Andre Chaka Garnett 
Member since Jan 21, 2016



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Re: “Richmond City Jail Abruptly Ends Its Much-Praised Yoga Program

Hello all, I apologize for getting to this so late, I totally meant to comment on here when I first read this story. Robbie has been dedicated to that jail program for many years, and its sad that the Justice Center not only showed how un-dedicated it is to one of its citizens, but its ability to abruptly turn its back on that citizen and the residents of the Justice Center. Robbie's jail yoga program was one of the only places some residents could find solace and a piece of mind while serving their time. In turn it was that piece of mind found there in those quiet sessions of yoga that kept many of us from negative behaviors and disruptions of center's operations. Yes I said "us", because not too many years ago I was one of those residents with a long track record of going in and out of jail and being known as a disruptive inmate; but honestly since I found my yoga practice in 2010 at the Richmond City Jail (prior to becoming the Justice Center) I have yet to be back as a resident. To find that the programs department at the Justice Center does not recognize Robbie's instruction in the art of Ashtanga Yoga as a vital tool in the fights against recidivism and negative inmate relations among the residents, is shocking and down right disrespectful to the community at large. True our Justice Center's residents are accused and/or convicted of crimes of the community; but would it not be a better way of serving the community then to expose these same residents, that we expect to make the positive changes amongst their release from incarceration , to programs such as Robbie's yoga that tend to have those calming and positive change effects to those that need it most and have the time to expose their lives to a different culture? It seems to me that the person responsible for the programs department at the Richmond City Justice Center, that same person who is ultimately responsible for deleting Robbie from the residents lives, has an agenda that is not in the interest of public concern. If the Richmond City Justice Center is a public building, governed by public officials, and meant to serve the Richmond City public, how is it that programs such as this, that have such a large public impact and following, can get changed and/or removed absent public forum or input? In my mind it begs and demands a review of not only the Justice Center's programs department, but the Justice Center's operations policy as a whole to insure that vital people and programs are awarded the same level of respect, opportunity, and protection that we expect every citizen and resident alike to have from our elected and hired officials. I realize I am just one man in all of this, but as an advocate for positive change, when I hear MY CITY calling on its citizens to do better in the community, I SHOUT right back to those public officials that its time to lead by example.
I will never scared to fight injustice!
Andre Chaka Garnett Sr.


1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Andre Chaka Garnett on 01/21/2016 at 6:15 AM

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