Show cover of Amplified Voices

Amplified Voices

Amplified Voices is a podcast that lifts the voices of people and families impacted by the criminal legal system. Hosts Jason and Amber speak with real people in real communities to help them step into the power of their lived experience. Together, they explore shared humanity and real solutions for positive change. 

Tracks

Greg Mingo: Seeing the World Through More than One Pair of Eyes - Season 5 Episode 2
Life can twist and turn in unexpected ways, as Greg Mingo, a Harlem native, profoundly understands. His story, one of resilience amidst the vibrant yet challenging streets of New York, unfolds as he shares the gravity of his choices and the socioeconomic forces that impacted his life. Our latest episode invites you into an intimate conversation with Mingo, revealing the stark realities youth face, navigating through a world that's often pitted against them, and the consequences that follow.From a life-altering injury to a wrongful conviction that led to decades of imprisonment, Mingo's personal trials are a testament to the human spirit's capacity for endurance and transformation. His journey through the criminal justice system exposes battles of a legal case that captivated media attention. Yet, amid the harshness of incarceration, Mingo's will to educate himself, advocate for others, and his ultimate triumph in securing clemency with the help of a high profile campaign (#FreeGregMingo), illuminates a path of redemption and action that continues to inspire at 69 years old.In an age where second chances can be scarce, Mingo's advocacy work shines a beacon on the importance of reform and empathy within the legal system. He shares with listeners the value of the 'clemency collective', a group dedicated to system reform, and invites us all to engage with the transformative potential of individuals having an opportunity to redefine their lives.  Join Amber, Jason and Mingo on Amplified Voices  Mingo's continues to uplift his voice - a rallying cry for change, hope, and understanding.About Greg Mingo:Greg Mingo is a clemency grantee who spent over 40 years in prison following a wrongful conviction. He was released in September 2021. Greg has taught the law, communications, domestic violence, and fatherhood.  He is an ambassador for the innocent project. He is a community leader for Releasing Aging People in Prison (RAPP) advocating for parole reform.  He also works with CUNY Law School on clemency, resentencing and parole issues. He co-founded the Clemency Collective to advocate for the granting of clemency on a rolling basis. He is a consultant for In Arm’s Reach a foundation that tutors and mentors the children of incarcerated parents.  Additionally, Greg works with Hudson Link for higher education in prison, volunteering his time to build transitional housing for men and women returning home. Change.org has recognized Greg as one of the top change makers in 2021 and again in 2022. In January, Greg was honored with a proclamation from the New York State Senate for his work to improve opportunities for the wrongly convicted and those who deserve a second chance. Greg is an advocate for social, racial, and criminal justice reform, and so much more.Support the show
74:24 3/31/24
D's Story: Mom on the List - Season 5 Episode 1
When life presents us with a labyrinth of trials, it's the voices of the resilient that guide us through the darkness. D's life story, as featured on Amplified Voices, illuminates such a path, marked by a turbulent childhood and other struggles.  This episode promises an intimate exploration into the human spirit's capacity for endurance, highlighting D's poignant experiences with personal sacrifice, infertility, pregnancy loss, and the complexities of the foster-to-adopt system. D's raw honesty offers listeners a chance to understand the delicate balance between seeking support and preserving personal boundaries in times of crisis. As we pivot to the legal system, the conversation  magnifies the inadequacies of an adversarial approach to harm and the stigmatization that comes with the "sex offender" label. Through the eyes of an individual who transitioned from fearful isolation under the registry's shadow to becoming a beacon of hope for others, we unveil the hurdles and triumphs that define the journey. This episode reminds us that behind labels and stigmas lie individual stories that deserve to be heard and understood. Join Amber, Jason and D on Amplified Voices to witness how courage and advocacy can reshape the narrative of struggle into one of hope and community.D is an active member of the Florida Action Committee and a founder of  SHINE. Support the show
82:59 3/3/24
Brittany LaMarr: A Mother's Story Part 2 of 2. Season 4 Episode 8
