Through litigation and community advocacy, Fair Fight Initiative exposes mistreatment in the law enforcement system and works to end mass incarceration.FFI fights on behalf of individuals and families who cannot afford effective representation. Through litigation, we accept individual cases that exemplify patterns of abusive practices. In addition, we work with families and communities most impacted by criminal justice systems in the Deep South to seek fundamental reforms that defund law enforcement and end mass incarceration. Some of our current cases include:•Class action litigation against the jail in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, one of the deadliest in the United States. The case seeks the immediate release of medically vulnerable detainees who face disproportionate risk if they were to contract COVID-19. The jail has a history of unsanitary conditions and providing a deadly lack of medical care, and this is the latest in a series of lawsuits we’ve filed holding the city and sheriff accountable. We are working in partnership with national public interest legal organizations and an international law firm. Although the court refused our request for immediate relief, we continue litigating in federal court and working with the community to get people released on bond and shine a spotlight on the dangerous conditions made worse by COVID-19.•Advocacy in Baton Rouge with community groups to shut the Baton Rouge jail down and reform the state's criminal justice system. In addition to legal staff in our home office in Savannah, we have two people on the ground in Baton Rouge. Linda Franks, the mother of Lamar Johnson, a young man who died as the result of violence and neglect in the jail in 2015, leads our work in Baton Rouge. After the death of her son, Linda founded a local coalition that is working to close the jail and reform the criminal justice system. Stacci Tobin, a formerly incarcerated person, works with Linda and is a member of the local coalition. •We brought a lawsuit on behalf of Oriel Selver, the victim of an attempted sexual assault by a south Georgia prosecutor in a reckless and criminal abuse of power. Oriel's case is part of our larger effort to bring accountability to prosecutors in south Georgia, the home of the same group of prosecutors who for months refused to charge the killers of Ahmaud Arbery. Lawyers for the prosecutor who attempted to sexually assault Oriel are claiming absolute immunity from the civil suit, essentially claiming he can do whatever he wants to women with no accountability.•We are litigating the criminal defense of Bobby Tyson, a young Black man charged with obstruction of justice after a minor traffic accident with undercover, plainclothes police officers with the Savannah, Georgia police department known as the Counter Narcotics Team ("CNT"). Since the arrest, Bobby has been stopped four more times by police for minor traffic infractions and searched by the same police department. There is little doubt that the first unlawful arrest putting Bobby into the system led to his being targeted by the city’s police department, which has a history of racism and mistreatment of Black men. This case will be used to shine a light on their racially unjust policing practices and seek to defund CNT.Fair Fight Initiative is a non-profit advocacy organization that is not affiliated with Fair Fight Action (the political action committee founded by Stacey Abrams).
David Utter is a human and civil rights attorney that is on a mission to protect the most vulnerable, accelerate criminal justice reform, and end mass incarceration.
Best-selling author and voting rights activist Desmond Meade helped restore voting rights to 1.4 million Floridians with a previous felony conviction. He serves as the Executive Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and is on a mission to foster more empathetic listening, equanimity, and understanding to bring about positive change in the world.
Homer Venters is a best selling book author on healthcare in jails and prisons in the United States. As a physician and epidemiologist he serves on President Biden's task force for COVID in prisons since the outset of the pandemic.
Bianca Tylek serves as the founder and executive director of Worth Rises, which focuses on the impact that the for-profit prison industry has on our community and society.
She is one of the nation’s foremost experts on the prison industry and a leader in the national prison phone justice movement.
Lisa Riordan Seville is a reporter investigating the effects of mass incarceration. Along with Bliss Broyard, she captured the stories of the 15 people who died at Rikers Island last year in a New York magazine cover story. Her new film 'Woman on The Outside' follows women in Philadelphia supporting incarcerated loved ones.
Norris Henderson was wrongfully incarcerated for 27 years. Mr. Norris has experienced racism and the brutality of the criminal justice system firsthand. He has transformed his injustice into a meaningful purpose in his life by speaking and acting on behalf of underserved communities in Louisiana to make many changes in the law. He serves as the Founder and Executive Director of both VOTE and our sister organization, Voters Organize...
Max Rose is the founder and executive director of Sheriffs for Trusting Communities, which works alongside grassroots organizers across the country to educate the public about the corruption happening within sheriff's departments across the country and to end mass incarceration.
Eyal Press is a writer and a journalist who contributes to the New Yorker Magazine, The New York Times, and has written several books, including Beautiful Souls, which is about the people who did the principled thing under difficult circumstances. He discusses his latest book, Dirty Work, which focuses on the dirty work that gets done in our jails and prisons around America.
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