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In This Place (Join in) Co-Hosts: Ronald Brooks, John Daryl Thornton, Sr, Mike Brown, Brian Jay Carter Episode:EPISODE 1 - In This Place Our Maiden Voyage Show, please tune in for guest: Kumasi (Sasha) Baucum
Juvenile Justice Reform
BIOGRAPHY FOR KUMASI (SASHA) BAUCUM
Sasha Paul Baucum was born July 4, 1973 at Englewood, NJ Hospital. He was born out of wedlock to Paulette Carole Baucum who, being a follower of the Original Black Panther movement, had left New Jersey and was living in Oakland Ca. In was in California where she met his father, who unfortunately, left her at the alter pregnant and to this day his father’s name is a mystery! Where after, his mother left California and came back to New Jersey where she lived on Intervale Ave in Teaneck.
His mother spent many years in an inpatient drug rehab called, Smithers, so he spent most of his early years living with his Great Grandmother Willie Mae Bland, his Aunt Doris Bland, and his Grandmother Arietha Baucum on Rosemont Place in Englewood, NJ. Most of his childhood was filled with good and tough times living in Englewood, Hackensack, and Manhattan. He attended Leonard Johnson Nursery School where many of his violent troubles began. At that very early age he began rebelling, talking back, and hitting other children, he even started hitting teachers and was expelled from their program. He was also expelled from Vincent K. Tibbs Daycare for violent tantrums.
When his mother came out of Smithers, we moved to 196 St. Grand Concourse in the Bronx, NY. Where he attended p. s. 86 school for the first and second grade. During this time, his mom went back into rehab for drug and alcohol abuse, so he was sent back to Englewood, NJ to live. There he attended Community and Memorial House and Cleveland School to start the third grade.
During this time, he had full blown mental illness but it was only diagnosed as being hyperactive so he was put into a DYS program in Hackensack. Nothing was done to treat his illness so he spent most of elementary school years doing well in school, but doing poorly out of school and at home. His troubles began to escalate to violence against his family members because of his explosive anger disorder, depression anxiety, impulse disorder, bipolar disorder, and unable to control his outbursts. He had feelings of neglect from not knowing his father and his mother abandoning him, so he turned to hating himself, other people, and the world.
He began to fight a lot in and out of school to gain respect, love, attention, admiration, acceptance and fear. At this point he began to feel like he was a tug rope, everyone wanted to pull him in a different direction. His family members bribed him to live with them so he played on that and used it to his advantage becoming as evil as he could towards everyone. He tried to hurt everyone but himself.
As a child, he was molested by his mother’s live-in girlfriend, Carmen Acosta, who stayed at home with while his mother was out either trying to find a job or was running the streets.
He grew up liking trains, the trumpet, museums, art, video games, sports, music, girls, roller-skating, bowling, swimming and other things that normal kids enjoy, even though he was far from normal. By the time he entered middle school, he was full blown, out of control, runaway train on a warpath to hurt everyone he could. He spent his high school years at the Conklin Group Home, Bonnie Brae residential Bergen Pines Psychiatric Unit for Juveniles, Juvenile Detention Center, Detention Alternatives Program, Probation and in and out of courtrooms. Trouble became his focus, mayhem, destruction, getting arrested, smoking weed and cigarettes and drinking alcohol daily.
Because of all of this he ended up in Jamesburg School for Boys and from there he was sent to a program called Vision Quest Bootcamp, where he stayed from ages 15-16. When he was 18 he moved to California where he joined the Eight-Tray Westside Gangster Crips because he felt they were just like him. They acted, thought, talked, and did the violent things like he did so he thought he fit right in. This was around the time of the Rodney King beating and the LA riots.
He was extradited back to NJ and put into administrative segregation in Trenton State Prison where he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Eventually he was sent to Bordentown Youth Correctional Facility where on appeal his sentenced was reduced to 3 years.
He has been to Northern State and Southwood’s State prisons for extremely violent offenses. He has been in intense parole, supervised parole, and homeless programs.
The only things that have saved his life are God, his two children, 17-year-old son Adrian and 16-year-old daughter Netaniah, he family, and those at the Workforce Program in Paramus, NJ, (they helped him get his GED). The people at the shelter in Hackensack helped him to get a job at the Boy’s and Girl’s Club and the apartment he is living in since 2011. He also acknowledges his coworkers, supervisors, therapist and counselor at Compcare in Hackensack, NJ, and Mr. Daryl Thornton who was one of his counselors when he was on DAP.
He believes with his tireless efforts to maintain, through challenging work, medication, never giving up has given him a desire to help other kids who struggle with Mental illness, poverty, abuse, zero parenting, feelings of wanting to join a gang, runaway, and use drugs. He feels he can help them by providing an example of the pitfalls of not being diagnosed and running off as a loose cannon.