Phase I

The Inaugural Seminar held on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 in Baltimore, Maryland at the Cork Gallery was the first phase of a four-phase initiative.  Approximately 50 people attended. This initiative was a historical moment. This is the first time in history that an event conceived solely by incarcerated individuals, directed by a previously incarcerated individual brought together representatives from Maryland’s three branches of government, along with national policy organizations, local organizations, and family members and friends. 

Opening remarks were made by Walter Lomax, Project Director; introduction of guests by Polly Riddims, Secretary and Fusion Director; and Invocation was offered by Pastor Hill from Life Line Outreach Ministries.
Speakers included:

  • Lauren Abramson, Community Conferencing Center
  • Geraldine Singleton, Mother of Prisoner
  • Mary Brown-Bey, Michael Austin – Ex Prisoners
  • Ronald Carter , Recently Released Prisoner
  • Retired Delegate Clarence T. Davis
  • Marc Mauer- Executive Director, The Sentencing Project.

Following the key note speaker, workshops were assembled: Executive, headed by Kimberly Haven, the Director of Justice Maryland; Judiciary, headed by Jeanette Kingsberry, wife of an incarcerated individual; and Legislative, headed by Connie Smith, Director of Families Against Injustice, co-chaired by former Delegate Clarence T. Davis. There was a break for lunch, where discussions continued, with a meet and greet and exchange of information. The workshops resumed at approximately 12:45 PM to finalize viable solutions. A panel discussion began at 2:00 PM and each workshop gave their reports.. The program concluded with closing remarks from Walter Lomax, stating that this was the conclusion of our first phase of a four phase initiative, and that the next phase will consist of a similar gathering of family members and friends.

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