to earn 3 ivy leagues degrees, and do not use these hardships as an excuse to commit crimes against other, drink, or do drugs. The offender was assigned to a rehab the judge had never used before, but one which happens to be run by friends of Chapelwood, its preacher, and parents. An internal affairs investigation into the case ordered by Administrative Judge Stricklin – who has no association with drug court – found that the church did engage in unethical and illegal activities in the courtroom, and also, that Drug Court Manager Covington sought special treatment from the judge. Rather oddly, both the judge who ordered the investigation and the court attorney that conducted it no longer worked for the court system, but an ex-alcoholic judge from Chapelwood, Bill Burke, was named the new drug court judge just a month later. Within a month of the investigation, the offender’s probation office apologized to me, and had her put back in jail and boot camp rehab for a year. A civil case against the girl was in front of another judge from Chapelwood, Judge Ridgway. Did he recuse himself? Of course not!!! Judge Emmett’s county lawyer also responded to issues to me – this lawyer is a former county judge with a bankruptcy indictment and two other convictions for obstructing justice and hitting an employee while physically taking his car back from an impound yard. This prizewinner is also a proud Chapelwood member. Chapelwood is quite the church. Head Pastor Jim Jackson, himself an ex-alcoholic, sent me an email stating if I said or did anything more he would see that I was arrested. I guess if they appoint an ex-alcoholic judge from your church the new drug court judge a month later, you can try to make that threat. While none of the victims were paid a dollar, but were threatened repeatedly by the good Christians, Drug Preacher Matt Russell was award a PhD on taxpayer and victims dollars from Texas Tech and Mary Covington continues to collect an $82,000/year salary on taxpayer and victim’s tax dollars. Victims who have not been paid a penny of tens and tens of thousands in damages. The judge on my case resigned, after I began speaking about the case to both state and federal level legislatures, the governor’s office, and the White House/DOJ, and lobbying against drug courts. Rick Perry’s office told me that they knew everyone in the AG office and my case would go nowhere. Good old Rick then named Judge Cabaniss to be the new 248th judge, a member of the Drug Court Foundation founded by the Emerson’s. Rick can’t have a judge who made statements that action needs to be taken against drug court on the bench, and against churches (gasp!!), on the bench. After conducting an investigation finding wrongdoing, and having those who conducted the investigation no working for the court system, a new investigation was conducted a month later by Deborah Selden, the civil court counsel (not criminal) and a drug court supporter which found no wrongdoing. The judge who ordered the investigation was replace by non than Mike Anderson, an original drug court judge, and husband of current DA, and ex drug court judge, Devon Anderson. To share some other facts about drug courts: – Emerson’s Harris County Drug Court Foundation, run by the churches Harris County lawyers said it would have to reassess its relationships with before not having a job a month later, states drug court save money. In contrast, Brookings Institute, the 1 public policy think tank in the country, finds 86% of drug courts are cost positive, to the tune of over $5000. The UK and Scottish Justice Ministries made similar findings. – Researchers from Harvard, Yale, UPenn, U. of Washington Law School, Fordham, Cambridge, the National Defense Attorneys Association, the Drug Policy Alliance, and many other highly regarding research institutions have published reports against drug courts in the past 5 years. – In the 5 years since drug courts were introduced in Texas, drug arrests went up 50%, and significantly more in counties that added drug courts, than those that did not. – Harris County operates the ONLY drug court in our country with associated churches, which tell our drug offenders they are forgiven by Jesus – not just any Jesus, but the Methodist, Protestant one. My case was filed as a hate crime. – During the past 2 years, there have been over half a dozen scandals involving drug addicts and ex-drug addicts having some role running drug courts. Out of Tennessee, a judge was convicted of having sex with a “drug court client”, aka offender, in his courtroom and buying drugs from her. Out of Nevada, a drug court judge apologized to the bench, after crashing her car into a car while drunk (kinda sounds like my case). Out of Illinois, a drug court judge died from a coke overdose. He and another judge bought their drugs from a drug court probation officer. The judge also signed an order dismissing a case against one of his drug dealers. We appeal to the Emerson parishioners to consider the victims, instead of the offenders. In our case, victims have been threatened, but have not been paid a penny of tens of thousands in restitution. In general, over 94% of damages caused by drug offenders to their victims are never remunerated. Yet, oddly, our judges, lawyers, and a few churches, are raising money for such items as clothes and glasses for drug offenders. This is highly offensive to victims, such as myself, who have not been paid a penny. It is similarly offensive that I need to deal with the Protestant Christian’s idea of “ethics” in a public courtroom. I personally do not find Chapelwood very ethical at all. Chapelwood and Emerson churches routinely do joint events. Apparently, the Emerson Church’s “moral initiative” supports threatening victims, zero restitution for victims, conflicts of interest, and religious cover-ups. To learn more about the “moral initiative,” please see below: Harris County’s Lawyers Apologizing to Me: outube.com/watch?v=xVAgDhiHihE Petition of my Neighbors and Friends: petitionspot.com/petitions/STARDrugChapelwood/ Emerson’s parishioners. Please tell your pastors to do the right thing, not to participate in religious cover-ups, and to put victims first. .
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