Re-envisioning the Criminal Justice System

April 09, 1996

Eddie Ellis is a former Black Panther who was recently released after serving 23 years in the NY State prison system. While incarcerated, Ellis was part of a prisoner-organized think tank that produced a report showing that 75 % of those incarcerated in the state came from 7 NYC neighborhoods. Ellis is the founder of the Community Justice Institute, based in Harlem, which lobbies for nontraditional approaches to rehabilitation, including a prisoner-run model penitentiary. This is a speech he gave this weekend at Medgar Evers College, calling for, among other things, a prison building moratorium in the U.S.