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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

YA AUTHOR RELEASES BOOK ON BULLYING, Bronx, New York (9/13/2017) – FLAGRANT PUBLISHING

Flagrant Publishing announces the release of What Would You Do If Someone Disrespected You? The second in a line of YA fiction books written specifically for young people and the unique challenges they face. The book aims to help young people deal with bullying, and to be a supportive tool for parents, mentors and educators alike.

Published on CreateSpace which is part of the Amazon group of companies, the book offers inspiration and encouragement for anyone who has ever been bullied, left out or pushed aside. The fast paced , high energy novel encourages young people to be vocal about when bullying occurs and gives guidance to anyone struggling with bullying and rejection doing so with character diversity and written in a language that young people can relate to.

“It’s a fictional book with a real impact,” says the Author Jabar. “It’s important to meet young people where they are and help them navigate the world they live in, and I do that with literature. I wanted readers to know they are not alone, that someone understands what they are going through and that they can make it.”

What Would You Do If Someone Disrespected You?, encourages readers of all ages to embrace positivity. The book was developed from the author’s experiences, values and vision for how to make the world kinder for all. It is on sale October 11th 2017, in time for back-to-school reading, and available wherever online books are sold.

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Using fiction to stop the School-to-Prison Pipeline.

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The School–to-Prison Pipeline is a metaphor used to describe the increasing patters of contact students have with the juvenile and adult criminal justice system as a result of recent practices implemented by educational institutions.

According to the Campaign for Youth Justice, an estimated 250,000 youth are tried, sentenced or incarcerated as adults every year across the United States. As described by the American Civil Liberties Union, “the school-to-prison pipeline is a disturbing national trend. Many of the children (this effects) have learning disabilities or histories of poverty, abuse and/or neglect. This trend disproportionately targets children of color.”

Parents, teachers, counselors and mentors are constantly looking for better ways to effectively communicate with at-risk teens and troubled youth. “This Ain’t What You Want” by JABAR is the first in a line of YA (Young Adult) fiction novels written specifically for young people and the unique challenges they face, offering powerful intervention via literature. This is positive fiction that works as a mirror for change.

Flagrant Publishing is committed to challenging the “School-to-Prison Pipeline” with consequence oriented literature for at-risk teens and troubled youth. “Young people are inundates with choices” says Author JABAR. “Arming young people with books that encourage critical thinking is key”.

Hailed as a “Must Read” by the Baltimore Times for its highly relatable nature, this compelling coming of age story highlights a young man’s journey through trials and tribulations as a result of having the wrong friends. This gritty no hold barred approach to fiction creates a platform for open and honest dialog between young people and their support systems; parents, teachers, counselors and mentors.

Young peoples limited experiences naturally makes it difficult for them is see the long term effects of their everyday actions. This Ain’t What You Want is effective with at-risk teens and young adults as it offers an honest reflection of life, choices and consequence, allowing the reader to evaluate their own thinking and behavior as it relates to the story and essentially, their lives.

 

 

 

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A New Solution To A Old Problem,

DIVERSE BOOKS

 Young adult fiction (YA) lacking diversity is not a new problem by any means. One of the earliest mentions of this issue surfaced via the New York Times in 1965. Author and educator Nancy Larrick published an article in the Saturday Review of Literature titled “The All- White World of Children’s Books”. Although, there have been strides in the world of YA fiction, so much more needs to be done to bring diversity of characters to the mainstream for reasons that may not seem as obvious as one may think.

YA fiction lacking diversity creates a dangerous void for children of color resulting in a lack of interest and desire to read. Furthermore young people who don’t see their image or surroundings in YA books likely don’t see themselves in the world. Books that have diversified main characters act as a mirror for the reader allowing them to see themselves in the story which sparks creativity within and helps them to feel appreciated and valued within society. This fact was compounded by a survey produced by First Book which reported that 90 percent of its respondents indicated that children in their programs would be more enthusiastic readers if they had access to books with characters, stories, and images that reflected their lives and neighborhoods.

