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Amplified Voices

Author: Amber & Jason - Criminal Legal Reform Advocates with Lived Experience

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Amplified Voices is a podcast that lifts the voices of people and families impacted by the criminal legal system. Hosts Jason and Amber speak with real people in real communities to help them step into the power of their lived experience. Together, they explore shared humanity and real solutions for positive change.
22 Episodes
Barbara Fair is a licensed clinical social worker and social justice activist with Stop Solitary Connecticut who has worked tirelessly for decades to improve prison conditions, bring awareness to the impact incarceration has on children and families, and demand accountability for state violence as it relates to police departments and correctional facilities in Connecticut. She has long called for the abolition of solitary confinement, testifying in support of and organizing on behalf of many legislative reforms.Amber and Jason caught up with Barbara a few days after a major public hearing for the PROTECT Act (Connecticut Senate Bill 1059) that calls for an end to extreme isolation and abusive restraints, promotes social bonds, ensures the shut down of Northern Correctional Institution, reforms data collection and improves oversight & accountability.  Barbara shared personal stories dating back to the ‘60s through present times. Information about Stop Solitary Connecticut and the PROTECT Act  can be found at the show, Barbara also referred to the film The Worst of the Worst: Portrait of a Supermax Prison, a production of the Yale Visual Law Project. The film depicts Connecticut’s sole supermax prison (Northern Correctional) where many inmates are held in solitary confinement for months and even years at a time.  You can watch the film at Support the show (
Juanita shares the story of her friend, Sincere, who was sentenced to 45 years  for an incident that happened when he was 18.  Then known as Darnell, he signed an Alford plea deal for first degree murder, arson, and use of a firearm. Sincere has grown up behind bars. Juanita continues to advocate for him. Juanita is parts of a group called The Sistas in Prison Reform  https://sistasinprisonreform.comYou can connect with Juanita on Twitter at @Sinita11_ Support the show (
In this episode, Amber & Jason meet Carol, the mother of an intellectually disabled son and a passionate advocate for reform. She shares how her family was thrust into the world of courtrooms, plea bargains, ankle monitors and public registration after a situation that occurred in 2012. Their story is one of tragedy and triumph, one that shines a light on the fact that criminal prosecutions of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities often lead to disastrous consequences for individuals and their families without any benefit to the public.In the episode, Carol shares enthusiastically about  LRIDD - Legal Reform for the Intellectually & Developmentally Disabled. Listeners can learn more about their work here: http://www.LRIDD.orgThe story of Carol and her family was also featured in a recent article by Chiara Eisner, When People with Intellectual Disabilities  Are Punished, Parents Pay the Price Support the show (
Amber and Jason talk with Richard about his experience with Wall Street as part of the Wolf of Wall Street firm. In the conversation, Richard takes us on his journey from prison and all of the collateral consequences  to reentry up through his entrepreneurial efforts focused on others who have been incarcerated. He takes us from New York to Florida to California.  From Richard's bio on his new site Commissary Club: Richard was the founder and CEO of 70 Million Jobs and 70 Million Staffing. Before launching 70 Million Jobs, Richard served as Director of Defy Ventures, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing incarcerated men and women second chances upon release. Before that, he was a co-founder of the popular nostalgia website, His career began on Wall Street, where he managed money at Lehman Bros. and Bear Stearns. He eventually went on to found Biltmore Securities, a registered broker-dealer based in South Florida. Richard grew Biltmore to nearly 500 employees and took many companies public. After Biltmore, Richard founded Channels Magazine and launched several successful consumer product and service businesses. Richard was convicted of securities fraud in 2002, arising from his activities in the 1990s and served two years in a Federal prison camp.https://www.commissary.club Support the show (
Join Amber and Jason as they launch their second season of Amplified Voices with a guest you won't want to miss: Attorney Stefanie Mundhenk. In this episode, Stefanie talks about how her life was altered by an incident at Baylor University. Her journey takes us from Texas to Washington D.C., where she was a graduate law student at Georgetown, and ultimately to Kentucky where she studied for the bar and is now a practicing attorney. Hear Stefanie explain why she believes the entire criminal legal system needs to be reformed, as she discusses Title IX and her experiences as a public defender.Stefanie can be followed on Twitter  @philawsostefHere's a link to an article that she wrote for The Appeal:I Was Sexually Assaulted. And I Believe Incarcerating Rapists Doesn’t Help Victims Like Me. - The Appeal Support the show (
