Incarcerate US Podcast – An Introduction
Hello my name is Julie Cottingham and I am from the United Kingdom. I met my fiance, Dante Cottingham about 12 years ago. He is a Juvenile Lifer, he was waived into the adult court at the age of 17, sentenced to life in 1995 and he’s been in a Wisconsin state prison for almost 23 years now. Prior to meeting Dante I was quite unaware of the state of mass incarceration in America. I was unaware that there are so many children serving huge sentences in the adult system, that the US locks up more of it’s people than any other country in the world and that most prisoners are not the monsters they are portrayed to be.
By the time I met Dante he was 11 years into his sentence and 2 years into his struggle to raise awareness about and campaign to reform juvenile justice policies. Learning his story prompted me to research the issue and my God I found so many heartbreaking stories of children as young as 10 to 17 years old being sent to prison to serve very , very long shocking sentences! So like most people it was not until mass incarceration impacted someone I love that I became aware and also like most people when I became aware it became my struggle to.
Like so many other Juveniles across the country Dante sentence was far too extreme, so as a team we sought his freedom and were dedicated to making significant contributions to the growing campaign to reform America’s juvenile justice policies to prevent other youth from going through what Dante went through. So in 2009 we founded a national non profit organisation called Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents whose mission was to make America aware and organise national prison reform efforts. We worked with several other national Juvenile Justice reform organisations, meeting some great people along the way.
In 2017 we launched our New site Incarcerate US.
t started off as America’s 1st Prisoner hosted Podcast Dante used the prison phone to call 24 very intelligent people to interview them about their incarceration related work and to get their perspective on three uniformed questions. But then we had a web design team rebuild the site, we wanted it to have some of the characteristics that would of been useful to Dante and I when we began our prison reform struggles 12 years ago so as to provide that for people today. I mean, in the beginning I was unaware of the many different services that prison related non profits provide, there was no specific place where Dante’s literal voice could be heard, there was no interactive social media platform significant to prison issues.
So Incarcerate US was designed to fulfill those needs. Incarcerate US is America’s 1st and Only social media prison platform and it is dedicated to getting all prison related non profit organisations under one roof, if someone in prison wants there voice heard there loved one can record their voice and upload to Incarcerate US (Coming Soon – Record button on website) and among many other features Incarcerate us provides an interactive profile very similar to face book and a like minded community.
So if you have a loved one incarcerated Incarcerate US is your home to express yourself and get informed, if you are a non profit Organisation Incarcerate US is the platform to reach a specific demographic of people, collaborate with other non profit organisations and organise your national efforts. And if you are simply a public citizen Incarcerate US is a place where you can get some deep insight into the components of mass incarceration by listening to our Incarcerate US correspondents thoroughly interview people impacted by incarceration and those on the front lines of prison reform coast to coast.
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I look forward to connecting with you, communicating and networking, progress is possible when we unite in a strong passionate and dedicated voice.
Founder of Incarcerate US