When we think of motherhood, the images that typically come to mind are those of joy, love, and celebration. But what happens when the journey to motherhood unfolds in a place designed for punishment, not nurturing? Our guest, Brittany, exposes the stark and heartbreaking realities of becoming a mother in prison. We journey with her through the heartache of pregnancy behind bars, the profound isolation, and the harsh judgment of society. Is it possible to find healing and self-discovery in such a bleak environment? Brittany's story says yes. She recounts the harrowing experience of giving birth shackled to a hospital bed, waking up to a corrections officer in the room, and then embarking on a journey toward self-discovery and healing. Her story peels back the layers of the prison system, highlighting the importance of understanding and addressing the underlying issues that lead to incarceration. Finally, we delve into Brittany's life post-incarceration and the impact it had on her relationships and personal development. Brittany's story is not just one of struggle and hardship, but also one of resilience, self-reflection, and determination. This episode underscores the importance of looking beyond assumptions and recognizing the potential and humanity of individuals impacted by the criminal legal system. Brittany's story is a testament to the power of hope and the human capacity for change.   About Brittany:   Brittany is a determined advocate for human rights, youth justice, and legal policy reforms at the state, national, and international level. She has worked as a Justice Advisor for CTJA since 2021. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Connecticut, and she is currently pursuing a J.D and Masters in Public Policy at UConn. Brittany personifies the power of education as an alum of Yale Law School’s Access to Law Fellowship and a Frederic Bastiat Fellow of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Brittany brings her unique blend of lived experience and scholarship to her many leadership roles; she serves as Project Manager of the Juvenile Justice Policy and Oversight Committee with the Tow Youth Justice Institute, Smart Justice Leader with the ACLU of Connecticut, International Justice Exchange Project lead with the Institute of Municipal and Regional Policy, a member of the New England Commission on the Future of Higher Education in Prison, and Assistant Director of the National Prison Debate League.Support the show
65:35 12/12/23
Brittany LaMarr: A Recovery Story, Part 1 of 2. Season 4 Episode 7
Ever asked yourself, "What's the real cost of addiction?" In this first part of a two-episode conversation on Amplified Voices, special guest Brittany LaMarr helps us tackle this complex question head-on as she shares her compelling journey through addiction and recovery.Brittany, a Connecticut native, candidly unveils the trials and tribulations of her life, starting with the early exposure to her father's addiction and subsequent incarceration. The impact of these experiences on her life choices forms the crux of our discussions. Brittany gives the listener raw insight into her high school days, the beginnings of substance abuse, and the pivotal point that led her behind bars at just 22. Her personal revelations serve as a potent reminder of the need to challenge addiction stigma and advocate for alternatives to incarceration. Brittany shares not just the pains of addiction, but also the harsh reality of survival and the uphill battle for recovery. Listen as she recounts the dehumanizing experience within prison walls and the road to recovery, constantly hindered by the lack of resources and support. This episode is more than just a conversation; it's a call to action to address systemic inadequacies and the urgent need for change. So, tune in and join us on this journey of revelation, resilience, and hope.About Brittany: Brittany is a determined advocate for human rights, youth justice, and legal policy reforms at the state, national, and international level. She has worked as a Justice Advisor for CTJA since 2021. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Connecticut, and she is currently pursuing a J.D and Masters in Public Policy at UConn. Brittany personifies the power of education as an alum of Yale Law School’s Access to Law Fellowship and a Frederic Bastiat Fellow of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Brittany brings her unique blend of lived experience and scholarship to her many leadership roles; she serves as Project Manager of the Juvenile Justice Policy and Oversight Committee with the Tow Youth Justice Institute, Smart Justice Leader with the ACLU of Connecticut, International Justice Exchange Project lead with the Institute of Municipal and Regional Policy, a member of the New England Commission on the Future of Higher Education in Prison, and Assistant Director of the National Prison Debate League.Support the show
43:32 12/7/23
Cierra Cobb: On A Mission for Justice Season 4 - Episode 6
