Advocacy In Action Coalition

 Think About It:

Successful advocacy requires ALL parties to the problem come to the table or there will be no resolution.

What would be necessary to make this happen?


AIAC “White Paper” A Resource for Active Advocacy



A simple approach to understanding human rights and how it links to advocacy

AIAC Digital Toolkit: Taking Steps to Help Yourself

The AIAC Task Force is committed to providing resources giving validity and credibility to the criminal justice reform issues the Coalition as a whole supports. The resulting research and documentation is posted publicly to be available to use as talking points when advocating with legislators and criminal justice officials.


Dr. Avon Hart-Johnson – AIAC Chair

Kayla Victor – IPF Conference Chair

Barbara Allan

Allegra Pocinki

Rita Dixit-Kubiak

Dr. Amanda Lewis

James (Jim) Prager

Dr. Monique Tate

Julie Uribe

Vetta Dunston

Tiffany Green


On Thursday, May 7, 2015, at the 7th annual InterNational Prisoner’s Family Conference, over seventy individuals and representatives of established prison family related organizations signed in agreement to become members of the Advocacy in Action Coalition (AIAC) of the InterNational Prisoner’s Family Conference, to pursue criminal justice and prison reforms for issues known to fuel mass incarceration in the United States.  Subsequently, Coalition membership has continued to grow. (Listing of current full Coalition membership is below.)

The following five major issues of concern were selected for active research for needed remedial action:

  • Ensuring the availability of jail and prison face-to-face visitation
  • Ensuring family involvement in issues of medical and mental health care for prisoners following HIPPA guidelines
  • Ensuring independent oversight of the entire criminal justice system
  • Ensuring humane treatment of all prisoners and their families
  • Ensuring effective re-entry preparation for all prisoners and their families

Over the ensuing years, since AIAC was established, the Task Force has reviewed and elected to lend the name of the Coalition in support of prisoners and prison family members in matters related to medical and mental health; excessive and/or unjust sentencing; potential innocence of incarcerated individuals; elimination of face-to-face visitation and any inhumane treatment of incarcerated persons and prison family members.  AIAC recognizes and acknowledges there is a toxicity in prison environments that impacts all persons working or residing in that environment.  As such, the coalition seeks opportunities to build cooperative and mutually supportive relations to improve the environment for all persons affected by incarceration personally and/or professionally.


A working Advocacy in Action Committee, Chaired by Dr. Avon Hart-Johnson was formed to begin research and draft a Coalition White Paper.  The completed White Paper was released on October 21, 2015 calling for significant reforms in the entire U.S. criminal justice system.  To view a copy of the White Paper, click here.

The coalition task force continues drafting Fact Sheets for use in advocacy and has raised funds to produce the Faces of Mass Incarceration documentary.  The documentary is available to enhance presentations and discussion on criminal justice reform by eliminating frightening myths and stereotypes about the prisoner and their loved ones.

The task force is considering developing a series of webinars to provide advocacy tools and prepare members for active advocacy.


Lillie Branch-Kennedy – RIHD Inc. – Resource Information Help for the Disadvantaged and Disenfranchised

LuQman Abdullah – Human Rights Coalition, Philadelphia – Pennsylvania

Chandra Adams – COPE; Called to Change – Texas

Annette Aguigui – Georgia

Ed Aguigui – Georgia

Jolynn Armstrong – The FOTA Project – Colorado

Cathy Anderson – Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership – Maryland

Maribel Herrera Aitkins – California Families Against Solitary Confinement

Barbara Allan – Prison Families Anonymous – New York

Cindy Anderson – Washington Coalition for Parole

Jess Angel, Certified Trauma Support Specialist- Alaska

K. Bain – Bain Consulting – New York

Edgar Barens – The Prison Terminal – Illinois

Keri Barker – Gift of Voice – Illinois

Olivia Barclay – Florida

Joyce Betts – Families in Crisis – Connecticut

Jeanette Bocanegra – Justice for Families – New York

Kate Boccia – The National Incarceration Association – Georgia

Natasha Brien – Canada

Judith Brink – Prison Action Network – New York

Ivi Brown – Texas

Jackalyn Brown – Flip Flop Support Groups, Inc. – Florida

Belinda Bruster – Florida

Jenna Bundy – Illinois

Darlene Burke – Ten Toes In – California

Allison Butler – Prison Break Coaching – Delaware

Jenelle Butler – Arizona

Deborah Munson Cardenas – Texas

Dena Castellon – Georgia

Dr. Ruth Clark – Florida

Rosanne Clausen  – Strong Prison Wives – New Jersey

Debbie Collins – Georgia

Rhonda Courtney – Grassroots Guardians of Truth – Georgia

Cindy Cristan – California

Julie Crithfield – California

Ed Davis – Episcopal Diocese of Texas – Texas

Arkueria Davis – Parent Caregiver Advisory Group – California

Cedrick Dean – The Securus Foundation – North Carolina

Kelsey Lynn DeAvila – Jails Action Coalition – New York City

Franklin Deese – North Carolina

Esther DeLeon – California

Armando DePina – Parent Caregiver Advisory Group – California

Ciede Diamondstone – Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership – Maryland

Celeste Didlick-Davis – 3R Development, Inc. – Ohio

Sonda Donovan – Colorado

Alexandria Dorsey – Arizona

Ann Edenfield Sweet – Wings For LIFE International – New Mexico

Kirstin Eidenbach – ATLaS Justice Center – Arizona

Carolyn Esparza – Prisoners’ Family Conference, Chair – Texas

Christina Faurot – Alabama

Sherrin Fitzer – Illinois

Felicia Ford – Leap of Faith Advocacy and Legal Services – California

Katelen Fortunati – Chestnut Health Systems – Missouri

Brenda Fosdick – Illinois

Jacquelyn Frank – Illinois

Braunwynn Franklin – NAMI Multnomah – Washington

Dawn Freeman – The Securus Foundation – National Organization Headquartered in Texas

Quniana Futrell – Healing Generations International – Virginia

Kerry Gant – New York

Lisa Gentley – Strong Prison Wives & Families – Connecticut

Stacey George – Strong Prison Wives & Families – Texas

Elizabeth Gillette – Girls Embracing Mothers – Texas

Rebecca Ginsburg – Education Justice Project – Illinois

Sandra Girard – Citizens for Prison Reform – Michigan

Diane Goodman – California

Liz Gordon – Pillars, Inc. – New Zealand

Heidi Graham – Idaho

Truth Graff – National Incarceration Association – Georgia

Jordan Gramke – ATLaS Justice Center – Arizona

Dominique Graves – Texas

Shameka Green – Emma’s House, Inc. – Michigan & Nevada

Connie Grier – The Respect Alliance – Pennsylvania

Becky Haigler – Texas-VoGue voter guide for justice & reform advocates… and TIFA member – Texas

Angela Hall – S.O.L.O.G. – Alaska/Arizona

Patti Hammonds – Prison Fellowship – Texas

Berkley Harbin – Texas

Ivy Harris – Parent Caregiver Advisory Group – California

Lyndsey Harris – United Kingdom

Avon Hart-Johnson, PhD – DC Project Connect – Washington, DC

Radiyyah Hasaan – Families in Crisis, Inc. – Connecticut

Candy Hendrix – Wyoming

Alicia Hernandez – The RIDGE Project – Ohio

Randy Hibbard – Georgia

Ray Hill – Founder, Host/Producer: The Prison Show – Texas (dec. 2018)

Thomas Ann Hines – Crime Victim Impact Program – Texas

Tonya Lee Hines – Georgia

Neela Hoeppner – Texas

Carol Holitz-Martin – Illinois

Julie Matte – Louisiana

Roger Hollar – Mercy Heart – Texas

Fred Hollis – Our Daily Bread – Michigan

Lee Anna Howell – PCAG – ACCIPP – California

Katherin Hervey – The Prison Within – Washington

Morgan Holladay – Compassion Works for All – Arkansas

Tonyita Hopkins – The Securus Foundation – Texas

Tracy L. Wells-Huggins, RN – Justice for Families – New Jersey

Melinda Hull – Strong Prison Wives & Families – Washington

Catherine Janese – Strong Prison Wives and Families – New York

Angel Jenkins – Georgia

Alicia Johnson – Georgia

Monalisa Johnson – Parents with Incarcerated Children – New York

Lauren Johnson – Texas

Charles Jordan – The RIDGE Project – Ohio

Marvin Jordan – PCAG – A Better Way – California

Sandra Joy – Campaign to End the Death Penalty – Delaware

Spring Keosoupha – A Better Way – California

Rita Kerwin – Citizens for Prison Reform – Michigan

Linda King – Prison Families Anonymous – New York

Mari Kita – Hawaii

Stacey Kobetitsch, MBA, MSOL – Hallinan & Killpack Law Firm – Arizona

Sara Kruzan – Incarcerated Children’s Advocacy Network – California

Melissa Kumar – Families in Crisis, Inc. – Connecticut

Terry Kupers – California

Karen Lakeman – New Mexico

Julia Lazareck – Prison: The Hidden Sentence & Friends & Families of Incarcerated Persons – Nevada

