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Women Survivors of Injustice: Formerly Incarcerated Women Speak Out at Rowen University

Report by Debbie Davis

Debbie Davis, Cynthia Alvarado, Gladys Scott and Paulette Carrington pictured on March 23, 2022 at Rowan University

On March 23, 2022, New Jersey’s Rowan University hosted by Professor Sandra Joy invited four formerly Incarcerated women, in honor of International Women’s Day, to speak on a panel sharing their stories of “Family and incarceration.” Cynthia Alvarado, Gladys Scott ( the Scott sisters of Mississippi) Paulette Carrington (juvenile Lifer) and Debbie, one of the MOVE 9. These women each told their story of the complexities, fear and rippling effects that incarceration has on families and the long lasting scars it carries. They each also expressed their personal interest in reaching back and doing whatever they can do within their means to help their extended “families”that are still incarcerated. Although scarred themselves they still managed to fill the room with laughter and hope. 

Editors Note: Having not heard of the Scott Sisters before just looked them up on Wikipedia and this is what we found: 

Jamie and Gladys Scott, often referred to as the Scott sisters, are two African-American sisters who were convicted of orchestrating a 1993 armed robbery in Forest, Mississippi, after accomplices made a plea deal. Each sister received double life sentences, This sentence has been criticized as too severe by a number of civil rights activists and prominent commentators on the grounds that the sisters had no previous criminal record and the robbery netted no more than eleven dollars.Their convictions were upheld by the Mississippi Court of Appeals in 1996. The U.S. Supreme Court denied both their petition for appeal in 1997 and an appeal to vacate the conviction in 1998. Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour denied a petition for clemency in 2006. On December 29, 2010, Governor Barbour suspended their sentence on the condition that Gladys donate a kidney to her ailing sister, who was suffering kidney failure and required dialysis. The two women were released from prison on January 7, 2011. They moved to Pensacola, Florida. It is anticipated that they will remain on parole and pay a supervision fee to the state of Florida for the rest of their lives.

Look for this book they wrote called:

The Scott Sisters: Revealing The Truth, Exposing Injustice, and Trusting God (2016)

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