Archive for the 'SET' Category

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Kevin says: nesson says:

Kevin: hay
nesson: hi
Kevin: tried callling rubin not home at the moment
nesson: ok
Kevin: will try him later
nesson: ok
Kevin: i have not heard from c&w about the machine
Kevin: or anything else for that matter
nesson: they certainly don’t seem very eager to help
Kevin: we don’t seem to be c&w top priority
Kevin: are you there
nesson: yes, thinking
nesson: you are right
nesson: what does it take for them to see us as a priority?
nesson: it has to be a story that has some media muscle
nesson: so far we haven’t done an event that will bring us to notice
Kevin: we should organize a conference that takes place in the prison
nesson: you’ve done the event, the radio transcript of jah cure. you could announce that you will use your Unchained program to play it out in serial, with commentary.
Kevin: that they would sponsor?????
nesson: and do a press conference to announce it, with rubin
nesson: get the attention first
Kevin: that could work
nesson: once you have the audience the sponsors come
Kevin: yes
Kevin: i agree
Kevin: we need to do something that has not been done
Kevin: dialogue between men and women behind bars would work
nesson: start playing rubin’s book in serial as well
Kevin: that sounds good
Kevin: however there will be a lot of beeps
nesson: yes, but bleeps are great
nesson: they make radio exciting and stimulate interest in hearing the original, which you have to offer
Kevin: ah
nesson: we could also start talking about specific post prison employment projects that we want to start up, like the landscape business, which we could get going with a pledgebank of prospective customers who say they would use the landscape/lawn service when SET sets it up
Kevin: that would definitely work
nesson: we could do the same thing with the plan to invite AFRIKA UNITED and employ SET in setting up the tour, which could be linked with the work you will be doing in partnership with Bert.
Kevin: yes
nesson: The pledgebank is an idea you can really use. You have access to a potentially huge radio audience twice a week. You can be the guy who is urging Jamaica to go broadband, extolling its virtues with demonstration of how it can help a grass roots inmate driven program like SET, and help a nation. Make yourself irresistible to C&W as a spokesperson for broadband, and if not to them then to one of their competitors.
Kevin: that sounds good
Kevin: if they see something that looks to have national appeal then perhaps they will get excited about it
nesson: Yes, and it would surely be a great thing for Jamaica if the island and its Diaspora connected with broadband. This could be the primary goal of the Diaspora effort Douglas Orane is chairing.
Kevin: i think however that if we get a conversation with the ministry of national security to meet with the men of set and have discussions on crime and violence that will have the kind of national and international appeal tha will gram the nations attention
nesson: you have the invitational power to call that meeting and put it on the air
Kevin: it was only yesterday we discussed it with the men at SET
nesson: gotta go
Kevin: cool

AFRIKA CHINA JAMAICA UNITED -biggest of the big, smallest of the small

When visiting Beijing last summer in company of Ben Walker I met Liang Lu and learned the story of Bokee, and how Chinese blogspace, sparked by interest in a woman’s stories, exploded with exponential growth . I met a Chinese blogger and an interpreter who showed me passion.

I met Jeremy Goldkorn and, watched the documentary that he and his partner had made, telling the story of an amateur football team comprised of African men who had come to Beijing for work and found connection playing football, AFRIKA UNITED.

In Jamaica in October for our CyberStrategy conference, sitting in the conference room at Growth Facilitators, the company that put the conference together, talking with Norman, friend and chairman of Growth Facilitators advisory board, I pitched the cyberstrategy to him of inviting AFRIKA UNITED and a Chinese team from their league to come to Jamaica on a goodwill tour mixing, football, music and community development in venues around the island, with bloggers along, telling the stories of the trip and generating media for a global Chinese and Jamaican audience. Norman liked it. Here’s audio, NormanConquest.mp3.

Next I discussed the idea with Moneyede Martin of SSET, who expressed willingness to coordinate such a tour on the ground in Jamaica along with Kevin Wallen of Destiny Productions.

I met Ken Shaw at the South Camp Quiz Competition, who contributes equipment for the inmates at South Camp to play ball. He thought SSET could field a competitive team.

Then, in London, at Berkman’s Global Voices 2005 London Summit, I met Kevin, who founded Bokee, and Nart, who will host the domain of our JamaicaExpress group blog, and learned about PledgeBank as a means for raising funds for interesting ventures.

What are the pieces still needed to fall into place in order to make this idea for internet development come true? Can we set a budget, set a date, see if there are Jamaican and Chinese companies who might lend support?

Reading this made me cry

I sat in my office with a couple of friends talking about life and what it really means to us, and for a moment i wondered where my life was going. I did not question if what i was doing was the right thing because i made a decision a long time ago to do something with my life that would result in me sharing the blessings that i was given. as we sat here and talked i logged on to the jamaica Observer web site and typed my name in the search area only to see a series of articles which feature the work i’m currently invloved with in the prison. one of them struck me so much so that reading it brought tears to my eyes, and so i thought i would share. if there was even the slightest thought in my mind about giving up, this article erased that thought completely. the power of love, what an amazing thing. Charley i thank you for this medium, what a wonderful way to express one’s self. here is a copy of the letter

Dear Editor,

I’m glad that the Observer has finally recognised the need to highlight the positive men and women of our society. Too often our cover stories glorify those who are heartless criminals among us. My story is about a man who has been working single-handedly to change the situation of our penile institutions. Today, as crime spirals out of control, everyone feels that it is their duty to prescribe remedies. Some argue that the police need more ammunition and improved tactics; the youths need employment; government needs to sever ties with gunmen; and the private sector needs to report extortionists. However, no one is speaking about the situation of our prisons. None of us seem to recognise that at least 80 per cent of those in prison will be released and on the streets again. We fail to understand that many of the hardened criminals that now ply our streets were made that way by their prison experience. So while we make recommendations, the problems will continue to persist if we do not take a stand.

Thankfully, one man has. Kevin Wallen – an entrepreneur – has done, and continues to do, tremendous work within the prisons. With his small but effective group called Students Expressing Truth (SET), he has implemented a rehabilitation process that introduces its members to a wide variety of courses, especially in the area of Information Technology.
This group can be credited for Spelling Bee, quiz and debating competitions, which are all being marvellously executed in the prisons. In addition, the group has done a wonderful Information Technology Expo, which truly attests to the power of reform.

Interestingly, these stories barely make the paper, but the frivolous demands of prisoners command the front page.

Kevin has invested millions of his personal funds, persisted despite criticism (from colleagues of the same private sector that is now clamouring for change) and has spent thousands of hours of his personal time in motivating and speaking with these offenders. He has even done the “unthinkable” and has employed those who are released in his business. It is heart-warming to watch him make himself selflessly available to these men who demand his attention, especially after being released. He often digs deep into his pockets without any complaint, providing ex-criminals with the funds necessary to make a start, and makes the trip to pick them up when released, and drives them home in dignity. It is no wonder that none of his members are recidivists. In fact, this proves that rehabilitation works. If we do nothing to help those in prison acquire a skill or make improvements in their personal lives, what is the use of building more prisons? It will be a waste of the country’s resources if plans are not made to rehabilitate prisoners, as they are to improve police tactics and ammunition. Both go hand in hand.

Kevin is really an excellent example of what it means to take action when we are unhappy with the situation around us. It is not enough to simply sit (stand) in the uptown park of New Kingston, demanding change. Kevin has the foresight and the good sense that many of us lack. He has set an example and I salute him as a powerful Jamaican whose work will not go unnoticed.

