Meet: Troy Hughey, AVOF’s Editor & Law/Political Correspondent

Troy Hughey Photo

Troy K. Hughey is employed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is currently the Editor for A Village of Fathers Blog and will eventually turn into a not for profit organization seeking to encourage fatherhood in urban communities. Mr. Hughey has worked in several fields over a fifteen year span. Mr. Hughey has worked in such areas as Animal Care, Veterinary, Sales and Marketing, Security, and more recently Customer Service. Being in several different areas has given Troy an enormous amount of experience working with different people with many views on life. Mr. Hughey feels that his employment experience will contribute to his live long dream of being a criminal defense lawyer representing people who cannot speak or represent themselves.

Troy Hughey earned his High School from Bayside High School. Mr. Hughey attended LaGuardia Community College where completed an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts and Science in December of 2011. Mr. Hughey then attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice in August of 2013. A couple of years later, Mr. Hughey studied the functionality of state and federal court systems and investigation of corruption, fraud, and abuse in New York State system which earned him a Masters of Public Administration at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in August of 2017. Currently, Troy is an undergraduate student at New York City College of Technology seeking to earn a Bachelors of Science in Legal Studies. Mr. Hughey is a part of several student member organizations such as the New York City Bar Association, New York City Paralegal Association, the American Society for Public Administration, and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Alumni Association.

Currently, Troy Hughey is working towards going to law school in the next couple of years. Mr. Hughey is also looking to become a Notary Public and begin a side career as a Marriage Officiate. Troy Hughey currently resides in Inwood, New York.  

 

 

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The State of Abortion Laws In Today’s America (2019)

In recent weeks the topic of abortion has made headlines around the nation. The Roe V. Wade doctrine states the following, the Supreme Court ruled that women had a constitutional right to abortion, and that this right was based on an implied right to personal privacy emanating from the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments. Specifically, several states are seeking to create and uphold anti-abortion laws while challenging the Roe decision. These states are Alabama, Arkansas, North Dakota, Georgia, Mississippi and Ohio just to name a few.

I looked at Alabama’s recently signed anti-abortion law and was absolutely shocked that Alabama’s law makers would agree to such an egregious doctrine. Here is some of the language from Alabama’s Anti-Abortion law; First, Alabama has makes abortion illegal giving this law felony status. Secondly, Alabama justifies its law with the statement from the bill itself; “Abortion advocates speak to women’s rights, but they ignore the unborn child, while medical science has increasingly recognized the humanity of the unborn child” (Gore, 2019). Medical science also refutes this statement. This portion of the law only recognizes one side of the argument. The argument is overruled because of the Roe V. Wade doctrine.

Third, “As early as six weeks after fertilization, fetal photography shows the clear development of a human being. The Alabama Department of Public Health publication “Did You Know”, demonstrates through actual pictures at two-week intervals throughout the entire pregnancy the clear images of a developing human being” (Gore, 2019) . Again, this claim is one sided. I could understand if Alabama cited several resources outside of the state, but the Alabama Department of Public Health publication cannot be a standalone reason to criminalize abortion. Most Planned Parenthood facilities are in urban neighborhoods; this bill targets minorities and seeks to criminalize them harshly. Lastly and frankly this comparison argument is a bit absurd.

Alabama’s law makers compare abortions to the Holocaust and states that abortions are the equal to the Nazi’s attempted to exterminate 6 million Jewish people (Gore, 2019). I believe this law cannot stand and must be challenge on its merits. Several states across the nation are trying to follow the same suit. This cannot be allowed. Both men and women have a huge stake in this matter. No one has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body!

Alabama law makers claim that their bill “protects” women and unborn children, but this is not true. This bill criminalizes innocent women for make decisions they are entitled to make. This bill fails to take into consideration how an abortion has an effect on the woman getting the abortion, that woman’s family and friends. The decision to get an abortion is not an easy one. Many factors go into it. This bill fails to understand the human element of abortion. As advocates against anti-abortion laws, we must continue to voice our displeasure to ensure that innocent are not place in prison for making sounded life choices.

I feel that in order to reduce the number of abortions in our communities, men must step up and take care of their children. We must also some understanding and empathy. Understanding when it concerns the possibility of being a parent whether in the household or not. Empathy when it comes to the decision of abortion and how a woman feels when making the decision and acting on it. I can image the situation being difficult emotionally, physically, and mentally.

As men, we must be there for our women during times like these. As men, we must ask ourselves how it feels to know that your unborn child will not get the chance experience life and ask ourselves if we contribute to that fact by our unwillingness to be men and parents. I believe that the best anti-abortion remedy is men willing to be dads, not just fathers. Any boy can be a father but it takes a man to be a dad.

