Pre-crime preventative detention and the stress forced upon all persons in carceral settings by the current global pandemic were the focus’ of an hour-long conversation on the Crossroads Radio show hosted by Roach Brown and Nkechi Taifa on WPFW 89.3FM, known as “Washington’s station for jazz and justice”. Olinda Moyd, who is the former Chief of parole division in the Public Defender Service in D.C., joined in on the conversation, and emphasized the fact that many of these individuals are being held involuntarily for technical or administrative violations of their parole and could easily be returned to their families.
to listen to Nkechi, Roach, and their special guests talk about how all persons serving time are directly impacted by the COVID-19 virus and their work with Just Future Project.
Throughout the radio appearance, Olinda works to describe the horrific percentage of individuals in D.C. jails that are there for parole warrants — especially highlighting the case of Galen Baughman in Virginia, which was the focus of a recent opinion piece in the Washington Post.
Shortly after minute 16 of 60, Moyd states “On any given day at the D.C. jail, about 1/3 of the population thats there are individuals who are there on parole warrants. Typically, these individuals are there for missed appointments, technical or administrative violations, and so again we’re talking about a population of individuals who could easily be returned to their families and loved ones”.
At minute 49 of 60, co-host Nkechi Taisa states “Look at the people who have 10, 20, 30 years of life without parole. They live inside a room, a cell! They wont have the future confidence to order doordash or anything like that to have food delivered or anything along those lines. We are experiencing this for hopefully a short period of time, but here are those who are a part of our community who are incarcerated, where this is their always, everyday lifestyle. So, sympathy is an important part as well”.
At age 20, Roach Brown was convicted of murder and received a life sentence. While in solitary confinement Roach wrote a poem in the dust under his bunk called “Christmas in Prison”. The poem evolved into a play called “Christmas in Time” and The Inner Voices drama group was formed. After 500 performances outside the gates of Lorton Reformatory, on Christmas Day 1975, Roach Brown received a Presidential Commutation from President Gerald Ford. That’s why every day is Christmas to Roach Brown. Merry Christmas!
Nkechi Taifa is founder and principal of The Taifa Group, LLC. She convenes and directs the Justice Roundtable, an advocacy coalition advancing progressive justice system reform, and serves as Senior Fellow for the Center for Justice at Columbia University. She was recently appointed to the board of the Corrections Information Council. Taifa served as Advocacy Director for Criminal Justice at the Open Society Foundations and Open Society Policy Center for 16 years. Nkechi lives in Washington DC.
Guest: Olinda MoydOlinda Moyd was the former Chief of Parole Division in the Public Defender Service in D.C. Olinda Moyd emphasizes how to create an effective conversation about all persons in carceral settings, how to implement these conversations with your community, and reminds the audiences that until everyone is free – we are not free!
Full Crossroads Radio Show below.
Special thanks to Roach and Nkechi for inviting Just Future Project back to update their audience on the fight to free Galen and Mwando and for helping us bring light to shadow prisons! Follow Just Future Project on twitter and Instagram. Like, share and comment to join the awareness offensive. Together we can #abolishprecrime
2. Free our friends and loved ones from dehumanizing labels
3. Realign our justice system with the values of restoration and reintegration
Just Future Project is a new initiative focused on challenging pre-crime preventative detention laws. We are a people-driven grassroots advocacy campaign dedicated to building a movement of community members demanding an end to indefinite detention regimes.
Why Is This Important?
Pre-crime preventative detention systems are a dangerous departure from the traditional values of our legal system.
We believe in justice, that persons who have caused harm may be held accountable for their actions. But justice also demands proportionality and due process, elements essential to distinguish justice from mere vengeance. The goal of any true system of justice must be restoration and re-integration, not the perpetual containment and incapacitation that have come to define the U.S. criminal legal system.