Jehmar Gladden Released After 24 Years
In August, TLF’s first client, Jehmar Gladden, was finally released after spending 24 years incarcerated. In 1997, Jehmar was sentenced at 18 years old to life in prison without parole along with his childhood friend and founder of the Liberation Foundation, Terrance Lewis. Troy Crichton, Esq., was able to prove that Jehmar was subject to a wrongful conviction, and Jehmar’s second-degree murder conviction and life sentence were overturned.
TLF Launched Project HOPE
In November, TLF launched its newest initiative, Project HOPE, a pre-entry program in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and State Correctional Institution Coal Township. Project HOPE aims to help facilitate a smooth reentry process for incarcerated Pennsylvanians, by providing participants with information and support from experts and previously incarcerated mentors. A 4-month program, Project HOPE will provide resources and assistance to nearly 50 individuals at Coal Township with upcoming parole dates or commutations, as well as provide participants with material reentry packages upon their release. The program is expected to expand to include more participants in 2022.
Terrance Speaks at DAO Press Conference
In June, Philadelphia’s District Attorney’s Office held a press conference where they released their 2021 Conviction Integrity Unit: Overturning Convictions report. Their report reflected the many efforts made by District Attorney Larry Krasner, CIU Director Patricia Cummings, and the many others working in the Philadelphia community to overturn wrongful convictions and reform the criminal justice system. In the last three years, the CIU has released 21 people who had been wrongfully incarcerated. Terrance’s speech included his support for the CIU’s work and their commitment to righting the wrongs of the past.
TLF Wins President’s Engagement Prize for Project HOPE
In May, TLF volunteers Carson Eckhard, Natalia Rommen, and Sarah Simon were recipients of the University of Pennsylvania Class of 2021 President's Engagement Prize for TLF's Project HOPE. The President’s Engagement Prizes are competitively awarded annually to University of Pennsylvania seniors whose projects demonstrate commitment to local, national, and global engagement. Each winner is awarded $100,000 in project implementation funds.
TLF Receives MacArthur Justice Challenge Award
The Liberation Foundation was a recipient of a 2021 MacArthur Justice Challenge award, awarded to grassroots criminal justice reform and abolitionist organizations across Philadelphia. TLF was proud to apply for the Justice Challenge in collaboration with fellow recipient Unincarcerated Minds, led by Bobby and Ramona Harris. We are proud to be among a cohort of outstanding and committed grassroots organizations awarded a 2021 Justice & Safety Challenge grant.
TLF Awarded Davis Projects for Peace Grant
In June, a team of Liberation Foundation volunteers was awarded the Davis Projects for Peace grant, a $10,000 award for projects that promote community peace and justice. The Davis Projects for Peace grant funded the Foundation’s summer efforts, allowing us to effectively lay the groundwork for our reentry preparation program with SCI Coal Township and continue to develop our case management system. The Liberation Foundation is grateful to the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships for assisting us with this grant and supporting our efforts.
Reinvestment Fund Grant
The Liberation Foundation is excited to announce that we have been selected as a 2021 Community Reinvestment Fund grant recipient. We would like to thank board members Kevin Harden and Kareem Thomas for nominating TLF for the award, and we are extremely grateful to the Reinvestment Fund for their support as we look forward to 2022!
Terrance Speaks at Georgetown
In April, Liberation Foundation founder, Terrance Lewis, was a guest speaker at Georgetown University in Marc Howard’s Making an Exoneree course. Making an Exoneree is a Prisons and Justice Initiative sponsored groundbreaking course in which Georgetown undergraduate students advocate for individuals with strong cases for exonerations and work in groups to produce short documentaries in the hopes of aiding their exoneration process.