In this episode of Amplified Voices, Amber & Jason talk with Cierra Cobb, a paralegal, activist, and advocate for incarcerated people and their families. From her heart of resilience and strength, Cierra takes us on a poignant journey of survival and action.In a world grappling with a global pandemic, Cierra reconnects and marries Jeffrey, an old friend who has been falsely convicted of a crime and incarcerated.  Jeffrey’s troubling capital case, paired with the lack of a substantial defense strategy from his legal representation, sheds light on the imbalance, injustice, and bureaucracy within the American criminal legal system. His story illustrates the gravity of plea bargaining and the oft-ignored challenges posed by both systemic racism and the underfunding of public defense offices.Learn about her work as an advocate and prison jail coordinator with Emancipate NC and her podcast, The Blacklight Mass Incarceration Show. Cierra's story is a rallying call to all - to remain steadfast, champion what you believe in, and never yield in the face of adversity. Support the show
66:40 9/30/23
C. Dreams - What We Accept for Others, We Must Accept for Ourselves - Season 4 Episode 5
On this episode of Amplified Voices, Amber and Jason speak with C, a woman who has lived through the unimaginable - losing her mother at a young age, getting thrust into the foster system, and grappling with overdiagnosis and overmedication, displacement, and disconnection. We learn about her journey, from her challenging upbringing to her involvement in the sex trade and her initial encounters with the criminal legal system as a young, transgender woman.C talks about the labels society imposes, and the struggles of being over-stigmatized within an oppressive system. We listen to C's experiences in a men's prison facility, the threats she faced, as well as her fight for proper healthcare. Strikingly, C shares about obtaining academic success amidst this turbulence- reminding us of the strength of the human spirit, and the power of belief and investment.Finally, we dive into the world of policy sentencing, its implications on individuals like C, and the immense courage it takes to stand against the system. This episode is more than a story; it's a call to thought, a plea for understanding, and a catalyst for change.She has written for Filter Magazine, Shadowproof, the Appeal, Yes! Magazine and maintains an active presence on Twitter.Support the show
63:18 7/13/23
Emily Horowitz: Breaking the Stigma: From Rage to Reason Season 4 -Episode 4
How does society treat people based on their criminal conviction history and how can we better understand the unique experiences of people who are convicted of sexual offenses? Why, in an age where second chances and demands to reduce mass incarceration have become mainstream, are people with these convictions often excluded from reform and relief efforts? In this episode of Amplified Voices, Jason and Amber speak with Emily Horowitz, a professor of sociology and criminal justice at St. Francis College, ahead of the release of her new book: From Rage to Reason: Why We Need Sex Offense Laws Based on Facts Not Fear.  During this conversation, Professor Horowitz details her own personal and professional journey, along with powerful stories from the years she spent  interviewing people impacted by the registry. The discussion reveals a deep empathy that comes from being in close proximity to people who are experiencing banishment and stigma, as well as an exploration of how laws based on vengeance rather than justice or evidence create new forms of harm while failing to address the real and pervasive problem of sexual violence. About Emily Horowitz, PhDProfessor Emily Horowitz teaches courses in sociology at St. Francis College. She is the founder and co-director of the Justice Initiative. Her scholarly research addresses the causes and consequences of mass incarceration, with a focus on the harms of conviction registries and banishment laws.Her latest book, From Rage to Reason: Why We Need Sex Crime Laws Based on Facts, Not Fear (Bloomsbury Academic, 2023), explores the human carnage wrought by decades of draconian and fear-based sex offense policies. She is also the author of Protecting Our Kids?: How Sex Offender Laws Are Failing Us (Praeger, 2015), which was awarded a 2016 Choice Outstanding Academic Title by the American Library Association, and co-editor, with Law Professor Larry Dubin, of Caught in the Web of the Criminal Justice System: Autism, Developmental Disabilities and Sex Offenses.Professor Horowitz frequently engages in advocacy efforts and public scholarship aimed at challenging myths and misinformation that lead to ineffective and draconian laws. Select recent news publications and media include The Real Monsters (a 2022 essay in Inquest: A Decarceral Brainstorm), a Reason article about the man wrongfully convicted of raping prominent author Alice Sebold (2021), a NY Daily News editorial about the Supreme Court hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson (2022), and participation in an Intelligence Squared podcast (2023) debating the sex offense registry.Support the show
66:49 6/20/23
Theresa - Fighting for Parole Justice in NY - Season 4 - Episode 3