In a rare peek behind the scenes,  Amplified Voices hosts, Jason and Amber round out their first season by reflecting on how the podcast has evolved - exploring how proximity and storytelling have been able to make an impact on the many people who have participated, listened and shared the show with others.  Through a candid discussion, the hosts highlight the feedback they have received,  what the project has meant to each of them and the many things they have learned from the guests who have trusted them to amplify their inspiring stories of pain, growth, triumph and humanity. They also offer a look at how guests are selected, how the show is organized and produced, and offer a preview of what to expect in season two.  Support the show (
Join Jason and Amber for a different perspective, as they speak with Thomas Owen Baker, a veteran and former police officer who shares how his involvement in policing affected him, leading to his strong desire to convert his experiences into  something of social value . He candidly speaks about life as a law enforcement officer and how his perceptions changed over time. After 9 years serving on the force, he decided to enter the academic sphere, focusing his research on police culture, use of force, and qualitative research methods. Tom believes that we must all work toward a society where citizens and their governmental representatives – the police – aren’t so terrified of one another. He hopes his research and outreach can be part of positive solutions.Thomas is a PhD student in the department of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Missouri-St Louis, a Pat Tillman scholar and podcaster. You can follow him on Twitter @thomasowenbakerDuring the show, Thomas mentions a project called Fatal Encounters - which describes itself as a "step toward creating an impartial, comprehensive and searchable database of people killed during interactions with the police." He also mentions: Support the show (
Deb Martinez's brother is currently incarcerated in Connecticut. In this episode, Deb shares her experience as an advocate for her brother as well as for other incarcerated individuals and their families. She also talks about when she was the victim of a sexual assault as a teenager, an occurrence that completely changed the trajectory of her life. Like most stories, Deb's is multi-dimensional and one you won't want to miss. Deb can be found on twitter as @victim2advocate, on Facebook or by email at  Support the show (
In this episode of Amplified Voices, Jason and Amber speak with Tiheba Bain, a mother, student, activist and advocate for formerly incarcerated women and girls. Tiheba shares her experiences: being raised by her grandmother in Brooklyn,  a difficult struggle with addiction, her time behind the walls and the long journey to find her way.Tiheba is the founder of Women Against Mass Incarceration, a nonprofit organization, located in Bridgeport, CT that exists to  empower, change and re-shape the lives of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and families. They are  a partner organization of the National Council of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women & Girls.  You can find them at Support the show (
In this episode of Amplified Voices, Amber and Jason speak with Nancy - a business owner, wife, mother, student and advocate from Iowa. Nancy authentically shares how her family was affected by addiction, incarceration, special probation conditions, mandated treatment, public registration and more. Her story particularly highlights how broad and often inflexible probation restrictions can deeply affect the lives and mental health of all members of the family. Her journey and aspirations to become a mental health treatment provider illustrate the resilience of families who have been affected by the criminal legal system.*Trigger warning* This episode includes references to suicidal ideation. Those who have struggled with similar challenges should listen with a support person, listen in chunks or turn the podcast off if needed.  Support the show (
In this episode of Amplified Voices, Jason and Amber speak with Tricia, mother of four and wife of a man who was convicted of a white collar crime and subsequently incarcerated. Tricia bravely shares her experiences, including how she and her children were affected through the process, the shock of the arrest, coping with co-parenting while a parent is incarcerated and public responses to the idea of white collar crime. She speaks of finding humanity in the most unexpected places and highlights how every family is unique. Support the show (
In this episode of Amplified Voices, Amber and Jason speak with Andrew,  a pastor from Connecticut who has been impacted by the criminal legal system, both as a family member and as the victim of a crime. Andrew speaks about how the crime and the system has affected his family, congregation, community and more. He shares valuable insights and coping strategies for those who have an incarcerated family member during the age of COVID19, as well as for those who are living with the challenges of a criminal record in a world turned upside-down after incarceration. Finally he speaks about spirituality and the responsibility of individuals of faith to define justice as equality and love, seeking a path to redemption and reconciliation for everyone. Support the show (