Lack of diversity in young adult literature especially effects an important demographic of the young adult community which is the at-risk. Already presented with disadvantages and lack of adequate resources, these youth desperately needs books that reflect their lives and communities so that they can see life and how to live it from another perspective. Hopefully, equipping them with the tools needed to make better choices. That’s where the book “This Ain’t What You Want” becomes a must have in your library!

Hailed as a “must read” by the Baltimore Times, this YA novel is written specifically for young people and the unique challenges they face. This compelling coming of age story highlights a young man’s journey through trials and tribulations as a result of having the wrong friends.  Written in a language that young people can understand and relate to, This Ain’t What You Want is the type of proactive literature needed in YA fiction today.

Emotional Development and At-Risk Teens

​All adults recognize this truth; children’s minds are different from adults. Unlike adults, youth brains develop with a structural imbalance that effectively promotes poor decision making; the area that matures reckless behavior matures sooner than the area that regulates behavior. Simply put, the youth brain is literally hardwired to promote poor decision making.
​For the first time 2012 landmark case Miller V. Alabama, the United States Supreme Court, acknowledges the difference. Miller deals with the sentencing of children to mandatory life in prison without the possibility of parole. Fourteen states have no minimum age for trying children as adults. Children as young as 8 years old have been prosecuted while some states set the minimum age at 10,12 or 13.
​The Court reasoned children lack maturity, have a underdeveloped sense of responsibility leading to recklessness, they are impulsive, heedless risk-takers, and susceptible to negative external influences and pressure from peers. Yet the Court went on to say “a child’s character is not well informed and their traits are less fixed and their actions are less likely to be evidence if irretrievable depravity.”
​For these very reasons, arming teens with the tools they need to think past their natural impulses is so critically important. Helping young people manage their emotions along with other initiatives like increasing literacy and involvement in self- esteem increasing activities can be the very thing that tips the scales. These traits can decrease a child’s likelihood of becoming a prisoner and increase the child’s odds of becoming a success.
​Below are a few concepts to share with young people to help with emotional management and better decision making.
Know Thy Self: Encouraging a young person to know themselves is very important. In the same way you know gives you an allergic reaction a young person should know what triggers emotions of anger or rage. This will allow them to navigate life’s obstacles in a way that doesn’t put their freedom in jeopardy.
Stop overestimating short-term payoffs and underplaying the long- term consequences: The rule of nature of you reap what you sow; there is no exception to this rule. Why not give blessings so that you can get blessings?
​Stay focused on your goal: Kids needs the skills to strengthen their ability to peep what is really going on even through all the noise in their lives. A lot of young people spend their time regretting the past and complaining about their present situation.
Last but not least its important to remember that ​Failure is a learning opportunity!
 

 

Children’s Holiday Book Drive

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BOOK DRIVE TO SUPPORT CHILDREN LIVING IN LOCAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SHELTERS DRAWS BIG CROWDS.

The first annual Flagrant Publishing Children’s Holiday Book Drive initiative, which provided free books to children living in local domestic violence shelters, was a great success here in New York City.   With two domestic violence shelters, one domestic violence resource company and a local non- profit for troubled teens being the recipients of the donations, more than 150 children will receive free books thanks to friends and fans of the publishing company and its YA author, Jabar.

This collaborative effort to increase literacy amongst the often silent victims of domestic violence was the heartfelt mission of the author and publishing team, who were inspired to do something after researching the link between illiteracy and juvenile incarceration.  After learning that several states around the country use the reading scores of 3rd graders to determine how many future prison cells will be needed, the publishing CEO Genevieve Davis and Author Jabar knew they needed to do something.

“When it dawned on us that such a big problem could be tackled with books, it was a no brainer. We had to help these kids!” Says Jabar.  “Having access to books helps encourage kids, teens and adults to read should not be undervalued. Studies show that illiteracy has long lasting effects on the quality of life for individuals, families and communities.”

Armed with this passion, the duo teamed up with friends and fans on social media, requesting lightly used children book donations for a good cause.

“People responded from everywhere, the outpour of support has been amazing. Nothing feels better than giving back to your community and helping people.” Says Genevieve.