How does the criminal legal system impact the lives of those involved and their families? Why is Parole Justice so important? Join Jason and Amber on this episode of Amplified Voices as we hear Theresa's powerful story of perseverance during her husband's lengthy incarceration. Visiting an incarcerated loved one is a process riddled with indignities and challenges. In our conversation with Theresa, we explore the emotional toll of visiting her husband in prison, the financial burden of staying connected, and the restrictions placed on communication. Theresa highlights the devastating impact these limitations have on both incarcerated people and their families, as well as shedding light on the inadequacies of healthcare provided to people who are incarcerated in New York.In this compelling discussion, we dive into Theresa's advocacy work with Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP) and the importance of community involvement in criminal legal reform, particularly the urgency of providing opportunities for individuals to be evaluated as they are today rather than by their past. As she shares her journey, Theresa makes it clear that people should not be dying behind the walls when they could be contributing to violence disruption efforts in their communities. LinksTheresa featured an article in the Appeal: DYING BEHIND BARS: ANOTHER FORM OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT Elder Parole Bill https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2023/S2423Fair &Timely Parole Bill: https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/S497Support the show
70:52 5/25/23
LaResse Harvey - Surviving & Thriving -Season 4 Episode 2
In this episode of Amplified Voices, Jason & Amber speak with LaReese Harvey, a Connecticut native and walking testament to the power of perseverance. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and a formerly incarcerated black woman, she's faced some of the greatest oppression there is. Despite encountering significant obstacles and trauma,  LaResse has committed herself to breaking down the abuse to prison pipeline through her writing, coaching and public advocacy. LaReese is the author of the book, Buttons Journey,  as well as one of the first inductees into the Great 8, organized by the Connecticut Hall of Change . She welcomes communications and inquiries at buttonsjourney@gmail.com and expresses a sincere thanks to Community Partners in Action for their love and support during her reentry process.*Trigger warning* This episode includes references to childhood sexual abuse and violence behind bars. Survivors of violence should listen with a support person, listen in chunks or turn the podcast off if needed. Support the show
63:14 5/13/23
Chris - Keep Moving Forward - Season 4 - Episode 1
Amplified Voices is back!  In this episode, Amber and Jason met with Chris who shares the impact that a conviction, incarceration and registration has had on his plans to serve his country and to lead a good life.  Chris shares his challenges and successes as he works to overcome many of the obstacles he faces as a parent, caregiver, professional and community member forced to register in the state of Florida. Chris advocates with Florida Action Committee, more information on their work can be found here: https://floridaactioncommittee.org/Support the show
79:17 3/21/23
Juanita and Sincere Follow-up – Don’t Ever Give Up – Season 3 Episode 5
In this episode of Amplified Voices, Amber and Jason follow up with Juanita and Sincere following Sincere’s release from prison. Sincere went to prison as a young man and has grown up behind bars, spending 24 years incarcerated in Virginia. In this episode, we get to hear directly from Sincere about the circumstances of Sincere’s release and his experience with reentry. Sincere discusses how he advocated for himself and others while in prison.  Sincere discusses the unanticipated obstacles that he’s faced now that he’s home, with barriers effectively preventing him from living closer to Juanita and other support systems. Since our prior podcast last aired, Juanita has continued her advocacy and has done some amazing work with FAMM and other organizations. The video featuring the stories of the founders of Sistas in Prison Reform and Sincere's homecoming can be found here.  Juanita is parts of a group called The Sistas in Prison Reform   https://sistasinprisonreform.com You can connect with Juanita on Twitter at @Sinita11_Prior episode with Juanita: Juanita Belton - Becoming Sincere Behind Bars - Season 2 Episode 4 (buzzsprout.com) Support the show
51:30 9/22/22
Richard Kemick - Natural Life Season 3 Episode 4
In this episode, Amplified Voices goes global with Jason and Amber's first international guest, Richard Kemick from Canada. During the podcast, Richard shares his experience interacting with his cousin, Christian who is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole in a Michigan prison. As they develop a closer relationship, Richard and Christian decided to develop a limited series podcast, titled, Natural Life to share Christian's experiences and humanity with the world, exploring not only deeper questions, but the mundane realities of life behind the walls. The podcast can be found on all major podcast platforms or directly at http://www.naturallifepodcast.comYou can learn more about Richard's work at https://richardkemick.comSupport the show