Daryl is well-known in criminal justice reform circles in Connecticut. Come hear his story of how he turned his life around and gave back to the community through reentry and addiction recovery services. On the evening we're posting this episode, he's being inducted into Connecticut's First Hall of Change. He is founder of Formerly Inc. Daryl, holds state certifications as an Addictions Counselor, Recovery Support Specialist, and a Criminal Justice Professional. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management and Leadership, both from Springfield College. Prior to entering the human service field, Mr. McGraw held several leadership positions in the hospitality field working for Fortune 500 companiesHere's a link to Formerly Inc Support the show (
Tammy shares her journey from being a young mother to serving in the military and being the victim of military sexual trauma.  After becoming a teacher, committing an offense and being impacted by the criminal legal system, she learns to cope with the collateral consequences of a conviction. Her message is one of growth, change and hope as she outlines how she has become an advocate for change.  Support the show (
Join Amber and Jason as they have a candid conversation with Adnan Kahn, a man who describes himself as "going from an 8 year-old little league baseball player, to an 18 year-old with a life sentence." During the conversation, Adnan shares his childhood experiences and the factors that lead to his involvement in the criminal legal system. Adnan shares how California's felony murder rule impacted not just his life, but that of thousands of people in the state. His story is one of trauma, accountability, determination, hard work, and hope.Adnan currently serves as the Executive Director of Re:Store Justice, an organization that was founded in 2017 inside San Quentin State Prison by Adnan Khan, Alexandra Mallick and Sara Sindija. The organization was created to re-imagine our justice system. For more information about the Canteen Support Project that Adnan mentions during the show visit: Support the show (
Andre is a pastor, former attorney, and advocate. In this episode, Amber and Jason talk with Andre about his involvement in the criminal legal system, how he has healed, and the negative impacts that he and his family have experienced as a result for decades.  Support the show (
Hear David's meaningful story of forgiveness, rehabilitation, spirituality and redemption. In this candid conversation, David talks with Amber and Jason about his difficult childhood where he endured physical, mental, and sexual abuse prior to taking the life of his abuser. After spending years in prison, remarkable events grounded in accountability, acceptance and opportunity, helped David evolve into the strong voice for change that he is today! David can be found in twitter @DavidLeeGarlock Support the show (
Jason speaks with Kristen, a mother, wife and outspoken advocate from Michigan. Kristen bravely shares her family’s story of harm, both within her family and as a result of the criminal legal process that denied them the healing that they earnestly sought. Themes explored include interfamilial sexual abuse, generational trauma, family separation, incarceration, restorative justice, aspirations for reconciliation, primary prevention and more. Resources discussed include the Safer Society Press, Stop It Now, the Children’s Advocacy Center, and Therapy with Harming Father's, Victimized Children and Their Mothers After Parental Child Sexual Assault. For  more information on efforts to revise Michigan’s public registration scheme, visit  Support the show (
In this episode of the Amplified Voices Podcast, Amber & Jason speak with special guest, Iran Nazario, about his turbulent childhood, experience in the foster care system, periods of homelessness and his subsequent immersion in the violent street culture of gang membership. He discusses his involvement in the criminal legal system from the age of fifteen through his twenties. Iran also shares the inspirational story of how a chance encounter set him on a journey to repurpose himself to be a force for change, helping youth to avoid his childhood path. In 2016, he founded the Peace Center of Connecticut where he serves as President/CEO. More information about the Peace Center can be found at Support the show (
Jean - Episode 3

Jean - Episode 3


In the first full episode of the Amplified Voices Podcast, Amber and Jason talk with Jean, the mother of a child sexual abuse survivor who talks about her experiences dealing with both the harm her family experienced due to the abuse, as well as their experiences with the criminal legal system. Jean shares her thoughts on how her family was affected, her search for answers, what they thought justice should look like, her spirituality, and their journey to advocacy and healing. During the episode, Jean discusses her involvement with ACSOL, the Association for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws. Information on this organization can be found at Support the show (
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