Philanthropy NY“I'd like to highlight the issue of foundations cutting back on funding for mass incarceration reform efforts. Campaigns in this space often span multiple years, yet many grants are awarded for only one or two years." - Darren Mack, Freedom Agenda
News 12"If passed, the DOC would be given specific procedures to follow after someone dies in custody...It's a move that that could have saved [Freedom Agenda member] Tamara Carter a lot of heartbreak. Her son, Brandon Rodriguez, died in custody in August 2021. She says it took a week to receive any information about his death."
The City“The dysfunction, unbearable environment, and neglect took my son’s life,” said [Freedom Agenda member] Tamara Carter, whose son Brandon Rodriguez, 25, reportedly took his own life inside a shower in August 2021."
Gothamist[Freedom Agenda member] Loray Hodge said her son — who is currently detained at the OBCC facility on Rikers — told her there are “worms and bugs” in the food. She and other family members are currently sending him about $100 per week to spend at the commissary, she said.
Columbia Spectator“He’s gotten away with not saying that he doesn’t want Rikers to close, even though all of his actions say that very thing,” [said John Proctor, the communications and digital organizing manager of the decarceration organization Freedom Agenda.]
Queens Daily Eagle“'It seems that the new chair has the idea that his objective is to prevent the department from being portrayed in any negative way, which is not at all his job,' Sarita Daftary, the co-executive director of Freedom Agenda."
Amsterdam News"A spokesperson for Freedom Agenda...pointed to the Mayor’s frequent use of a Bishop Desmond Tutu quote about going “upstream” to address Rikers’ problems as an initial, unfulfilled indicator for alternatives to incarceration."
News 12"The barge is going to close, but what's up with Rikers," said Edwin Santana, community organizer for the Freedom Agenda and a formerly incarcerated person at Rikers and the Vernon C. Bain Center. "Don't just deal with one problem and neglect the next issue..."
NY 1"I'm glad that the boat is closing. I am glad,” said Edwin Santana, a community organizer with the Freedom Agenda at the Urban Justice Center….[But] "All they're doing is shifting people from one terrible area to another terrible area."
NYC jail barge Vernon C. Bain Center to close; detainees, staff moving from Bronx to Rikers Island, other lockups
NY Daily News“The Boat, like Rikers Island, should have closed a long time ago,” Lezandre Khadu, a member of the Campaign to Close Rikers [co-founded by UJC’s Freedom Agenda], said in a statement."