43:55 7/21/22
Melissa Tanis - The Past Doesn't Change But People Absolutely Do - Season 3 Episode 3
In this episode of Amplified Voices, Amber and Jason speak with Melissa Tanis, a ferocious advocate for parole justice, compassionate release, and children of incarcerated parents. Melissa shares her story of having her father incarcerated when she was five years old and the impact that it had on her own life as well as the lives of her family members. She shares the emotional path she navigated to reconnect with her dad after many years of no contact. She authentically outlines her feelings and understanding of his complex journey through accountability - highlighting the harshness of a system that sees people and the sum of their crime, rather than as complex human beings with the ability to change. Melissa was able to find her father after many years through his participation in the Shakespeare Behind Bars program and the resulting documentary film. After being denied parole and compassionate release based on the nature of his crime, her father passed away in prison. Melissa is a graduate of Columbia School of Social Work, with a concentration on policy. She is the Policy and Communications Manager for the Center for Justice at Columbia School of Social Work. She has worked for over five years in the Communications and Policy field and has dedicated her work to supporting incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people and their families. She is a member and consultant for the Release Aging People in Prison Campaign, an adviser for the New York Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents, and a volunteer with the Parole Preparation Project. Support the show
47:43 5/9/22
Ray Boyd - Revisiting the Protect Act / A Life in Six Boxes - Season 3 Episode 2
Ray Boyd was incarcerated in 1992, facing a 50 year sentence. He ultimately spent close to 30 years in prison in Connecticut before being released.  Ray experienced Covid 19 while incarcerated and reentry during the pandemic.  Ray shares his story with Amber and Jason. Ray, Amber, and Jason are joined by Barbara Fair from Stop Solitary Connecticut. You can find Ray's book, Model Inmate on Amazon by clicking here.In 2021, the Protect Act to limit the use of Solitary Confinement and create oversight for the Department of Corrections was passed by the Connecticut House and Senate. Governor Lamont vetoed the bill, and instead issued an executive order that can be repealed at any time.  In 2022, Connecticut advocates led by Stop Solitary are organizing to finally have the Protect Act signed into law. You can learn more about Stop Solitary CT visiting here.Background on The PROTECT ActAn Act Promoting Responsible Oversight and Treatment, and Ensuring Correctional Transparency (PROTECT) Act would: 1) create a Commission for Correctional Oversight made up of formerly incarcerated people, family members, experts in medicine, mental health, and corrections, and representatives from the legislative and executive branch; 2) stop extreme isolation and promote effective alternatives, bringing Connecticut in compliance with international minimum human rights standards; 3) end abusive restraints and dehumanizing strip searches; 4) protect social bonds by guaranteeing incarcerated people a minimum number of free letters and access to contact visits; 5) promote correctional officer wellness by requiring trainings and other strategies to mitigate trauma; and 6) promote transparency by requiring public reporting of key corrections department data. Support the show
58:14 3/7/22
Nicole - The Impacts of Parental Incarceration & Registration on Children - Season 3 - Episode 1
In the opening episode of Season 3, Amber and Jason speak with Nicole, a sixteen-year-old girl who authentically shares the experience of having her life turned upside-down at age twelve when her father was arrested, incarcerated and eventually placed on a public registry. Her journey winds from the initial shock, how she was treated at school, to visiting her father while he was incarcerated, to what happened when he was finally able to come home. She also covers how probation restrictions and public registration affect the entire family and what the adults dealing with children with incarcerated parents can do to help. Her most fervent wish in telling her story is to make sure that other kids facing this difficult road know that they are not alone.Support the show
42:52 2/2/22
Amplifying Voices into 2022 - Season 2 Wrap-Up
As the year came to a close, Amplified Voices hosts, Jason and Amber took some time to reflect on everything that 2021 threw at the world. In this candid conversation, they walk listeners through the year;  covering podcast production, behind-the-scenes information, personal triumphs, advocacy victories, guest insights, and so much more. Fans will enjoy a sneak-peek of what's in store for Season 3 as the show continues to serve as a platform to uplift the voices of individuals and families impacted by the criminal legal system in 2022 and beyond.Support the show
