In an era when the Attorney General is calling for stiffer sentences for criminals, a counter movement is seeing a retreat from incarceration.
His students include Deanna Hoskins who was released from a community-based correctional facility in 1999 after serving half of a one-year prison sentence.
At the age of 30, Hoskins suffered from substance abuse. She is now is a senior policy advisor for corrections and reentry at the U.S. Department of Justice.
Hoskins’ transition is the kind of leadership cultivated by Glenn E. Martin, reported Forbes. She attended his program 17 years after leaving prison.
Martin is also a former prisoner. He set up Just Leadership three years ago to train former convicts to lead criminal justice reform at a grassroots level.
Forbes reported it’s Martin’s avowed aim to slash the prison population in half by 2030. He has been a leading voice in the campaign to close the jail complex on Rikers Island in New York.
Martin spent six years in prison at the age of 22, one of them at Rikers correctional facility. However, he encountered Rikers as early as the age of 16 where he was stabbed four times by an inmate who made a knife out of a pen.
He believes the leaders of the prison reform movement should have been incarcerated themselves and have first-hand knowledge of the system.
Just Leadership offers leadership training to people who were once in jail to help them gain an influential foothold in their communities.
Notwithstanding Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ ‘get tough’ stance, prison reform has been underway in many parts of the U.S in recent years including Texas.
In the Lone Star State, it was pushed by the conservatives who saw it as a means of cutting an ever-growing prison budget, reported the New York Times.
The prison population in Texas fell by 8.4 percent from 2010 to 2015, according to the article.
Texas expanded its mental health partnerships, drug courts and other means of keeping offenders out of jails.
Although the Lone Star State has brought in prison reforms, the penalties for many crimes remain harsh. If you have been charged with an offense in Texas, please call our Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer today.