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Before the Criminal Justice System Gets to Them

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

Explore the eye-opening journey of an expert witness in a federal human trafficking case and the profound realization that led to the creation of the Walk With Me Impact curriculum. Discover how this innovative curriculum aims to prevent harm, educate at-risk youth, and challenge stereotypes. Join the conversation for real change.

Lady justice

In the heart of Sacramento, California, a year ago, I found myself immersed in a federal case that forever altered my perspective. Charged with human sex trafficking, a young man's fate hung in the balance. What unfolded during this experience was nothing short of eye-opening, revealing the hidden complexities of our justice system. As an expert hired by the Defense Attorney, I had a front-row seat to a legal game where truth and justice often took a backseat.

White woman and Black male sitting at a desk in a courtroom

A Shocking Revelation:

What I witnessed during this trial shook me to my core. I had the privilege of delving into evidence and information that never saw the light of day in the courtroom. Due to legal intricacies, less than a fifth of the evidence, in my view, should have been presented, but it remained buried. This withheld evidence strongly favored the young man, who was only 25 years old at the time.

The Disturbing Reality:

What struck me during this ordeal was the realization that our United States Court system, an institution entrusted with upholding justice and truth, sometimes operates like a sick game. A life was on the line, yet it was treated as a mere pawn in a high-stakes contest. The pursuit of convictions and personal accolades seemed to overshadow the quest for genuine justice.

Black male talking to a monster in a courtroom

A Heartbreaking Verdict:

Despite compelling evidence and an extended jury deliberation, the young man was convicted. In the coming month, he faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 24 years to life for a crime with no victim. It was a somber day, reminiscent of countless similar instances across the nation.

A Clear Stand Against Harm:

Let me be unequivocal: I vehemently disapprove of any form of harm inflicted upon fellow human beings, particularly human sex trafficking. Such actions are unequivocally wrong and morally indefensible. The darkness of this issue has plagued the United States since its inception.

The Genesis of Walk With Me Impact Curriculum:

As we launch the Walk With Me Impact , I can't help but reflect on the journey that brought us here. The idea was conceived right before the pandemic thrust us into quarantine. This curriculum emerged from listening to a group of individuals who were one-sided in their approach due to their limited awareness.

Challenging Stereotypes:

This group, like many others, advocated for the incarceration and even death of individuals involved in pimping. While their sentiments are understandable, it's essential to acknowledge that no young boy dreams of becoming a pimp or a trafficker. These young men are often products of their circumstances, growing up without opportunities, resources, or positive role models.

Black male prisoner squatting while looking in down in a building surrounded by rubble

Understanding the Subculture:

One of our curriculum’s focus is on addressing the subculture of pimping, primarily affecting communities of color within inner cities, with a predominant impact on young black men. These individuals deserve understanding, not demonization, as they navigate a challenging path.

Core Directions of the Curriculum:

Our curriculum's foundation, the first book titled "Core Directions," instills essential values and knowledge to steer young men away from destructive lifestyles:

Self-Belief: Encouraging belief in oneself and recognizing individual potential.

Poverty Understanding: Providing tools to overcome poverty and adversity.

Positive Relationships: Emphasizing the importance of respectful, healthy relationships.

Self-Respect: Demonstrating respect for others and the consequences of harmful actions.

Black father and son holding hands walking down the street

A Goal of Prevention:

Our curriculum's primary objective is education for prevention. Rather than waiting for young men to veer down the wrong path and end up incarcerated, we aim to warn and guide them away from destructive choices. By doing so, we also protect young women who may be inadvertently drawn into this lifestyle.

A Call for True Prevention:

Our nation has enough individuals behind bars. It's time to focus on genuine prevention, educating young minds about the ramifications and legal consequences of their actions. Lived experience experts who have walked this challenging path are essential voices in this conversation.

Continuing the Struggle:

As long as marginalized communities remain under-resourced and subjected to oppression and targeting by law enforcement, the issues of drug use, gun violence, gang activities, pimping, and prostitution will persist. Let us not forget the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who once said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that."

Black male standing in front of an open iron gate looking at the sky

In conclusion, the Walk With Me Impact curriculum is our beacon of light, guiding young men away from the shadows and towards a brighter future. Let us come together to prevent further harm, educate our youth, and bring about real change in our communities.

Join us October 3, 5, or 7th to learn more about our newly release prevention curriculum aimed at saving at-risk male youth REGISTER HERE

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