 

Written by Troy K. Hughey- Political, Legal correspondent/Editor for AVOF

Thank you for your attention to this very important matter in our community and as always, it takes a Village!! Personally want to thank our founder Derek Bernard for granting me the opportunity to write this article.

 

References

Gore, L. (2019, May 15). Alabama abortion law passes: Read the bill. Retrieved from al.com:

https://www.al.com/news/2019/05/alabama-abortion-ban-passes-read-the-bill.html

Guardian, T. (2019, March 14). Revealed: nine more US states considering hardline anti-

abortion bills. Retrieved from The Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/14/six-week-abortion-bans-faith2action

The State of Dad’s Mental Health

The State of Dad’s Mental Health

Historically, when we hear the term “Post-Natal Depression”, our children’s mothers will come to mind. On the contrary, “Postnatal depression is a type of depression that many parents experience after having a baby. It’s a common problem, affecting more than 1 in every 10 women within a year of giving birth. It can also affect fathers in the same matter” (NHS, 2018). When a woman gives birth to a child, her mind and body goes through many changes such as, physical, mental and psychological changes which are mostly associated with postpartum depression. Postpartum Depression is defined as follows; “postpartum depression is moderate to severe depression in a woman after she has given birth. It may occur soon after delivery or up to a year later. Most of the time, it occurs within the first 3 months after delivery” (Ryan James Kimmel, 2018). Treatment for both parents are a major priority. Both mother and father need a support system to help them through these trying obstacles during the beginning stages of parenthood.

When a child enters the world, it can be challenging for both parents to maintain their sanity.  Fathers are susceptible to the same depressions and challenges that mothers face. However, the father’s struggles because our society historically has frown upon a man being too sensitive or a man assimilated nature to hide his feelings and emotions. In Society, a man is taught to be strong, to be the protectors; and showing emotions can be considered a sign of weakness. On the other hand, women are more likely to express her feelings and emotions. These trivial ideas need to change because the practice of unproven idealism can be devastating to our community particularly in our homes.

                                     How Depression Affects Fathers

According to a 2010 data from 1993 to 2007, approximately 4% of fathers experience depression in the first year after their child’s birth. By a child’s 12th birthday, about 1 out of 5 (21%) fathers will have experienced one or more episodes of depression. Younger fathers, those with a history of depression, and those experiencing difficulties affording items such as a home or car were most likely to experience depression (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20819960).

       What are the signs that mom or dad is dealing postpartum or post-natal depression?

  • Feeling Helpless or Discouraged
  • Feeling Anxious or Distressed
  • Feeling Tired or Burned Out
  • Having Sleep Problems
  • Lack of Interest In Sleep
  • Lack of Confidence
  • Feeling Irritable or Annoyed/Easily Offended
  • Feeling detached or unconnected to others

 

Dear Fathers,

There are many dads that feel the same way as you are feeling right now – You are not alone! Be open and honest about your feelings and do not hide behind the famous sayings “I’m fine” or “I’m okay”. It is important that you as a man do not let your pride make you feel ashamed about you feelings – We are all human! Talk to someone you trust and avoid holding in feelings.

It is safe to say that our children are the most important human beings in our world. Keep in mind, your children need you in their lives; taking care of our children is a necessity, quality time is most important factor. The way to be the best father you can be is taking care of yourself, eat healthy and exercising daily. If we take care of ourselves, the mother and children will follow suit.

As A Village (Community), What Can We Do To Help

  • Raise awareness:

Let fathers know that they are not alone. Remember, it takes a village.

  • Make sure to ask the dads, are they doing OK (Dads be Honest!):

Let’s not assume dad is doing well because he is saying otherwise.

If a close friend or family member has children, ensure that they are aware that dad may need help!

  • Join a community group for Fathers and children:

At www.AVILLAGEOFFATHERS.com , we strive to create conversation for fathers by fathers to help invoke better men and families.

 

What A.V.O.F. has to offer:

  • BLOG
  • Weekly Father 2 Father Instagram Live Chat)
  • Events & workshops

 

Thank you and as always: It takes a Village!

