Panelists Named to Discuss the Crack vs. Powder Cocaine Disparities During Virtual Reporters Roundtable Next Tuesday
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Prison Fellowship®, the nation's largest Christian nonprofit serving prisoners, former prisoners, and their families, is partnering with FAMM to host a virtual reporters roundtable to discuss ending the crack cocaine disparity, which is expected to be a key potential criminal justice reform proposal in the new Congress and administration.
Panelists for Tuesday's Virtual Reporters Roundtable
- Matthew Charles, formerly incarcerated and one of the first released after passage of the FIRST STEP Act;
- William Curtis was given 327-month sentence for distribution of crack cocaine. After serving 20 years and six months, he's now serving home confinement due to COVID 19.
- Frank Russo, Director of Government and Legislative Affairs with the National District Attorneys Association;
- Jerry Blassingame, the Executive Director of Soteria Community Development Corporation, Senior Pastor of Soteria Christian Fellowship and formerly incarcerated;
- Kevin Ring, President of FAMM who previously served as the group's Vice President and director of strategic initiatives;
- James Ackerman, President and CEO with Prison Fellowship; and
- Heather Rice-Minus, the Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Church Mobilization with Prison Fellowship.
Ending the crack cocaine disparity is expected to be a key criminal justice reform proposal in the new Congress and administration. Prison Fellowship and FAMM are advocating for the full elimination of this disparity in the 117th Congress.
Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) have introduced the Equal Act, which would eliminate the disparity and allow for retroactive review of prior cases sentenced under prior laws. President Joe Biden also identified elimination of the disparity as a priority in his presidential campaign’s criminal justice policy platform.
Virtual Reporters Roundtable on Crack vs. Powder Cocaine Disparities
Who: Prison Fellowship, FAMM, experts, and impacted family members
What: Equal Act discussion, via Zoom, including reporters' Q&A
When: Tuesday, March 9, 2021 from 11:00am to 12:00pm (EST)
Where: Credentialed press members can REGISTER HERE.