Pete Letkemann – Citizens for Prison Reform – Michigan

Barbara Lee Lewis – Because Love Allows – New Jersey

Nancy Loucks – Families Outside – Scotland

Lydia Lozano – A Better Way – California

Michelle Manley – Florida

Joseph Mathew – Corrections India – India

Jennifer McClendon – McClendon Recovery Initiatives – New Jersey

Verna McFelin – Pillars, Inc. – New Zealand

Mindy Minor – Girls Embracing Mothers – TX

Heather Moore – Michigan

Michelle Moore – Arkansas

Zamia Mosman – Bridges Prison Ministry/Victory Worship Center – Arizona

Gale Muhammad – Women Who Never Give Up – New Jersey

Marilyn Nickerson – Texas

Charlene Niemi – California

Kathy Norgard – Colorado

Jeani Olson – Wyoming

Nikki Olson – Justice For Families – Wisconsin

Ariel Orozco – California Families Against Solitary Confinement

Andy Polk – Felonism: Hurting in Plain Sight – Tennessee

Linda Polk – Felonism: Hurting in Plain Sight – Tennessee

Dr. Robert Powitzky – Justice and Serious Mental Illness – Texas

James Prager – Re-entry Coalition of NW Ohio

Pete Quinonez – Bridges Prison Ministry/Victory Worship Center – Arizona

Sandy Quinonez – Bridges Prison Ministry/Victory Worship Center – Arizona

Benjamin Raikes – Hudersfield University – England

Yvette Reaves – Prison Family Nation

Joan Redding – Texas

Journey Reed – Strong Prison Wives and Families – Maryland

Lecroy Rhyanes – Voices Behind Walls – Texas

Carol Rienstra – Citizens for Prison Reform – Michigan

Rich Rienstra – Citizens for Prison Reform – Michigan

Suzie Rimstidt – Indiana

Clay Rojas – – California

Rosey Ruiz – ASPIRE to Win, Inc. – TX

Jennifer Rundall – Inmates Matter Too – Texas

Khalil Rushdan – ACLU Arizona Justice Project – Arizona

Victoria Rusk – Heart of Justice – Texas

Terrence Sampson – Texas

Margo Santiago – Florida

Elmo Sapwater – Press – New York

Shari O. Scher – Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership – Maryland

Leslie Schieffer – Texas

Liliana Segura – Campaign to End the Death Penalty – New York

Kohl Shallenberger – Indiana

Ronald Simpson-Bey – Just Leadership USA – Michigan

Reginald (Reggie) Smith – Texas

LaSann Snow – Strong Prison Wives and Friends – South Carolina

Francis Ssuubi – Wells of Hope – Uganda

Terry Steinberg – Journey of Hope – Virginia

Wesley Steuwe – Ohio

Damon Stewart – Light of Law & End New Jim Crow Action Group of Atlanta – Georgia

Kiwania Strahan – Anthem Strong Families – Texas

Maja Gabelica Supljika – Ombudsman for Children – Croatia

Monique Tate – Georgia

Ida Mae Terry – Connecticutt

Leon Theodore – Texas

Tommie Thompson – Justice Journeys – Georgia

Catherine Tijerina – The RIDGE Project – Ohio

Ron Tijerina – The RIDGE Project – Ohio

Richard Torres – Youth Arts Program (YAP) – Texas

Jonathan Trethewey  – Arizona

Michael Trout – The Infant-Parent Institute – Illinois

Sharon Varallo – Illinois

Melissa Victor – Texas

Darryl Watton – Canada

Chaplain Bernell Wesley – Community Chaplaincy Outreach, Inc. – Georgia

Emily Westerholm – Opportunity, Alliance & Re-entry – Virginia

Claudia Whitman – National Death Row Assistance Network of CURE – Colorado

Gloria Jean Williams – Save Kids of Incarcrated Parents – Alabama

Jan Williams – Grassroots Leadership – Texas

Samantha Williams – Oklahoma

Marie Wiegand – Nebraska

Fury Young – Die Jim Crow – New York

Mignon Zezqueaux – Texas Advocates for Justice – Texas

Dawn Zuppelli – New York

* To be included as an Advocacy in Action Coalition Member, send your request to [email protected] for further information.


Donate Now to Support the Annual InterNational Prisoner’s Family Conference

All donations are needed and greatly appreciated and tax deductible.



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