Dedicated to enriching the lives of troubled teens and at-risk youth, the Author and Publishing duo continues to foster awareness through literature. “This Ain’t What You Want” is the first in a series of fiction novels written specifically for young people and the unique challenges they face.  Jabar’s thought provoking novel and innovative writing style has made the up-and-coming Author a “go-to” in both YA fiction and literature.

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The Link Between Illiteracy And At-Risk Youth

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84% of Juvenile offenders have reading problems and 3 out of 5 adult offenders can’t read at all. With this in mind academic reading tests of elementary students are used by many states to forecast the amount of future prison cells needed.

                Illiteracy rears its ugly head across all ethnicities in our country. The impact is burdensome on the economy and society as a whole, to the tune of approximately $20 Billion dollars a year. Additionally poverty, crime and mass incarceration are direct correlations to illiteracy. President Obama said in his weekly radio address Saturday October 31, 2015 “Every year, we spend $80 billion in taxpayer dollars to keep people incarcerated.”  Something has to be done to change this terrible trend.

                America ranks only 17th in the world for reading. According to the Literacy project Foundation, illiteracy has become such a serious problem in our communities that 44 million adults are said to be unable to read a simple story to their children. The ripple effects of such statistics are staggering. Statistics show that illiteracy affects children adversely through different stages of their lives in the following ways:

·         Elementary age students who are not reading proficiently by the 4th grade are more likely to end up in jail or on welfare

·         When illiteracy follows a child into their youth, it’s found that incarceration rates among high school drop outs are 63 times higher than college graduates

·         50% of unemployed teens and young adults between the ages of 16 and 21 will not read well enough to be considered literate, essentially reading below the level needed to earn a living wage.

                It is time to disrupt the pipeline from illiteracy to prison once and for all. Organizations, such as, reading is Fundamental ( RIF) are wonderful but despite their efforts many of our kids continue to fall victim to the consequences of illiteracy. More emphasis needs to be on parents and people in the community helping kids learn to read and continue reading if we expect our youth to excel.

                Having access to books helps encourage kids, teens and adults to read and should not be undervalued. Studies show that reading has long lasting effects on the quality of life for individuals, families and communities.

About the Author: Jabar is a youth advocate and the author of “This Ain’t What You Want”, the first in a line of fictions novels for teens and young adults.

More information about the author can be found at facebook.com/authorjabar as well as Amazon.com/jabar

 

 

 

What’s the hold up? Pt.1

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Two and a half years has passes since the U.S Supreme court, on June 25, 2012,  ruled in Miller V. Alabama, that juveniles convicted of homicide that occurred before the age of (18) cannot be automatically sentenced to life without a chance at parole ( LWOP).  This ruling in essence struck down the First Degree murder Statute in the state of Missouri, which only has two penalties; mandatory  ( LWOP) or the death penalty.

The landmark ruling was based on the premise that juveniles have a lessened culpability and a heightened capacity for change. The Court noted that adolescents are marked by their transient rashness, proclivity for risk, and inability to assess consequence, all factors that should mitigate the punishment received by juvenile defendants.

 U.S Supreme Court Justice Kagan cited the 2010 Graham V. Florida decision, Which emphasized not only the immaturity of Juvenile offenders, but their chances for rehabilitation. “Mandatory punishment disregards the possibility of rehabilitation even when the circumstances most suggest it.” The Court previously held that while there are a “few incorrigible juvenile offenders, (many) have the capacity for change.”

 The court went on to note that the life experience of those individuals vary, but they are often marked by very difficult upbringings with frequent exposure to violence and they were often victims of abuse themselves.

 This remarkable change in the law forced the Missouri Supreme Court to come in compliance with Miller. In State v. Ledale Nathan, No.SC92979 (2013) and State v. Laron Hart, No.SC93153 (2013) , the court set forth a new two stage sentencing process for those juveniles whose appeals are not yet final, that is those whose appeals that had not become final before Miller was decided.

The new sentencing process involved a sentencing hearing before a jury. At which time the defendant is allowed to present mitigating evidence and the prosecution may offer aggravating evidence if there is any. At the conclusion of the hearing the jury must determine if (LWOP) is the appropriate punishment for the particular defendant. If the jury rejects (LWOP) the court will declare First Degree Murder unconstitutional for that particular defendant. The defendants charges will then be reduced to Second Degree Murder. The jury will then determine a sentence ranging from 10-30 years, or life with parole. That does not in any way preclude juveniles from being resentenced to (LWOP) as long as the sentence is imposed through individual review as described above rather than as a result of a mandatory statute.