28:09 1/1/22
Nick Dubin - Season 2 Episode 12 - Autism Spectrum Disorder & The Criminal Legal System
In this episode of Amplified Voices, Amber and Jason sat down with autism advocate, Nick Dubin to discuss his personal experiences involving his early life, autism diagnosis and ultimately his encounter with the criminal legal system.  Nick also spoke of his desire and work towards using his personal experiences to help others on the spectrum, and his new book.About: Nick Dubin was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (now ASD-level 1) in 2004. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Oakland University, a Master’s Degree in Learning Disabilities from the University of Detroit Mercy, and a Specialist Degree in Psychology and Psy.D. from the Michigan School of Professional Psychology. He has authored many books on autism spectrum disorders including Asperger Syndrome and Anxiety. His latest book is entitled Autism Spectrum Disorder, Developmental Disabilities, and the criminal justice system. Nick is also on the board of Legal Reform for Intellectually and  Developmentally Disabled (LRIDD). Support the show
48:28 12/5/21
Tracie Bernardi - Solitary Confinement is Torture - Season 2 Episode 11
Come meet Tracie Bernardi, a formerly incarcerated activist and co-founder of Once Incarcerated, an organization designed to help  justice impacted families and individuals navigate through collateral damage.  Tracie talks Jason and Amber about her experience with the criminal legal system as a young 19 year old woman who was sentenced to 30 years in prison. She talks about how she ultimately spent 23 years of those years incarcerated with 7 years in solitary confinement. Now, she's back home and doing amazing work in the community.  Tracie is a Smart Justice Leader with ACLU CT and was recently featured in an article on their website.    Once Incarcerated's Website: https://onceincarcerated.org/ACLU CT article  featuring Tracie: https://www.acluct.org/en/news/everyone-will-be-better-if-connecticut-ends-solitary-confinementSupport the show
52:46 11/5/21
Marty Weiss - Life is Complicated- Season 2 Episode 10
Amber and Jason spoke with Marty and took a deep dive into Marty's life before he took actions that landed him in the criminal legal system. Marty shares the bullying and sexual assaults he endured as a young gay man and how this shaped his response to the world. You can hear him express remorse for his actions and what he learned through the process. He describes some aspects of his time in prison. Marty talks about the support he found with ACSOL (https://all4consolaws.org), how he has rebuilt his life, and the work he does now to support others.   He also talks about his new book "Thanks for the Infamy."   If you're interested in his book, you can email thanksfortheinfamy@gmail.com, go to https://payhip.com/b/aT86b or send a direct message on Twitter to Marty  @mwmtalent.Support the show
41:40 10/4/21
Mark- They Didn't Even Use the Word - Season 2, Episode 9
In this episode of Amplified Voices, Amber and Jason speak with Mark who authentically shares the shock, pain and sense of brokenness that he and his close relatives felt when they discovered sexual harm had occurred within their family. This incident abruptly plunged his elderly father into the criminal legal system, ultimately revealing that he had dementia. Mark describes how he and his father encountered severe injustice on one hand and acts of kindness on the other, as they were forced to navigate a system that is ill-prepared to accommodate individuals with Alzheimer's and Dementia.Support the show
45:52 9/13/21
Morgan Godvin - Incarceration Is Not The Answer To Our Drug Crisis - Season 2 Episode 8
In this episode, Jason and Amber speak with Morgan Godvin,  a freelance writer, scholar and advocate who spent time behind bars after she sold her best friend heroin and he died of an overdose. In a matter of days, Morgan found herself grappling with the death of her friend while also navigating an unrelenting justice system. Morgan shares her story of addiction and struggle, highlighting how she quickly became aware of racial and socioeconomic disparities in the criminal legal system. She explains how our nation's reliance on incarceration exacerbates addiction and often charges family members, friends, and others who share drugs as murderers while doing nothing to help. In February of 2020, Morgan was appointed to serve as a commissioner on Oregon’s Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission. In January of 2021, she was appointed by the Oregon Health Authority to the Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council where she was one of 21 Oregonians determining the grant funding that came in tandem with drug decriminalization. You can learn more about Morgan at https://www.morgangodvin.com/A listing of her published writings can be found at: https://www.morgangodvin.com/portfolioWatch Morgan's appearance on CNN here: https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2020/11/14/from-addiction-to-advocacy-for-drug-decriminalization.cnnSupport the show
