In April 2018, I attended the Equal Justice Initiative’s Peace and Justice Summit in Montgomery, Alabama.
I was pumped about hearing from frontline criminal justice advocates, including Michelle Alexander, Senator Cory Booker, and Anne Deavere Smith.
I wasn’t disappointed. Their message: continue the fight to reform our broken criminal justice system one community at a time.
In Birmingham, Alabama, LaTonya Tate, mother of a formerly incarcerated son, (now on parole after serving eight years for robbery), is doing just that.
According to Al.com, Tate plans to create the Alabama Justice Initiative to work with state officials “to integrate community-based practices into the states parole system.”
More importantly, she wants to assist parolees and their families in adjusting to life after prison. She’s off to a good start with an $87,000 grant earmarked for criminal justice reform initiatives.
“What intrigued me was that my son was a first-time offender. Why weren’t there any alternatives for him? Why are there so many African-American men going to prison?” Tate asked “But I learned throughout this journey there aren’t any alternatives.”
Tate plans to change that in her home state.