 The new change in the law has however left the (84) defendants who are currently serving life without parole without the benefit of new sentencing process. While the Missouri Supreme Court had the opportunity to address the issue in Nathan and Hart, the court clearly indicated that it would leave the question for another day. This made very little sense and left all parties involved and baffled.

 What many people do not know is that the majority of the (84) individuals whose lives are hanging in limbo have been serving (LWOP) for at least (20) years. By closely analyzing this span of time it takes all of the guess-work out of determining whether a particular person is incorrigible or for to return to society. The Court, prosecutors, and lawyers have the ability to look at each individual case under a microscope, Now consider Nathan and Hart hadn’t even begun to serve their new sentence. There wasn’t record to review in order to determine if they demonstrated a pattern of change.  Hart continues to wait resentencing.

Something More Than Anger.

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If all that any of us can be is mad then we have a really big problem. Understandly there are events that transpire in our lives that upset us and rightfully so however, even when these events are so shocking and heart breaking It does not give us the right to act out in violence or ignorance; peaceful demonstrations move the world more the violence.

So often it is easier to act out based on our principles then it is to live up to them, that is because we allow our pride to stand in our way which eventually  leads to serious consequences and disgrace; never the less if we chose to be humble, wisdom will follow.

Wise men and women act with restraint and are considered discerning when they control their tongues and actions, this translates into things getting accomplished. In the event that we allow peaceful demonstrations to be replaced by looting and self interest it removes the spotlight from the true issue. It also gives creditability to the allegations that caused all the madness to begin with.

We may have been and even feel oppressed; nevertheless we have not been defeated. The explosive anger that some people have when wrongfully expressed may feel like the right thing to do, but it is without a doubt ineffective. No matter the cause that we are dealing with to prevail calls for positive people with proactive anger.

The cause needs people whose anger motivates them to seek knowledge wisdom and understanding which will give them the right balance of faith to find peaceful solution to the problem. No matter your opponent it’s hard for them to refuse to give in to wisdom.

Despite the fact that some people mistakenly believe that to control yourself is an act of cowardness, real strength is shown by those who demonstrate discipline while seeking a positive resolution; to do otherwise we risk our grievances falling on deaf ears. Always remember man/woman would not be measured by how much he/she destroys: we will all be measured by what we finally succeed in accomplishing.

Education not incarceration

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Decreasing the rate of juvenile crime requires educating the youth about the serious consequences of their actions before they do something reckless.

Do we really have the right to complain if we don’t do anything to try to change the circumstances?

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You see it’s easy to say that the police and politicians are responsible for keeping our communities safe. And while it is true that your tax dollars should be spent to do just that, let’s be real with one another for a moment?

The people who are responsible for causing all of the problems in our neighborhoods are our family members and people we know- or know of. My point is if we didn’t know WHO is causing all of the problems, then we all were aware, and what prevents us from taking swift action? Absolutely nothing!

However, there are three main reasons that the problem persists:

  1. We are enablers welcoming those who do these things into our homes and often accepting the ill-gotten gains
  2. The government. While there is a difference between assault, child abuse and simply beating that ass, the government has scared parents into sparing the rod.  The bible warned that if we spare the rod, we spoil the child and I’ll be damned if we don’t have a bunch of little monsters on our hands;
  3. We simply have given up. We start saying things like ‘A hard head makes a soft behind” and “Experience is the best teacher.” While both statements hold come truth to them, they clearly miss the mark.

A hard head will leave child or loved one doing hard time in prison and that’s if they’re lucky.  On the flip side of that is an early grave. Despite the fact that experiences can be a good teacher, that doesn’t apply to this conversation. Who in their right mind wants their child to experience prison or an early death?

We can keep complaining about the problem, or try to wish it away. If we don’t do something, the money that we’ve been saving for college tuition will instead be used  for bond money, lawyer money or burying them.