49:53 8/11/21
A Call To Action: CT's Protect Act - Special Episode
In this special episode, Amber & Jason welcome Stop Solitary CT activist and lead organizer, Barbara Fair, back to the show to discuss Governor Lamont's recent veto of SB 1059, known as the Protect Act. The act, meant to uphold and protect the safety of individuals living and working behind bars, recently passed both houses of the  Connecticut legislature, only to stop short of becoming law with the stroke of the Governor's pen. In order to address the inhumane practices challenged by the bill, the Governor subsequently issued an executive order. During the show, Barbara shares her thoughts on the process, feedback from the people affected, and how everyone in the state of Connecticut can get involved, right AWAY to urge the legislature to act to override the veto. Listeners can learn more and get involved utilizing the links below:Stop Solitary CT can be found at http://www.stopsolitaryct.orgFind your Connecticut legislators here: https://www.cga.ct.gov/Read "A Necessary Tool" CT ViewPoints , CT Mirror by Barbara Fair: https://ctmirror.org/category/ct-viewpoints/a-necessary-tool/Our previous episode with Barbara: https://amplifiedvoices.buzzsprout.com/1213727/8257890-barbara-fair-stop-solitary-ct-season-2-episode-5Support the show
40:15 7/12/21
Kathy Flaherty - Systems Overlap Season 2, Episode 7
In this episode, Jason and Amber catch up with attorney Kathy Flaherty, a fierce advocate for disability rights. During the conversation,  Kathy explores the parallels between the criminal justice and mental health systems, and explains how advocates in both spaces can work together. Kathy walks the audience through her experience with involuntary commitment, law school and the challenges she faced being admitted to the Connecticut bar due to her mental health treatment history.Kathy currently serves as Executive Director of Connecticut Legal Rights Project, Inc. (CLRP), a statewide non-profit agency which provides legal services to low income individuals with mental health conditions, who reside in hospitals or the community, on matters related to their treatment, recovery, and civil rights. Prior to coming to CLRP, Kathy spent 15 years as a Staff Attorney at Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut, Inc. Kathy combines her personal experience as a recipient of mental health services and her legal background to speak to issues affecting those living with mental health conditions.Kathy can be found tweeting at @ConnConnection.Support the show
52:42 6/22/21
Anderson Curtis - Believe in Your Own Possibilities - Season 2 Episode 6
This Amplified Voices conversation with Amber & Jason follows the journey of Anderson Curtis, Senior Field Organizer for Smart Justice with the ACLU of Connecticut. Anderson shares his story, full of examples of both failure and success, as well as emphasizing the people and strategies that helped him during recovery and reentry after incarceration. He encourages those with lived experience to share and advocate, understanding that truth and power are found in forgiving themselves, setting goals, and growing in community with others.  Anderson also shares thoughts on the work he currently supports at the ACLU and recent coalition efforts towards Clean Slate legislation and criminal justice system transparency in Connecticut. Anderson lives with hope and dignity, advocating for people to access employment and housing despite the barriers of discrimination and disparities.If you would like to learn more about the ACLU and their Smart Justice Campaign in CT visit http://www.acluct.orgSupport the show
49:33 5/15/21
Barbara Fair - Stop Solitary CT - Season 2 Episode 5
Barbara Fair is a licensed clinical social worker and social justice activist with Stop Solitary Connecticut who has worked tirelessly for decades to improve prison conditions, bring awareness to the impact incarceration has on children and families, and demand accountability for state violence as it relates to police departments and correctional facilities in Connecticut. She has long called for the abolition of solitary confinement, testifying in support of and organizing on behalf of many legislative reforms.Amber and Jason caught up with Barbara a few days after a major public hearing for the PROTECT Act (Connecticut Senate Bill 1059) that calls for an end to extreme isolation and abusive restraints, promotes social bonds, ensures the shut down of Northern Correctional Institution, reforms data collection and improves oversight & accountability.  Barbara shared personal stories dating back to the ‘60s through present times. Information about Stop Solitary Connecticut and the PROTECT Act  can be found at https://www.stopsolitaryct.org/.During the show, Barbara also referred to the film The Worst of the Worst: Portrait of a Supermax Prison, a production of the Yale Visual Law Project. The film depicts Connecticut’s sole supermax prison (Northern Correctional) where many inmates are held in solitary confinement for months and even years at a time.  You can watch the film at https://vimeo.com/user7522770/httpvimeocomworstoftheworst.Support the show
