THUR, NOV 11, 2021 | 7:30-9:00 pm MDT
Hear first hand what Jamis learned while doing time in prison and why prison reform is imperative.
GATHERING ONLINE ONLY VIA ZOOM
Thanks to Jana Spangler for continuing to host us via Zoom. Below is some helpful info for being part of a Zoom convo. Also below is the Zoom link. This is an open group. You are welcome to invite and share with others. If you are not on my email list then either join at the bottom of this site’s home page or text or call me at 801-695-5036.
Jamis Johnson found prison a relentlessly intense experience full of extremes—tragedy and hope, violence and kindness, insanity and enlightenments. It’s sad, funny, surreal. Prison is a deeply rich human experience. It was also extraordinarily difficult. Jamis has a unique perspective on that experience: He was falsely accused of a white collar crime. He was a lawyer fighting his case from prison and helping inmates on their legal matters. He developed lasting friendships—some with men who will never get out. Some he helped win their freedom who recently got out. He has thoughts from his own experience on inmate education, access to legal research, solitary confinement, transition to the outside, prosecutorial abuse, sentence reform and civilian review boards of convictions. He will outline some of his experiences and proposals and will open up for discussion.
Spending five years in the Utah State Prison for a white collar crime he didn’t commit taught Jamis a lot. Only recently did the Utah Supreme Court overturn his case. During his incarceration and since his release he has been involved in prison and sentence reform and inmate education. Jamis served on a group that included the Disability Law Center and the ACLU, that consulted with the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole and the Dept. of Corrections resulting in a handbook for prisoners relating to Board policies. He is also involved on some national efforts to obtain justice for people through his son’s organization PleasrDAO.
Jamis was born in Arizona and spent his middle school and high school years in Eugene, Oregon. In his teens he started losing his central vision which informs his life experience in unusual ways. He doesn’t drive and reads with visual aids. (Jamis can arguably ride a bike albeit very slowly and despite the opposition of his kids.) He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Philippines and graduated from BYU. Jamis received his law degree at Columbia University Law School followed by two years in New York City working in a large Wall Street firm. In 1982 he received a Fulbright Fellowship to the University of Bucharest, Academy of Economics while Romania was still a repressive communist regime. He moved to Utah temporarily for the last 40 years.
Jamis has 6 very interesting children, 7 grandkids, and one on the way. Jamis is a bluegrass musician in his spare time. His great passion is community music which he has promoted in various forms and organizations. For 25 years on Sunday evenings he gave free guitar and banjo lessons and hosted community music gatherings in his home. Currently he plays in a swing band. You will hear him playing here occasionally and at Lower Lights, an organization that grew out of a meditation practice with his friend, Tom McConkie.
WATCH THE RECORDED ZOOM CONVERSATION
PLEASE READ THESE ZOOM TIPS:
- Please mute your microphone before entering and when you are not speaking so noises are not heard by everyone else.
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