Article was written by Derek Bernard (founder, AVOF) and Troy Hughey (AVOF Editor and Law & Political

Edited by Troy Hughey (AVOF Editor and Law and Law & Political Correspondent)

 

Incarceration Impacts Multiple Generations: Families Affected By Prison

Today, urban communities across the nation continue to deal with the epidemic of children of color raised in fatherless homes. Many factors contribute to single-parent households but one factor, in particular, has had a damaging effect on families of color, Mass Incarceration, and parenting from prison! The focus of this article will explain why and how urban communities arrived at this period in time and seek to find solutions to this longstanding problem.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “An estimated 809,800 prisoners of the 1,518,535 held in the nation’s prisons at mid-year 2007 were parents of minor children or children under age 18. Parents held in the nation’s prisons—52% of state inmates and 63% of federal inmates—reported having an estimated 1,706,600 minor children, accounting for 2.3% of the U.S. resident population under age 18” (Lauren E. Glaze, 2008). Additionally, “Of the estimated 74 million children in the U.S. resident population who were under age 18 on July 1, 2007, 2.3% had a parent in prison (table 2). Black children (6.7%) were seven and a half times more likely than white children (0.9%) to have a parent in prison. Hispanic children (2.4%) were more than two and a half times more likely than white children to have a parent in prison” (Lauren E. Glaze, 2008).  Additional information from the Bureau of Justice Statistics can be found in the article: “Parents in Prison and Their minor children

The following statistics were taken from The Sentencing Project: Number of Parents in Prison, 1991-2007 (Project, 2007).

  • The number of children with parents in prison increased by 80% between 1991 and 2007.
  • 1 in 15 black children, 1 in 42 Latino children, and 1 in 111 white children had a parent in prison in 2007.
  • Black children are 7.5 times more likely and Hispanic children are 2.6 times more likely than are white children to have a parent in prison.

Here is a listing of some of the opportunities missed as a direct result of Mass Incarceration (Project, 2007).

  • Compared with the general population, parents in prison are more likely to have problems that may place children at risk for social and emotional problems
  • 9% of parents in prison were homeless in the year before the arrest leading to their current imprisonment.
  • 20% were physically or sexually abused prior to their imprisonment.
  • 38% do not have a high school diploma or GED.
  • 41% have infectious medical problems (including tuberculosis, hepatitis, HIV, and sexually transmitted diseases).2 o 57% have current mental health problems.

How we got to this point

In 1971, former U.S. President Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs. The connection between crime, drugs, and race are very significant. In the 1970s, African-American was arrested 2x times as much as Caucasian Americans. Since the inception of the War of Drugs, African-Americans have been arrested 5x more than their Caucasian counterparts. Ironically, on average, Caucasian people commit more crimes than their African American counterpart. This revelation comes from the unfair drug sentencing laws target African Americans.  In 1986, the Anti-Drug Abuse Act was signed into law by U.S. President Ronald Reagan. “This act mandated a minimum sentence of 5 years without parole for possession of 5 grams of crack cocaine while it mandated the same for possession of 500 grams of powder cocaine. This 100:1 disparity was reduced to 18:1, when crack was increased to 28 grams” (Wikipedia, 2017).

In 1994, former U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the 1994 Crime Bill in the law which, expanded the death penalty, encouraged states to lengthen prison sentences, and eliminated federal funding for inmate education. The Crime Bill also created longer mandatory sentences for nonviolent drug crimes, unjustly targeted to Blacks and Hispanics offenders. African-Americans and Hispanics were more likely than white people to be stopped by police.  In addition, the 1996 Welfare to Work Program, forcing mothers to work for their government benefits. Due to the increase of more fathers in prison and mothers having being forced to work, children were left with no alternative to parenting other than to raise themselves which them to be more susceptible gang activity and street violence. Conclusively, the anti-drug and crime laws created a revolving door between poverty and prison.

I am convinced the “War on Drugs” in 1971, “Anti-Drug Abuse Act” in 1986 and the “1994 Crime Act” all played a symbolic role in the mass incarceration of American citizens; particularly in the African-American and Hispanic communities. Our homes are broken and in desperate need of repair due to the absence of the male figure in our homes. Our mothers are forced to play both roles but every boy and girl needs to be in a two-parent household. I encourage fathers to play a bigger role in their children’s lives in the community surrounding them. The better our fathers become, the better the communities will be.

Article was written by Derek Bernard (founder, AVOF) and Troy Hughey (AVOF Editor and  Law & Political Correspondent)

 

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Remember, it takes a village!

– Derek Bernard

 

 

References

Lauren E. Glaze, L. M. (2008). Parents in Prison and Their Minor Children. U.S. Department of Justice: Office of Justice Programs.

The project, T. S. (2007). Parents in Prison. Washington D.C.: The Sentencing Project.

Wikipedia. (2017). Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. Retrieved from wikipedia.org: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Drug_Abuse_Act_of_1986