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A group of returning citizens gave their thanks to Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy (D) at the Grove Restaurant in Upper Marlboro.
Alonzo Turner-Bey organized the April 27 event and was the first to speak among the group of 30, relaying his story and his plans to make a difference in Prince George’s.
“Too often we are painted with a bad brush,” he said. “I want to show the good we are all doing, to encourage her and her staff to continue doing what they’re doing.”
Braveboy ended the event with her story.
“There was something in my heart in January 2019. Not only that victims deserve justice, but there were also people who were unfairly sentenced who needed a chance also. So I created the Sentencing Integrity Unit with Doyle Niemann, and I knew he would deliver the proper message to the community: that we are ultimately accountable to justice,” she said. “I knew it was the right thing to do.”
Dquinta Uzzle served alongside Turner-Bey and particularly noted the importance of programs before young ones are caught up in the criminal Justice system.
“We’re not just about re-entry, we’re trying to preventing people from entering the system,” he said.
Willie Hamilton was the first juvenile lifer to be paroled in Prince George’s County, and the first prisoner to be released after the governor was removed from the parole process.
“We were really trying to do better, and help others do well.” said Hamilton, who was released 10 months ago and has been advocating for returning citizens ever since in court appearances and alongside the nonprofit organization Life After Release.
Of those who came up to tell their stories of how long they served in prison, many directly credited Braveboy and her staff for efforts to help them return home and transition.
“They just need the opportunity to show who they are and what they’re becoming,” one man said.
Braveboy was so moved by their words and their stories that Turner-Bey handed her a napkin to wipe back her joyful tears.
Turner-Bey was recently given an award at the Justice Symposium hosted by Braveboy at Bowie State University. He plans to continue efforts to assist returning citizens in a successful transition.