Legalized Slavery in the United States

A report by David Bowlby concerning his brother, and others, having been forced into legalized slavery by a corrupt judicial system (August 8, 2017)

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[September 25, 2017: A radio show, in New York City with Eric Metaxas, Dave Bowby and myself, was taped on September 1, and postponed in its airing until at least Dave’s brother was safely free. This happened on September 9, and the conditions described by Daryl Bowlby to his brother Dave are confirmed. And even more so in the meantime. The taping will be aired as soon as wise and possible, with concern for all those still suffering under this legalized slavery.

This is a classic case of structural evil, and the vulnerable are those who get crushed. Edmund Burke says: “All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” We need the power of God’s grace through prayer, for people of good will to intervene, especially those in positions of legal and governmental power, and as supported by people at the grass roots.

As well, it is usual for such cases to originate with one or several people bent on evil, on profiting in some capacity by manipulating those who cannot defend themselves. These evil people have sycophants to help them, and then on outward to others whose income might become dependent within the system, all are intimidated into silence, and this is true in small enterprises up to corrupt nations.]

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By David Bowlby, on behalf of his brother Daryl and all others thus enslaved, in a letter to John Rankin (August 8, 2017) after a phone call apprising him of the situation.

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Here is the story. I have a brother, Daryl,  who has been in prison in Missouri for 6.5 years.  The charge is a sex offense and that puts him on the offender’s list making it difficult to just get out of prison and go about your life.

The prison gave him a three month time period and place to live in order for him to get a job and his own place to live. That place, Chance Sobriety Ministries is in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Before Daryl was released from prison I already had employment and a place for him to live in Pittsburgh, PA with one of my long time customers who also runs a half- way house for alcoholics and addicts. Daryl by the way, was not sent top Chance Sobriety for alcohol or drug abuse.

Daryl has been at Chance Sobriety for approximately 2.3 months and his probation officer has not done much to help him move forward. It seems that Chance Sobriety is involved in a type of slavery. I will explain.

If you are sent there you do not have a cell phone nor are you allowed to have a vehicle. You get three months to produce a job and place to live but nothing is available to you. The facility is in the middle of nowhere and you are not allowed to leave the property. If you walk off, a call is made to probation and you are immediately arrested and taken back to prison.

They do not want you getting a job or housing.

After your three month period, which is paid for by the government the only option on the table for you is to go to work for the owner of the facility at one of his two car washes and this is the way your days go from that time forward. You get up at 6:00 am and have cereal for breakfast. Two days a week you get eggs. You get into a van and are transported to the car wash to begin your shift at 8:00 am. You work there till closing, 8:00 pm. During that course of the day you are given a sandwich. When you arrive back at the facility you have chores and a type of AA meeting that is really just a roll call. Then after your chores are done you get to eat and take a shower.  The next morning this cycle starts over again and it happens 7 days a week and does not end.

Your options are now non-existent. The food they eat comes from a food bank and most of it is expired. There are 31 residents in the facility and the owner pays around 200.00 per week for food to feed them so you can only guess at the amount and quality of the food they receive. At the end of the week on Friday each person working at the carwash receives 40.00 cash for the 84 hours they have worked. They have to pay 1.00 to use the washing machine, 1.00 to use the dryer, they have to buy their own toilet paper, towels and whatever else they need. If they need to go to the store it is a 1.00 charge.  If you don’t do your chores or whatever you are told you get a fine.  So basically, you can end up giving them back the 40.00 you earned that week.

There are many sick people at the facility due to the food and there is no medical staff. Last week a fellow fell out of his bunk and broke his knuckle.  They took him to the hospital and he had to pay his own bill. It seems that they have no insurance. Chance Sobriety is a non-profit and to the public seems to be a wonderful place helping those in need, but the reality is slavery. Once you get in the door you can’t leave. There are inmates there that have been stuck in this since 2011 with no options and every day they are at the car wash. Cars are washed by hand so all the workers are wet all day in their sneakers causing fungus and skin problems.

It seems that the probation personnel involved with prisoners sent here must be involved because there seems to be no help to get them out. Daryl has had a job and place to stay waiting for him from before he was released and his probation officer is doing very little to move him forward. She has been trying to keep him in the facility and not work with him. Daryl asked her if she would make contact with his ex in Little Rock so he could get his belongings, a car, truck, boat, clothes, tools and family heirlooms. Her response was that she does not get involved. I was under the impression that probation was not only there to keep you out of trouble but also to help you.

If you have no family or any outside help you are destined to stay in the place and keep producing money for them. This is not a good situation and even though Daryl has a great job opportunity and housing with the chance to get his life back, it seems that it may not happen. He has expressed many times to the probation officer that this job offer will not be available forever and they will need to hire someone else to fill that position.

I own a material distribution business and offered to put Daryl on my payroll, get him a place to stay, a phone and put him to work doing sales in Arkansas and the remark from probation was “that may not be a good idea, supposes something happens to your brother?” What kind of a ridiculous answer is that? I could die tomorrow and this company would continue to function. It is obvious that they do not want Daryl to leave.

Something needs to be done about this situation and I hope you can open some doors and bring this into the public arena because people need to know what is happening in the place. I am certain that this is not the only place where treatment like this goes on but it is legally and morally wrong and it has to come to an end. I would appreciate any help you can give me to change the circumstances under which these inmates are living.

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Contact the TEI if you can help: teii@teii.org. Thank you.

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