Eddie Conway is a former Black Panther political prisoner. He served 43 years in the Maryland prison system for a crime he has maintained he did not commit. During this time, he organized many campaigns and programs to assist the prison population, including AFSC's Friend of a Friend program.
On January 21, 2013, AFSC's Friend of a Friend program led a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day community tribunal at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Govans, Baltimore. Residents shared their experiences and concerns with the Maryland prison system and brainstormed strategies for making their voices heard.
Wahid was a participant in AFSC’s Friend of a Friend at the Maryland Correctional Institution – Jessup. While in the conflict resolution mentoring program, he shared his story with author and Friend of a Friend mentor Craig Muhammad.
The following story is taken from the chapter, “Dropping the Flag,” in the soon-to-be published book, From Jericho to Jerusalem: Organizing Street Organizations. It is one of several “testimonies” from young men who are former members of gangs, or what many refer to as street organizations.
According to the Bureau for Justice Statistics, the number of adult federal and state prison inmates increased from 139 per 100,000 residents in 1980 to 502 per 100,000 in 2009 — an increase of 261 percent. Over two million Americans are now incarcerated in prisons or jails and the total number of Americans under some form of penal supervision (including jail, prison, parole and probation) is over 7.2 million.
Maryland prisoner, mentor unfairly transferred away from support network
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
Where we work
AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.