Vanguard Honors Three Formerly Incarcerated Individuals at Vanguard Justice Awards

All three will be honored on October 13 in Sacramento.  Tickets and sponsorships can be purchased online:

Three formerly incarcerated individuals will be honored in Sacramento on October 13 at the Vanguard Justice Awards Gala.

Jarrett Adams was wrongly convicted of rape as a high school student and recently published a book on his story: Redeeming Justice.

James King and Steph Liebb both spent time in San Quentin, and have turned their lives around working to free others and reform the system.

You can listen to all of their stories on the Vanguard’s Everyday Injustice Podcast.

Stephen Liebb

Stephen Liebb spent 33 years behind bars for first degree murder.  Nineteen of those years were spent at San Quentin.

He earned his release on parole in 2013.  Now he works as a legal assistant at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office on the Freedom Project, helping to free others from prison.

Listen to Steph’s remarkable story—hired by the legendary Jeff Adachi in 2018, but a lawyer at the time of his arrest in the 1980s—and his work behind bars to help his fellow incarcerated people file petitions and writs, giving them a chance to challenge their detention.

Hear his story here.

James King

James King is the Campaign Manager for the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. Prior to joining the organization, James worked to build recognition of the value of people who are being held in carceral spaces. In 2016, he organized a symposium at San Quentin, where he and other incarcerated students made specific policy recommendations concerning the implementation of Prop 57. In attendance were the Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, various officials from the California Governor’s office, numerous social justice advocates, and many of his incarcerated peers.

James is also a writer and organizer, having written numerous op-eds, and a weekly blog that gave a first person perspective of the true impact of mass criminalization and living within the prison industrial complex. As an organizer, he founded a think tank of incarcerated people who were passionate about criminal justice policy and built relationships with multiple California criminal justice reform organizations.

Upon returning to society in December, 2019, James co-wrote and presented a TEDx Talk called “From Proximity to Power,” at California Polytechnic State University that advocated for recognizing the value and expertise of people who come from marginalized communities. His current policy interests include decarceration and improving the living conditions for incarcerated people, with the ultimate goal of creating alternatives to incarceration based upon investing in under-resourced communities.

Hear his story here.

Jarrett Adams

Jarrett Adams was a high school student and made one mistake—he went to a college party and ended up wrongly convicted for the rape of a white college woman, having been convicted by an all-white jury and facing nearly 30 years in prison.

It took him nearly ten years to get exonerated with the help of the Wisconsin Innocence Project.

Amazingly, he took the lessons he learned as a jailhouse attorney during his incarceration and worked his way through law school and now has a non-profit, dedicated to exonerating the wrongly convicted.

As he explains, his book takes you through his journey and you feel like you are in the shoes of that scared 17-year-old, who has no idea what is in store for him.

Hear his story here

All three will be honored on October 13 in Sacramento.  Tickets and sponsorships can be purchased online:

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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