Lecia Gordon

what all this means to me

Charley and i sat on the phone for a while this morning talking and writing my first blog, then he red this thing to me that jackie wrote and i must tell you it made my day. for someone who met me and only spent a little time to think that much of me means the world to me. but that is only the biginning of it. the way the Berkman Center has taken me in is just amazing to me and i can’t tell you how good that makes me feel to know that what a lot of folks thought was a bad idea has made a difference in the lives of so many. Charley you are the man, you saw the vision and ran with it, since i have met you so much has happened and the program is poised and ready to make a great impact on Jamaica and then the world.

a few days ago i had a meeting at my office with some of the members of the SSET Group who are now on the outside and i must tell you it felt good to have a meeting with them in the confrence room and not in a prison.

one of the guys Raymond, he was in prison for almost seven years the story he told was just amazing. his life is one that we can all learn from and i can’t wait to tell his story or better yet i can’t wait to have him tell his story.

not everyone gets the jamaica project, not everyone understands the SSET project and i understand that but over the next little while i will bring you up to speed the best way i can, and perhaps you will be able to see it through our eyes. each time i talk about this project i ger goose bumps. why? because i have never been a part of something so powerfull.


Berkman Center SSET CyberStrategy
Growth Facilitators is facilitating the growth of SSET
Grow Growth Facilitators

SSET Projects to be grown by Growth Facilitators.
SSET Radio
SSET CyberSchool
SSET Landscape Care
SSET Connection with CHINA through AFRIKA UNITED

Trinidad and Tobago

At 02:56 PM 11/25/2005, you wrote:
Dear Professor Nesson,

My name is Ayesha Wharton and I work at the Distance Learning Secretariat for the Ministry of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education in Trinidad and Tobago. I found your organisation online whilst doing research on education programs for prisoners in Jamaica. The Ministry wants to start a program similar to the Students and Staff Expressing Truth here in Trinidad and Tobago. It will be called “rehabilitating Inmates through Training and Retraining”.

I am wondering if you would be willing to give us more information about that Jamaican project.
I read about the Reverence for Life project, which from what I see online was terminated. Is that still existence or has SSET replaced it? I am also trying to source contact information for those individuals running the program in Jamaica.

Thank you for your cooperation.
Ayesha Wharton
Distance Learning Secretariat
Ministry of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education
E:  ayesha_wharton at
T: 868-622-9922 ext 146
C: 868-746-7004
F: 868-622-7640


Dear Ms. Wharton,

I will be pleased to supply whatever information you wish about Jamaica’s rehabilitation program. It’s essence lies in being inmate-driven. The strength of our program comes from the bottom up, not top down. There is helpful and supportive oversight from the ministry and correctional department, but the drive comes from the teammates in the program. Reverence for Life is alive and well, at the spiritual core of our program. Incarceration brings a person face to face with fundamental need to understand and learn to deal with authority and freedom. We teach a process of self recognition and development. Become aware of your breathing, what you eat, how you dress, how you speak, how you exercise, how you relate to others. We demonstrate the nature and need for trust, peace and respect. We teach and learn human and digital skills. We learn to believe in each other and in our selves. SET is an outgrowth of Reverence for Life, Students Express Truth, becoming now SSET, Students and Staff Expressing Truth. Our program succeeds as staff comes to support students and participate in their learning process. Engaging staff by expressing our program in a manner that serves and respects their professional and personal needs is presently our most important challenge. Our objective is to extend the spirit and practice of reverence for life from the depths of Kingston’s prisons up to the warders of authority and out to the children of our schools.

Kevin Wallen leads SET. Major Richard Reese leads the correctional forces. Desmond Green and John Prescod lead Reverence For Life. Marguerite Orane leads Growth Facilitators.

The development of our program is documented at
Search on Jamaica.

If your ministry wishes our help in developing a related rehabilitation program you need only invite our consultation.

Thank you for your interest.

Charles R. Nesson
Weld Professor of Law
Harvard Law School
E:  nesson at (how did you get yours to light up? :

Jamaica Express

Jamaican Flag - 30%

Jamaica Express Rolls Out December 4

Jamaican Flag - 30%

Posted 11.20.5 by Andy Herz (at my request and with my permission and encouragement. :eon)

    Dispatch #1: Nov. 18, 2005 Meeting with Charlie Nesson and Colin Channer

My name is Andy Herz. I am an entertainment/technology attorney and writer based in Brooklyn. Most of all, I am blessed to be working with Charlie and an incredibly talented group of people on the SSET collective filmmaking project. Truly blessed. My assignment, if I choose to accept it, is to document the story of the story; the way in which we all interact, teach, conflict, and create together; the “making of” our film.

