On October 9, 2018, Impact Hub Boston hosted a deep discussion around the issue of mass incarceration and the role it plays in the future of Boston. Panel experts shared their diverse experiences with the topic, and participants were then invited to engage in small group conversations with these experts in an effort to move their work forward, bringing a unique perspective to creatively brainstorm with changemakers in Boston working on this complex social issue.

Discussions during breakout sessions were meant to impact strategic work around mass incarceration, criminal justice reform, and reintegration being done by Boston’s public, private, and nonprofit leaders.

 

Participants included social entrepreneurs, local government, community leaders, nonprofit professionals, business leaders, philanthropists, academics, and engaged citizens where productive conversation drew from a wide a range of lived experience and professional experience in different fields, neighborhoods, and sectors.

 

Alisha Harrington from the IHB host team will plan future, similar events, hoping to support social impact initiatives in the greater Boston area. This event was part of ImpactFest, an annual week-long celebration of our community’s impact, of the strength of our social impact ecosystem in Boston, and of our fifth birthday as Impact Hub Boston.  

 

Brandale Randolph: 1854 Cycling

The 1854 Cycling Company is a premium bicycle and apparel brand founded in 2016, as a vehicle for poverty alleviation among formerly incarcerated people, particularly women. The company was founded by Brandale Randolph, a poverty alleviation advocate who has written two books, and gave a well-received TEDx talk at TEDxTexasTechUniversity in 2013. 1854 Cycling was competitively selected for the 2018 MassChallenge cohort, aiming to generate enough traction and revenue to establish an assembly facility that may one day support the lives and employment of formerly incarcerated people.

 

Janelle Ridley: Boston Public Schools

Janelle Ridley currently works as the District’s Coordinator for System-Involved Youth, assisting BPS students detained within the Department of Youth Services, and those remanded to the custody of the Department of Children and Families. A former East Boston High teacher, Janelle worked with students to create the first known high school charter of the NAACP. She serves on a variety of boards both county wide and statewide that deal with juvenile justice, co-chairs the Boston Public Schools Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline (DSTPP), and has recently joined The Boston Bar’s new committee on the School to Prison Pipeline.

 

Cris Gilmore: Benjamin Franklin

Cristal Gilmore, who goes by Cris, is currently in his first year at Benjamin Franklin where he is pursuing a concentration in Construction Management. He is a former detainee of the Department Of Youth Services,  who leads discussions at Universities and the Boston Public Schools on how to best engage with students with regard to how to best navigate obstacles teachers may encounter with young people who have been typically labeled and profiled. While pursuing his management degree, Cris remains passionate about facilitating conversations with educators (and others) about the justice system (and the ripple effect it causes), creating a platform for all young people who have been system-involved to succeed.

 

Adam Foss: Prosecutor Impact

Adam J. Foss is a former Assistant District Attorney in the Juvenile Division of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office (SCDAO) in Boston, MA, and a fierce advocate for criminal justice reform and the importance of the role of the prosecutor in ending mass incarceration. Mr. Foss believes that the profession of prosecution is ripe for reinvention requiring better incentives and more measurable metrics for success beyond, simply, “cases won” leading him to found Prosecutor Impact – a non-profit developing training and curriculum for prosecutors to reframe their role in the criminal justice system. During his nine years as a prosecutor, Mr. Foss collaborated with the courts and the community to develop programming that continues to have a positive impact on the neighborhoods he prosecuted in. In 2018, he was featured in CNN’s documentary “American Jail,” and in 2017 the Mandela Foundation named him Nelson Mandela Changemaker of the Year.

 

True-See Allah: Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department

True-See S. Allah is the Assistant Deputy Superintendent of Reintegration for the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department (SCSD). He directs a team of Directors and Case Managers who work with men at the Suffolk County House of Correction transitioning from incarceration to responsible citizenship through employment, housing, parenting, schooling, substance abuse treatment and vocational training. Mr. Allah worked previously for Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD) as its first-ever coordinator of Operation Re-Entry, a program of ABCD’s South End Neighborhood Action Program (SNAP) where he established holistic programming for formerly incarcerated men and women seeking additional resources and support. He is the recipient of several awards which have honored his work in the field of re-entry, including national recognition with the 57th Attorney General’s Award for Public Safety for his role in the success of the Boston Re-Entry Initiative. Mr. Allah was born and raised in Boston.

 

Oren Nimni: Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice

Oren Nimni is a Staff Attorney at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights where he manages their immigrants’ rights and criminal justice docket. His legal practice focuses on cutting-edge constitutional litigation on behalf of people of color and immigrants, and is currently litigating the first lawsuit filed in the country against the Trump Administration to save TPS on behalf of Haitian, Honduran and Salvadoran immigrants. Oren also teaches at Suffolk University Law School and serves as legal editor for the popular political magazine Current Affairs.

 

Stacey Borden: New Beginnings Reentry

Founder and President Stacey Borden has a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling with a Concentration in Addictions and Trauma, and is an author, performance artist, motivational speaker and an activist. She is currently a Board member with OWLL (On With Living and Learning) Productions, a non-profit organization that works with formerly incarcerated women in dynamic workshops that incorporate reading, writing, storytelling and active listening to build self-esteem and imperative life and job skills that will enable successful reentry to society. Stacey Borden, formerly incarcerated is a member of The National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls and a member of the NAADAC (The Association for Addiction Professionals).

Amy Levin