61:16 4/2/21
Juanita Belton - Becoming Sincere Behind Bars - Season 2 Episode 4
Juanita shares the story of her friend, Sincere, who was sentenced to 45 years  for an incident that happened when he was 18.  Then known as Darnell, he signed an Alford plea deal for first degree murder, arson, and use of a firearm. Sincere has grown up behind bars. Juanita continues to advocate for him. Juanita is parts of a group called The Sistas in Prison Reform  https://sistasinprisonreform.comYou can connect with Juanita on Twitter at @Sinita11_Support the show
57:10 3/13/21
Carol Nesteikis - We Must See the Gray - Season 2 Episode 3
In this episode, Amber & Jason meet Carol, the mother of an intellectually disabled son and a passionate advocate for reform. She shares how her family was thrust into the world of courtrooms, plea bargains, ankle monitors and public registration after a situation that occurred in 2012. Their story is one of tragedy and triumph, one that shines a light on the fact that criminal prosecutions of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities often lead to disastrous consequences for individuals and their families without any benefit to the public.In the episode, Carol shares enthusiastically about  LRIDD - Legal Reform for the Intellectually & Developmentally Disabled. Listeners can learn more about their work here: http://www.LRIDD.orgThe story of Carol and her family was also featured in a recent article by Chiara Eisner, When People with Intellectual Disabilities  Are Punished, Parents Pay the PriceSupport the show
56:37 2/24/21
Richard Bronson -Wall Street to Prison to Commissary Club Entrepreneur- Season 2 Episode 2
Amber and Jason talk with Richard about his experience with Wall Street as part of the Wolf of Wall Street firm. In the conversation, Richard takes us on his journey from prison and all of the collateral consequences  to reentry up through his entrepreneurial efforts focused on others who have been incarcerated. He takes us from New York to Florida to California.  From Richard's bio on his new site Commissary Club: Richard was the founder and CEO of 70 Million Jobs and 70 Million Staffing. Before launching 70 Million Jobs, Richard served as Director of Defy Ventures, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing incarcerated men and women second chances upon release. Before that, he was a co-founder of the popular nostalgia website, DoYouRemember.com. His career began on Wall Street, where he managed money at Lehman Bros. and Bear Stearns. He eventually went on to found Biltmore Securities, a registered broker-dealer based in South Florida. Richard grew Biltmore to nearly 500 employees and took many companies public. After Biltmore, Richard founded Channels Magazine and launched several successful consumer product and service businesses. Richard was convicted of securities fraud in 2002, arising from his activities in the 1990s and served two years in a Federal prison camp.https://www.commissary.clubhttps://www.70millionjobs.comSupport the show
64:57 2/7/21
Stefanie - Survivor, Attorney, and Prison Abolitionist - Season 2 Episode 1
Join Amber and Jason as they launch their second season of Amplified Voices with a guest you won't want to miss: Attorney Stefanie Mundhenk. In this episode, Stefanie talks about how her life was altered by an incident at Baylor University. Her journey takes us from Texas to Washington D.C., where she was a graduate law student at Georgetown, and ultimately to Kentucky where she studied for the bar and is now a practicing attorney. Hear Stefanie explain why she believes the entire criminal legal system needs to be reformed, as she discusses Title IX and her experiences as a public defender.Stefanie can be followed on Twitter  @philawsostefHere's a link to an article that she wrote for The Appeal:I Was Sexually Assaulted. And I Believe Incarcerating Rapists Doesn’t Help Victims Like Me. - The AppealSupport the show
63:30 1/24/21
Reflection: Proximity & Storytelling Matter - Episode 17
In a rare peek behind the scenes,  Amplified Voices hosts, Jason and Amber round out their first season by reflecting on how the podcast has evolved - exploring how proximity and storytelling have been able to make an impact on the many people who have participated, listened and shared the show with others.  Through a candid discussion, the hosts highlight the feedback they have received,  what the project has meant to each of them and the many things they have learned from the guests who have trusted them to amplify their inspiring stories of pain, growth, triumph and humanity. They also offer a look at how guests are selected, how the show is organized and produced, and offer a preview of what to expect in season two. Support the show
35:08 12/13/20