Justice Radio is a talk-show that tackles hard questions about our criminal legal system in Maine. How do we actually envision justice? Does our current criminal legal system provide justice? Do prisons and jails keep us safe? What should accountability and repair look like in the wake of harm? How do people releasing into communities cope with the overwhelming adjustment to technology changes, finding housing and work, and building relationships? Our rotating hosts will offer an ongoing 4-week cycle of shows that address these and other questions through moderated conversations with leaders in the field of criminal justice, abolitionist organizers, justice-impacted people, and other experts and community members.
Meet the Justice Radio Team:
MacKenzie Kelley is a formerly incarcerated woman in long term recovery. She is a teachers assistant for inside-out courses through MIT. MacKenzie works at the Maine Prisoner Reentry Center as a reentry specialist, peer support and recovery coach. She is the program director for Reentry Sisters, a program designed to assist women reentering the community from prison.
Rep. Charlotte Warren is serving her fourth term in the Maine House of Representatives. She has served for five years as house chair of the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. Warren previously served on the Judiciary Committee and as the house chair of Maine’s Mental Health Working Group.
Charlotte is a social worker and an educator. She is the owner and principal consultant for C Warren Consulting Services. She served on the Hallowell City Council for 12 years, including four as mayor. Charlotte is a Trustee of the Greater Augusta Utility District and a board member of the Family Violence Project.
Charlotte earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from UMF, a Master’s Degree in Education from USM, and a Master of Social Work degree from UNE.
Charlotte lives in Hallowell with her best dog friends, Tissue and Tank.
Linda Small is the founder and executive director of Reentry Sisters, a reentry support organization specializing in a gender-responsive and trauma-informed approach for women, serving Maine and beyond. She is a Project Coordinator for the Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition. Linda serves on the Maine Prison Education Partnership board at UMA and the New England Commission for the Future of Higher Education in Prison through The Educational Justice Institute at MIT. She is part of an ACLS grant team for the Freedom & Captivity Curriculum Project. Based on the F&C initiative, the curricula will be uploaded onto technology used inside Maine prisons for college courses, discussion groups, and community classes facilitated by incarcerated people. Linda is a member of the Opportunity Scholars Network, helping formerly and currently incarcerated students achieve their educational goals, and an OLLI Graduate Student Social Justice Fellow at USM. Linda is a program facilitator for the Maine Humanities Council, which brings diverse groups together across Maine to discuss important issues.
Zoe is the executive director of the Church of Safe Injection and has worked professionally with harm reduction organizations since 2009. She has provided education, assistance and support to organizations and individuals looking to access naloxone, safer drug use safety and supplies and overdose response education. Zoe served on the Maine Association of Recovery Residences (MARR) Board of Directors for three years before stepping down in 2021 to lead a grant specifically focused on opioid overdose risk in recovery residences. She has worked with the organizers of the Maine Harm Reduction Conference in collaboration with the University of New England’s Center for Excellence in Collaborative Education. She has provided trainings, presentations and technical support to a variety of social services agencies, treatment and recovery programs, medical providers and peer-led organizations. She is an organizer with the Maine chapter of the Recovery Advocacy Project, ME-RAP. She is also an independent contractor working to integrate harm reduction strategies into substance use prevention and public health frameworks. She strives for equity and social justice for individuals, families and communities and is committed to amplifying the voices of Mainers experiencing discrimination due to their substance use.
She lives in Portland, Maine with her husband, three children and eight pets.
Craig Williams is a Campaign Organizer with the Maine FreeHer Campaign, led by The National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls. Based in the Portland area, Craig leads the volunteer organizing base in southern Maine, with the goal of liberating all the people incarcerated in Maine’s women’s prisons. Alongside his team, Craig works toward decriminalization of drugs and sex work, divestment from policing and the carceral state, and equitable investment in the things that really keep communities healthy and safe—housing, healthcare, treatment, education, and jobs.
Craig has personally experienced a childhood trauma and has spent well over 15 years of his life in NYS jails and prisons . . . Before joining The National Council in January of 2022, Craig Campaigned with New York Organizations to put a H.A.L.T to Solitary Confinement in NYS, Discovery for Justice requiring the sharing of evidence between the prosecution and defense on an accelerated timeline, and Less is More Act a reform to Parole in NYS.
Craig is also a Board member of the Maine Prison Advocacy Coalition (MPAC), Founder of PhotoPatch and Unlock Academy.
Marion is a Campaign Organizer with The National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls. In this role, Marion strategizes, organizes and leads efforts to ensure the liberation of women and girls. These efforts include drug and sex work decriminalization, divesting from police and the prison industrial complex, investing in people to promote healing, equity, inclusion and social justice, and creating what different looks like by reimagining communities. Marion is an abolitionist that understands how violence is perpetuated by the various systems in place that are designed to marginalize and oppress entire populations of people.
Marion is no stranger to the criminal legal system. As a person with many years of substance and mental health related issues, Marion spent six years in the Maine Department of Corrections, and as many years incarcerated in County Jails across the state. Those experiences have fostered an acute understanding of the many injustices carried out in the name of justice.
Before joining The National Council in January of 2022, Marion worked as a harm reductionist, housing navigator, peer support specialist and a recovery and re-entry coach for a diverse range of non-profit organizations, including Health Equity Alliance, Penobscot Community Health Care, The Together Place Peer Run Recovery Center, and Community Health and Counseling Services. Marion has also volunteered with The Church of Safe Injection, Needlepoint Sanctuary, The New England User’s Union and the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals. Further, Marion has created and facilitated creative writing workshops for incarcerated women & has collaborated with Guitar Doors (a non-profit organization) on a collective writing project with juveniles imprisoned at Long Creek.
Leo Hylton is a recent Master’s graduate of George Mason University’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution. His education and work are now focused on Social Justice Advocacy and Activism, with a vision toward a Restorative, abolitionist future. Toward that end, he is working as a Visiting Instructor at Colby College’s Anthropology Department, co-teaching AY346 – Carcerality and Abolition. He is also a columnist for the publication Mainer, where he writes a monthly column to raise public consciousness around the existence and power of human connection and community in carceral spaces. Leo’s education, work, and research are informed by his experience as a currently incarcerated citizen in Maine State Prison. For more, read his scholarly article, “Trauma, Spirituality, and Healing: A Journey through the Lens of an Incarcerated Person”.
Catherine Besteman is an abolitionist educator at Colby College. Her research and practice engage the public humanities to explore abolitionist possibilities in Maine. In addition to coordinating Freedom & Captivity, she has researched and published on security, militarism, displacement, and community-based activism with a focus on Somalia, post-apartheid South Africa, and the U.S. She has published nine books, contributed to the International Panel on Exiting Violence, and received recent fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies and the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations.