Durham Events Spotlight Stories from the Criminal Legal System
DURHAM, N.C. — April has been proclaimed Second Chance Month in North Carolina, Durham County and nationally. Each year, Second Chance Month highlights the importance — to individuals and communities — of helping people successfully return from incarceration.
Members of the public and press are invited to two upcoming events underscoring the challenges and successes experienced by individuals returning from prison — and how their stories can inform a more fair, safe, and just future for all.
The first event will be an informative panel discussion on April 26 featuring people who were formerly incarcerated, co-sponsored by the Wilson Center for Science and Justice at Duke Law and the Durham County District Attorney’s Office.
The second event is a special theater performance presented by the Durham County District Attorney’s Office, the Wilson Center for Science and Justice at Duke Law School and the Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham (RCND). For this April 27 event, Durham County District Attorney Satana Deberry, Pastor Jay Augustine of St. Joseph AME Church, and retired public radio broadcaster/RCND volunteer Frank Stasio will take the stage to participate in reading poignant monologues written by formerly incarcerated authors.
Both events are free and open to the public. Additional details are below, and flyers are attached.
Each year, approximately 22,000 people are released from the North Carolina prison system. Seventy million Americans have a criminal record, and nearly half of Americans have a family member who is currently or formerly incarcerated. Second Chance Month highlights the barriers millions of justice-involved people face, and how individuals, communities and organizations can help promote successful return from incarceration.
“Most people who go to prison will return to their communities after they serve their time, and everyone benefits when that return is successful,” said Durham County District Attorney Satana Deberry. “The perspectives of formerly incarcerated people are valuable to conversations about creating equitable and lasting safety. These events will be powerful opportunities to hear — and learn from — their first-hand stories.”
“Second Chance Month invites each of us to imagine our role in building communities that embrace the good, hard work of second chances,” said RCND Director Ben Haas. “That begins with opening ourselves to stories like these: stories large enough for all we’ve done and left undone, stories with a before and an after.”
“Successful re-entry highlights one of the most powerful forces in our communities: redemption. No matter a person’s circumstances at the time they enter prison, we believe that they are capable of change. Everyone re-entering society must be supported as they continue their rehabilitative journeys,” said Ben Finholt of the Wilson Center at Duke Law.
Re-Entry: A Panel Discussion on Life after Incarceration
April 26, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Community Family Life & Recreation Center at Lyon Park
The Wilson Center for Science and Justice at Duke Law and the Durham County District Attorney’s Office present Re-Entry: A Panel Discussion on Life After Incarceration. Panelists Tyrone Baker, Scellarneize Holloman, and Randall Jenkins will share their stories of life after incarceration and how they navigated the process of re-entry. The panel will be moderated by Brian Scott, Executive Director of Our Journey, a non-profit that helps formerly incarcerated people bridge the gap from prison to freedom.
Find more information and reserve a free ticket at tiny.cc/reentry.
Motus Theater with Satana Deberry, Pastor Jay Augustine and Frank Stasio
April 27, 6-8 p.m.
Von der Heyden Studio Theater, Rubenstein Arts Center, Duke University
The Durham County District Attorney’s Office, the Wilson Center for Science and Justice at Duke Law School and the Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham (RCND) present a special Motus Theater’s JustUs performance. During this special performance, Durham County District Attorney Satana Deberry, Pastor Jay Augustine of St. Joseph AME Church, and retired public radio broadcaster/RCND volunteer Frank Stasio will co-read autobiographical pieces written by Motus’ JustUs monologists who were formerly incarcerated. Monologues will be woven with inspiring musical responses by nationally acclaimed singers, The ReMINDers.
In collaboration with Fair & Just Prosecution, Motus Theater is touring JustUs monologues with district attorneys across the country to inspire thoughtful dialogue on the impact the criminal legal system has on communities. Motus Theater’s mission is to create original theater to facilitate dialogue on critical issues of our time, using the power of art to build alliances across diverse segments of our community and country.
Find more information and reserve a free ticket at tiny.cc/motusdurham.
These two events are among many held by various organizations in Durham and across the state as part of Second Chance Month.