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Amplified Voices

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.
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Life can twist and turn in unexpected ways, as Greg Mingo, a Harlem native, profoundly understands. His story, one of resilience amidst the vibrant yet challenging streets of New York, unfolds as he shares the gravity of his choices and the socioeconomic forces that impacted his life. Our latest episode invites you into an intimate conversation wit…
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When life presents us with a labyrinth of trials, it's the voices of the resilient that guide us through the darkness. D's life story, as featured on Amplified Voices, illuminates such a path, marked by a turbulent childhood and other struggles. This episode promises an intimate exploration into the human spirit's capacity for endurance, highlighti…
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When we think of motherhood, the images that typically come to mind are those of joy, love, and celebration. But what happens when the journey to motherhood unfolds in a place designed for punishment, not nurturing? Our guest, Brittany, exposes the stark and heartbreaking realities of becoming a mother in prison. We journey with her through the hea…
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Ever asked yourself, "What's the real cost of addiction?" In this first part of a two-episode conversation on Amplified Voices, special guest Brittany LaMarr helps us tackle this complex question head-on as she shares her compelling journey through addiction and recovery. Brittany, a Connecticut native, candidly unveils the trials and tribulations …
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In this episode of Amplified Voices, Amber & Jason talk with Cierra Cobb, a paralegal, activist, and advocate for incarcerated people and their families. From her heart of resilience and strength, Cierra takes us on a poignant journey of survival and action. In a world grappling with a global pandemic, Cierra reconnects and marries Jeffrey, an old …
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On this episode of Amplified Voices, Amber and Jason speak with C, a woman who has lived through the unimaginable - losing her mother at a young age, getting thrust into the foster system, and grappling with overdiagnosis and overmedication, displacement, and disconnection. We learn about her journey, from her challenging upbringing to her involvem…
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How does society treat people based on their criminal conviction history and how can we better understand the unique experiences of people who are convicted of sexual offenses? Why, in an age where second chances and demands to reduce mass incarceration have become mainstream, are people with these convictions often excluded from reform and relief …
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How does the criminal legal system impact the lives of those involved and their families? Why is Parole Justice so important? Join Jason and Amber on this episode of Amplified Voices as we hear Theresa's powerful story of perseverance during her husband's lengthy incarceration. Visiting an incarcerated loved one is a process riddled with indignitie…
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In this episode of Amplified Voices, Jason & Amber speak with LaReese Harvey, a Connecticut native and walking testament to the power of perseverance. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and a formerly incarcerated black woman, she's faced some of the greatest oppression there is. Despite encountering significant obstacles and trauma, LaResse h…
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Amplified Voices is back! In this episode, Amber and Jason met with Chris who shares the impact that a conviction, incarceration and registration has had on his plans to serve his country and to lead a good life. Chris shares his challenges and successes as he works to overcome many of the obstacles he faces as a parent, caregiver, professional and…
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In this episode of Amplified Voices, Amber and Jason follow up with Juanita and Sincere following Sincere’s release from prison. Sincere went to prison as a young man and has grown up behind bars, spending 24 years incarcerated in Virginia. In this episode, we get to hear directly from Sincere about the circumstances of Sincere’s release and his ex…
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In this episode, Amplified Voices goes global with Jason and Amber's first international guest, Richard Kemick from Canada. During the podcast, Richard shares his experience interacting with his cousin, Christian who is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole in a Michigan prison. As they develop a closer relationship, Richard and…
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In this episode of Amplified Voices, Amber and Jason speak with Melissa Tanis, a ferocious advocate for parole justice, compassionate release, and children of incarcerated parents. Melissa shares her story of having her father incarcerated when she was five years old and the impact that it had on her own life as well as the lives of her family memb…
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Ray Boyd was incarcerated in 1992, facing a 50 year sentence. He ultimately spent close to 30 years in prison in Connecticut before being released. Ray experienced Covid 19 while incarcerated and reentry during the pandemic. Ray shares his story with Amber and Jason. Ray, Amber, and Jason are joined by Barbara Fair from Stop Solitary Connecticut. Y…
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In the opening episode of Season 3, Amber and Jason speak with Nicole, a sixteen-year-old girl who authentically shares the experience of having her life turned upside-down at age twelve when her father was arrested, incarcerated and eventually placed on a public registry. Her journey winds from the initial shock, how she was treated at school, to …
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As the year came to a close, Amplified Voices hosts, Jason and Amber took some time to reflect on everything that 2021 threw at the world. In this candid conversation, they walk listeners through the year; covering podcast production, behind-the-scenes information, personal triumphs, advocacy victories, guest insights, and so much more. Fans will e…
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In this episode of Amplified Voices, Amber and Jason sat down with autism advocate, Nick Dubin to discuss his personal experiences involving his early life, autism diagnosis and ultimately his encounter with the criminal legal system. Nick also spoke of his desire and work towards using his personal experiences to help others on the spectrum, and h…
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Amber and Jason spoke with Marty and took a deep dive into Marty's life before he took actions that landed him in the criminal legal system. Marty shares the bullying and sexual assaults he endured as a young gay man and how this shaped his response to the world. You can hear him express remorse for his actions and what he learned through the proce…
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In this episode of Amplified Voices, Amber and Jason speak with Mark who authentically shares the shock, pain and sense of brokenness that he and his close relatives felt when they discovered sexual harm had occurred within their family. This incident abruptly plunged his elderly father into the criminal legal system, ultimately revealing that he h…
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In this episode, Jason and Amber speak with Morgan Godvin, a freelance writer, scholar and advocate who spent time behind bars after she sold her best friend heroin and he died of an overdose. In a matter of days, Morgan found herself grappling with the death of her friend while also navigating an unrelenting justice system. Morgan shares her story…
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In this special episode, Amber & Jason welcome Stop Solitary CT activist and lead organizer, Barbara Fair, back to the show to discuss Governor Lamont's recent veto of SB 1059, known as the Protect Act. The act, meant to uphold and protect the safety of individuals living and working behind bars, recently passed both houses of the Connecticut legis…
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In this episode, Jason and Amber catch up with attorney Kathy Flaherty, a fierce advocate for disability rights. During the conversation, Kathy explores the parallels between the criminal justice and mental health systems, and explains how advocates in both spaces can work together. Kathy walks the audience through her experience with involuntary c…
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This Amplified Voices conversation with Amber & Jason follows the journey of Anderson Curtis, Senior Field Organizer for Smart Justice with the ACLU of Connecticut. Anderson shares his story, full of examples of both failure and success, as well as emphasizing the people and strategies that helped him during recovery and reentry after incarceration…
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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 f…
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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…
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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 l…
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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 …
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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 u…
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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 hig…
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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 perceptio…
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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.…
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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 th…
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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 of…
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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 paren…
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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…
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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, hold…
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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 outli…
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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 sha…
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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.By Amber & Jason - Criminal Legal Reform Advocates with Lived Experience
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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 accountabilit…
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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, i…
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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 f…
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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 affecte…
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In this 2nd intro, Amber & Jason reflect on upcoming conversations, dig deeper into the types of topics that will be explored, reference their own experiences and reiterate the goal of the podcast: uplifting and empowering individuals and families who have been affected by the criminal legal system to move towards a better world where all people ar…
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