And I’ll tell you what. This film is going to be amazing in every facet.

Our new film is inspired by and will pay thorough tribute to Perry Henzell’s groundbreaking 1972 motion picture, The Harder They Come (“THTC”). Perry’s gritty, authentic vision introduced Jamaica and reggae to the world. Our new film is The Harder They Come – thirty years later. Everything’s the same. But everything’s different.

The beauty part being . . . it will literally be our film, because the Jamaica Express is all of us. It’s not just the core creative folks, though they’ll have hands on the wheel of this magic bus. This film will be created by students in the SSET Program, by all our creative collaborators and by friends out there in the ether who love the original film and want to join the party.

Just as the original film blazed the way for indy filmmakers everywhere, our new film will explore collective, community-building filmmaking strategies which lie not only outside the studios’ playbooks, but also those of more traditional independent filmmaking.

The original THTC creative team, led by Perry and the film’s co-writer, Trevor Rhone, will be consulting and mentoring the folks involved in making the new film. Our director is Chris Browne (Third World Cop, Dancehall Queen, and the wonderful documentary on THTC – A Hard Road to Travel). As you’ll see in the linked meeting notes, below, we are hoping that Jamaican-born novelist and Calabash Festival chairman Colin Channer will contribute his vision and passion to the treatment, then script.

So this is an invite to all of you: come to Jamaica in just a few weeks for the opening of the new SSET offices. Meet our honored guest Ruben “Hurricane” Carter, and get on board. The Jamaica Express leaves the station on December 4.

Meeting Minutes and Priority To Do List

11.18.05 Meeting Minutes -Treatment/Screenwriting and Soundtrack Processes; Essential Story Elements; and more.
– Duke and Honey (nee Charlie and Fern), Colin Channer, Andy Herz, Marie Brown.

Next Steps for Jamaica Express – as of 11 21 05

This man needs legal help, but …

Irie FM bans Jah Cure’s music

Basil Walters, Observer staff reporter
Thursday, November 10, 2005

JAH CURE. serving a 15-year sentence for rape robbery with aggravation and illegal possession of a firearm

Irie FM has slapped a ban on the music of Jah Cure after staff at the popular radio station received threats from persons claiming to be associated with the singer who is serving time in prison for rape, robbery with aggravation and illegal possession of a firearm.

Yesterday, marketing manager for the Ocho Rios-based all reggae radio station, Brian Schmidt, told the Observer that the station had vowed not to be intimidated by the threats.

“Over a period of time, people who are associated with Jah Cure have been calling the station issuing threats to members of staff, demanding that they play more of his music,” Schmidt said. “We have therefore taken a principled decision that we’re not to bow to any threats of any kind.”

Schmidt declined to give details about the nature of the threats, offering only that “they were threats against the personal security of staff members”.

Jah Cure, whose real name is Siccaturie Alcock, was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment on April 26, 1999 for two counts of rape, robbery with aggravation and illegal possession of firearm, all arising from the same incident. At the time he was 19 years old.

In recent time, specifically through the new music component of the penal system’s rehabilitation programme, Jah Cure has been given the privilege to record a number of songs which have become instant hits.

His current hit song, True Reflection, was recorded for producer Joe Bogdanavich’s Downsound Records label.
Bogdanavich could not be contacted yesterday for comment on the Irie FM action.

Jah Cure has made history of sorts, being the first entertainer who has come to national prominence while being incarcerated.

Last year, Jah Cure, who was transferred to the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre from the St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre two years ago, had an application for parole turned down despite a passionate campaign by concerned friends, family and entertainers. He had become eligible for parole on July 28, 2003.