“The most important thing you have to do is create opportunity, but you can’t do that without the finances and the resources,” said Allegheny County Public Defender Elliot Howzie. “As long as there are no jobs and as long as people can get a (Mercedes Benz) selling drugs, I don’t know how you’re going to change that.”

Other experts included William Simmons, director of Shuman Juvenile Detention Center; Dean Williams, founder of the Formerly Convicted Citizens Project; Bernadette Turner, CEO of Addison Behavioral Care who served at the moderator; and Ron Daniels, president of the New York based Institute of the Black World 21st Century.

The Pittsburgh Justice Collaborative is planning a bus trip to Washington D.C. on June 17, the anniversary of the Declaration of the War on Drugs. Along with other organizations from around the country, they will protest at the White House in an effort to urge President Obama to issue an executive order ending the War on Drugs and mass incarceration.  

For more information email info@ibw21.org.

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